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Mourning for Shannon

Saturday, December 9, 2017

When you went missing, I shared the public notice on my Facebook page, like I had for several other young people last year; persons whose bodies we haven’t found yet. Two days later they found your body. They found your body on my birthday.

Maybe that’s why I can’t forget about you. It’s cosmically cruel that on the day I got to celebrate another year of my life, our nation mourned the end of your last one. Losing you was a rare tragedy because it brought out the empathy in the rest of us. You could have been any one of us. Any one of us could one day be you. It was broad daylight; it was in the middle of town. All you did was walk into a store. Why did you never walk out? I won’t let myself think about it. I’m sure there are many people who think about it everyday.

It was a somber day, but it was still my birthday, and I had planned a party. I was in the wrong place celebrating with some of the wrong people and I didn’t even know it. It’s just one of those things you learn as you grow into who you’re meant to be. I’m deeply sorry you didn’t have much time to get to be that person.

The night of my birthday, the night of the day you were found, I drove a friend from Maraval to City Gate and mindlessly swung down Charlotte Street to get there. It was like drifting into a dark, deep sea of yellow tape and blue lights. I’m not sure if it rained that night, but it seemed wet. There were police officers standing like mannequins along the pavement. Everyone was still in shock. Everything seemed frozen and shiny, like the reflective surface of still water. There were cars parked across the road, blocking it. It was quiet but it was so, so loud. You were everywhere when you were gone. And every year on my birthday, probably for the rest of my life, I will hear you.

Author’s note: This piece is in no way meant to bring pain to anyone who knew her. It is meant to express mine.

Best wishes,

Rochelle Amour

via email


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