By Daniella D.
I remember dying so abruptly. My mind, still conscious, despite my unresponsive body, felt rage. Rage from the way I passed, rage that I did not deserve to die, rage that I was innocent and never befitted the stereotype to be gunned down with four bullets in my chest.
I was not the one they pursued and I certainly did not fit the description of one. Yet, here I was, victimized and left to die. Was it because I was at the wrong place at an inappropriate time? Or was it that my position in society, as that of theirs, was not exactly without a touch of degradation, wrapped in a constant reminder that we were subordinates at its mercy?
Perhaps it didn’t matter, because any alternate reason that might have explained this did not seem to justify why I was here, as a grumbling soul who could not at-least, be thankful to the almighty that I felt no pain in my passing.
As shallow as I was in my living years, here I was once more, pacing round and round with rage, and so blinded by selfishness to realize that I was not the only innocent life lost. There were possibly many who wondered like me; some of whom, if I knew of their lives and their struggles, and not just their shortcomings to cling on to as their only memory, perhaps I would be more appreciative and humbled by the fact that I had a better run than some did.
And perhaps this piece of humility would have forced me to reflect on my life, about what I could have done to instigate change, even if that meant risking a little, for the right reasons.
To recognize the subtlety of privilege, I rarely felt the raw vagary of not being immune to circumstance, despite the connotations of belonging to a certain class or sex. I, like others, but also unlike plenty, had the advantage of stability, fiercely constructed by others’ sweat and blood that inhabit the pages of the past. Yet, I failed to take the fight further, hid my discontent, and instead chose to live in ignorance because I felt threatened by an unforeseen personal instability.
I chose to not let myself question a society with gaping pitfalls which carefully backed people into a corner and exercised a latent power, unnoticeable in everyday, but built strong enough to live on. I had moments, that made me question if we could, or even deserved to build a better life.
But, here I was, looking at my bloody lifeless body with anger, before remorse. I did nothing to deserve this, but I cannot say with certainty I had no part in orchestrating my own demise by living so frivolously. And for literal late acknowledgements, I should have been grieving along with the ones I hold dear in my heart.