by Natalie Fox

The mass-shooting at Pulse Nightclub on June 12th, 2016 was one of the largest massacres in our country's history. Shock waves from that horrible night can still be felt reverberating through the world four years later. So many people around the world continue to be affected by the loss, grief, and terror of the night. Aside from the direct victims of the shooting, the hardest hit was the LGBTQ+ community. Many in the communities found ways to commemorate those lost, some with tattoos, artwork, or other forms of expression. Today, we find people gathering with their friends and loved ones in remembrance, with some even holding candlelight vigils and reading names of the victims. However we grieve for the lost, one thing is certain: for most of us, this hurt will not subside, and will never be forgotten.

It’s now 2020, and I don’t need to tell you how dangerous the world has become in the last four years. Since Pulse, many have become increasingly desensitized to armed mass-shootings, violence, and even death. Of course, even amidst the current global pandemic, wars, revolutions, and the crumbling government, we continue to fight. We fight for justice, representation, and the right to peacefully coexist with one another. Though we strive to push forward, we never forget those we’ve lost, and for many, they are the driving force behind the fight. They keep us believing, and pushing for a better future.

Take some time today to remember those we’ve lost in Pulse, and perhaps participate in a candlelight vigil, or start one in your community. Take some time to reach out to those still grieving, and listen to them with love and empathy. We are not alone while enduring the hardships of this world. But if you feel overwhelmed from trying to support the world, just remember what your flight attendant said (which you probably ignored): “Put your mask on first, before helping others.”

Take care of yourself, you are only human.