The news that Prince died this week came with a jolt. Not just because death is the only certainty we all face, but the one we avoid even mentioning. Not just because I was suddenly grateful to have woken up that morning, but because I knew what would happen next.
In roughly this order:
- The internet would explode with conjectures of why he died, all without a single basis in fact. I was pretty sure drugs would come into play with “anonymous” people leaking “secret” information to put themselves in the spotlight. (Thanks, Yahoo news, for taking on that project.)
- Facebook would fill up with angry people posting about soldiers, cancer victims, police officers who had died on the same day (or week, or years ago) who were not given the headlines although they were “true heroes” and that other guy, well, he was “only an entertainer.” It happened even faster than Black Lives Matter was challenged by All Lives Matter. One mess doesn’t negate the other mess or make it a lesser mess.
We don’t have to have only one thing that’s sad, tragic, a shame, or upsetting. We can have many things that we are sad and angry about. We can have many simultaneous emotions. Over different things. Prince’s death doesn’t make someone else’s dying inconsequential. Not at all. A soldier who gets killed is also a sad event. At the same time. You can mourn two things at the same time.
One isn’t better. Or worse. We can mourn in different ways, at the same time. The world is full of bad news. Let’s not turn it into a competition of tragedies.
Let’s feel a handful of compassion for many sad events at once.
–-Quinn McDonald is hoping for bigger hearts.