If you’ve looked at the internet at all in the last 48 hours you’ve heard the story. The one where Harambe the gorilla was shot after a 3 year old boy got into his enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo on Monday. The internet is flooded with opinions on how the situation was handled and about the boy and his mother.
But I’m not here to share my opinion. There is no room for opinions here. All I want to do is FEEL.
I want to feel for this mother. I want to hold her close and tell her I see her. I see the split second mistake she made, not knowing it was a mistake, something countless other parents do every day. I see the fear she must have felt in that moment, the type of fear only a parent can understand. I feel the harsh realization slowly seeping in that everything was about to change for her and everyone else there. I see the crushing judgments coming at her from all sides and see the weight of it all coming down on her. I see her pain.
Right or wrong she is pain. Whether you believe this was a momentarily lapse of judgement deserving of grace or you believe this woman deserves to be thrown to the wolves and shredded for all to see there is no denying or even understanding the level of pain she must be in and that makes me hurt for her.
I want to feel for all those who loved Harambe. I want to wrap them each up in love and mourn with them. I want them all to know that I see their loss and see the hole that will be left in their heart. I feel their anger and their outrage at the situation. I see that their lives have been forever changed too.
Whether you believe the zoo officials made the right decision or the wrong one there is no denying the loss that community is feeling. There is no denying that a beautiful, majestic creature was lost or way of pretending this doesn’t affect Harambe’s entire species.
Most of all I want to feel for this boy, the one no one seems to be talking about. I want him to know how loved he is, and that he’s going to be safe. I want him to know that I see his trauma and that even though he is so young that I know this will impact his entire life. I hope with every fiber of my being that he is protected from all this crazy press and grows to heal and move past this.
When things like this happen we often find ourselves so wrapped up in the right and the wrong that we forget to be human and we forget that others are too. We all make mistakes and yes, mistakes such as these deserve to be talked about, but don’t get so wrapped up in the discussion that you forget to feel.
In this society we’ve built of seeing who can shout their opinion the loudest and fastest, don’t allow the world to rob you of your empathy.
Rest in peace and fly high Harambe.
What do you feel for those affected by the tragedy?