Dear Friends and Family of Richard Kennedy Trevithick,
We don't know each other but I feel connected to you. Last weekend I carried Richard's name and his death date in a peace march protesting the continuation of the 'War in Iraq'. I realize that our views on politics may be different but I bet that our views on human loss are not. Wether we believe in the righteousness of this war or not I'm sure we can agree that Richard lost his future and that we are here to mourn his passing. I feel very honored to have walked with his name. Human life is a precious gift and I feel his loss very deeply.
I know so little about him. I know that he was too young to die; only 20. My oldest daughter is just about to turn 18. Her bithday is April 23th. We were celebrating her 15th birthday the day that you were mourning his passing at his funeral. I think that was the year that she had a sleepover. All of the girls ate homemade sushi, gave each other henna tattoos, slept in our converted schoolbus, and had homemade crepes for breakfast. How emotional it is for me to think that on such a happy day in my household your household was having such a solemn one. I know that Richard married his high school sweetheart because he wanted to marry the woman he loved before he went over to Iraq. I know that he pre-arranged that if anything happened to him over there that a bouquet of roses was to be sent to her. I know that at his funeral his father-in-law prosided over it, as well as his grandfather. It was held at a Bapist church so I assume that he was a bapist.
He looks gentle and kind in the picture that I found of him. Most of the military pictures of people that I see I think that they look tough and hard. Not Richard. He doesn't look the type of person that wants to kill another. Dare I say that? It said in the Washington Post that he enlisted because he wasn't ready for college. Dear God how can someone think that they are not ready for college but they are ready to go to war? It also said that he wanted to have a career in law enforcement. Not all cops are bullies...right? Not all soldiers are sociopaths...right? I am struggling with my bias, my own personal bigotry. No matter what I think of war or our administration or the military, I do believe in humanity. I would like to believe that Richard was a good guy. That he joined the Army with the best intentions of protecting people. That he would only harm someone if he really had to. That the God he believed in was kind and nondisciminatory.
I believe that no matter what you believe and that no matter what I believe that we can come together and weep for those that have died in this war. Wether we agree on our politics or our faith we can agree that Richard had so much more life to live and that we are all so very sad that he is not alive to live it.
I am a Mother. I can put aside my core belief of the wrongness of war (any war) and my dislike for President Bush. I can do that. I could even go to a Bapist Church and sit next to you at Richard's funeral. I could hold your hand. I could look you in the eye. And we would meet in our sorrow. I could say to you how very sorry I am for the lost life of Richard. We would meet in that place of understanding grief and know each other. We are not so different you and me after all.
I am so very, very sorry for your loss.