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Death in my Hood

I attended another funeral of someone on my old block. The turnout was in the hundreds as all the old gang was there. The cars were lined up for blocks as usual when there is a death among us. Emotions ran high as I encountered hug after hug from old classmates and old running buddies. We have always been able to gather ourselves and show unity when we bury our loved ones. Our problem is understanding why we are slow to react until it is too late. This gentleman who left us, did so because a (FRIEND) he trusted gave him heroin to use to help ease his pain. He is no longer in pain but now we are.

The service that lasted for hours never mentioned this fact because we are in denial about our pain. We abuse drugs in the hood because we don't want to feel the pain of poverty and neglect. A deadly drug overdose only means the end to what otherwise has been a painful and slow death anyway. People using drugs are already in the process of dying. We continue to look the other way because we assume he is now in a better place.

I looked around at some of my old friends and death is all over them. For most of them sobriety is not an option and drugs are just a means of survival. This planet has become the hell we hear so much about. To have hundreds show up and send you on your way is some reward for living on the edge. I hope the amount of love generated will be enough to save someone there from the same fate. For most the funeral was a preview of our own demise with too much love to waste on just a morbid affair. Must we wait on death?

My attempt here is to connect us to the commonalities that exist all over this country. I have witnessed the deadly destruction of drugs first hand many times. It has always been people with unresolved internal issues that continue to turn up dead. They come from so called good homes as well as bad ones. They come from two parent homes as well as single parent homes. Some are real loners and some are party people. Some are dropouts and some have degrees. Some work everyday and some have never worked. Some live right in your house and others live right down the street. Some are family and some are complete strangers. Some are ball players and some have never played ball. Some ARE children and some HAVE children. Some are living to die and some are dying to live. We must learn to love them all.

You can no longer pick them out in a crowd and define their reality. It now crosses all predetermined boundaries that society has mapped out. What is it that has caused them to not want to be here and enjoy this paradise called earth? Why is it that we all have to fend off this deadly plague called drugs in our neighborhoods? Why is something that has killed and or destroyed so many so popular? When will we get tired of attending funerals and start to understand our willing involvement in our own destruction?

As you ponder responses to these questions consider that these people that let drugs destroy their lives obviously felt their life had no value. Most drug user are selfish people caught up in how best to satisfy their craving for feeling good. They leave behind a bunch of people that feel bad about a life gone astray.

We must come to grips with the fact that people that feel GOOD about their life don't do DRUGS. Drug abuse is an outgrowth of not feeling good..... PEOPLE WANT TO FEEL GOOD AT ANY COST EVEN DEATH. If you want to deal with the reality of drug abuse you must go back and discover (why) there was a void in the first place. That void in our character is all that is needed for negative behavior to sneak in and make itself your lifetime partner. Most drug free people, are people that are full of love and don't have room or time to entertain this enemy.

This scourge we call drugs has decimated my old neighborhood and is still working its way through. I am guilty of waiting on the next phone call instead of making a call. I guarantee that if some of us would have picked up the phone and expressed our love and concern, some of these dead ones would have at least thought about their life having some value.

What is the lesson here? We are all too busy but not too busy for a funeral. I promise you I will make the effort to make life more meaningful for the despised, rejected and unloved amongst us. I am asking that you all to do the same. Don't wait for the phone to ring. We are only doing as well as the least of us.

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