A Letter to you

Last night I told many of you I could not find the words to say thank you. I am still speechless and incredibly humbled by the support of my community here in Calgary, the support of my friends and (until-recently) strangers from near and far. While I was messaging one of my closest friends, I think I finally found the words. I want to say thank you for not leaving me behind. I have had a difficult couple of years, beginning with the passing of my mother in September of 2015. If you know anything about grief, you know that it feels like your world has come to a stop but no one around you takes notice, and the world moves on without you. I have spent a great deal of time grieving and playing catch up. Thank you for taking a moment to give me a hand. With grief, comes not only the loss of a loved one but the loss of hope. Hope is replaced by a paralysing fear of the future. Like I said to many of you, more than just a donation, or a share or a follow, you have given me hope. I struggle with severe depression, and yesterday, it felt like my community (All of you) was saying, “we want to you here,” and I needed that.

This has reminded me that Black Lives Matter extends beyond being alive in the medical sense. Black Lives Matter is also about improving the conditions in which Black People exist and navigate this thing called life, so we too can experience the full beauty of what it means to be alive. Many of us, despite being "alive" are suffocated by hostile work environments, limited opportunities, and the overall emotional trauma of bearing witness to the decimation of our people. Sometimes this thing called racism kills instantly, sometimes it kills us over 8 min and 46 seconds, sometimes it kills over a lifetime of trying but never being good enough. It is the difference between execution and torture, but the result is the same.

Thank you for showing up for me, and reminding me that my life matters. In Shona, the language of my father’s people, there is a saying “Kusatenda huroyi,” which means, being ungrateful is as good as witchcraft (the malicious kind lol), and so in gratitude and hope, I hope to make all of you proud with the work that I do and will continue to do with your support.

- Sue-Shane