The news that came out of Kansas City Saturday morning shook me to my core.
At first the news was very vague. Kansas City player commits suicide. My stomach churned when I read it. As the hours passed, the news got worse. The player shot and killed his girlfriend that morning. Stomach churned. The player committed suicide at the team facility. Stomach churned. The player committed suicide in front of his head coach and the general manager. Stomach churned hard. The player thanked his coach and general manager for all they had done for him before he committed suicide. Stomach churned hard, again. As a result of the player’s actions, a three month old girl is now an orphan. Tears fell.
The story read like something out of Hollywood. Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Boy and girl have baby. Boy and girl lives end tragically. Only this was happening in real life and real lives have been impacted forever, including mine. Sounds kind of crazy, right? It was hard to escape the news of the story on Saturday. It was all over the internet and tv. Family and friends were talking about it. Strangers were talking about it. While no one could seem to grasp what happened, everyone seemed to be asking the same question: why?
Why would a 25 year old NFL player commit such a heinous act? Why would he leave his child in this world with no parent to raise her? Why would he commit suicide in front of his coach? Why? Why? Why? Unfortunately, the why’s will probably never get answered. We will probably never know why the player decided on Saturday morning that life was no longer worth living. As I have skimmed the internet over the past 48 hours, I have seen plenty of comments calling the player a punk, a coward and a murderer, the latter which is true. While the situation is beyond my understanding, I have been compelled to experience sympathy for the player who had a lot of life to live. From what has been reported by the people who knew him, he was confident, happy, quiet and a true gentleman. Many have expressed that they saw no signs that the player was troubled or suicidal. The irony lies in the fact that before the player went into that place that those who knew him had not seen, he was true to his known character, thanking his coach and GM for what they had done.
If you really sit and think about it, you may be compelled to sympathize the way I have. The player had to truly be in a deep, dark hole to not even see a glimmer of hope. A hole so deep that at that point in time, his daughter, whom by all accounts was the love of his life, was not even worth living for anymore. The thought of a hole that deep leaves a lump in my throat. Can you imagine being in a hole like that? It makes my heart ache. I have wondered if this was a result of something in his past that has scarred him. I have wondered if he felt he could not talk to anyone about what he was experiencing. I have wondered if he felt that as a man he could not express how he was feeling. Often I hear men say that they are taught that they have to be strong and not show a lot of emotion. Well, I think that is silly. Showing emotion does not make you any less of a man. In my opinion, NOT being able to show emotion makes you a weaker man. There is nothing wrong with a man crying., There is nothing wrong with a man admitting he is struggling with a particular situation. There is nothing wrong with a man asking for help. NOTHING. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
We live in a world where everyone is suppose to be strong. No one is suppose to hurt. We live in a world where we are so caught up in ourselves that we do not make time for the people who are important to us. We think they will always be here. We live in a world where we are too busy to pick up the phone and have a conversation. We have time for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram though. We live in a world where if we do not understand a situation, we like to make assumptions and jump to conclusions. We rarely take the time to truly assess the situation. This is the kind of world that squeezes people and leaves them feeling like there is no hope. This is the kind of world that leaves people feeling helpless. This is the kind of world that leaves people feeling like the only way it will get better is if they are not here. That is the kind of world that we live in but there is another side of the world that shows its face. This world is a good place with good people with good intentions.
Remember when I said earlier that this situation impacted my life? I am a very strong, independent woman. Just ask my mama. Or my aunt. Or my cousins. Or my best friends. I do not like to ask for help. I do not like to talk a lot about issues or situations that are bothering me. I do not like for people to see me cry. I know there is nothing wrong with being vulnerable but I do not like it. It is human nature to be that way but that does not mean it is right. We all play a role in this world and a couple of years ago I learned my role. Upon the revelation, I vowed to become more open about things that are going on and to not be ashamed of trials I have had to endure on the way to my destiny. However, this situation made me realize that I have a lot more growing to do. I will never be an open book to the public. Wait, let me refrain from saying never. I do not know if I will ever be an open book to the public but I have renewed that vow I made to myself years ago. I owe it to myself and those who love me. So do you.
The deaths of Kasandra Perkins and Jovan Belcher should be a wake up call for us all. A call to talk. A call to reach out. A call to love. A call to share. A call to care. A call to love. A call to action. Lets all do our part to answer the ringing that we hear. Someone’s life could be on the line.