because I knew you, I have been changed… for good.

View of a Jewish chapel with the closed ark on the left, the lectern on the bimah in the center, with siddurim on it, and a large window with stained-class circles in the background. Through the window, a lakefront view is visible. The stained glass circles show a candle. a chanukiyah (seven-armed candle holder for chanukah), a shofar, a sukkah, the two tablets of the commandments, and a lulav with two etrog (a closed palm frond with two citron fruits). Just off-camera, there is one more circle that depicts the passover table with a wine glass.
itle from “for good” from the musical wicked; photo of the chapel of congregation emanuel of chicago, which housed congregation or chadash during my time there, courtesy of eric allix rogers from open house chicago.

(cw: grief, death, gun violence, suicidal ideation, homophobia)

for the past few months, I have walked in a daze of exhaustion and frustration and, yes, grief—to the point where it often stopped registering because it became my new normal.

“I live here now,” I joked with my student teacher, eve… but we both know I wasn’t really joking. we’d just spent a whole day helping students process the loss of one of their classmates, of one of our students, of someone I had known since he was fourteen years old and who was gunned down within a few blocks of my apartment at eighteen… and we felt numb, cold, detached from our bodies as we dragged ourselves down the stairs.

Continue reading “because I knew you, I have been changed… for good.”