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Mourn with those who mourn

My spirit is stirring this week and I find it no coincidence that among the women I know, the feeling is mutual. My kids came home in tears, another girl I know shed mysterious tears at work and people everywhere I turn are confessing that they got hit with a good case of the cry-ball

My spirit is stirring this week and I find it no coincidence that among the women I know, the feeling is mutual. My kids came home in tears, another girl I know shed mysterious tears at work and people everywhere I turn are confessing that they got hit with a good case of the cry-ball suddenly stuck in their throat for no reason at all. The spirits of the people are crying and they don’t know why.

I think I do. Whether you call it intuition or spidey-senses…i feel inside that a greater healing is going on in the spiritual world around us.

I’m not afraid to say it out loud, the Spirit is moving and the Creator is addressing our grief as an indigenous nation.

In commemoration of the missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls, people have gathered to remember. Walking With Our Sisters opened a travelling ceremony that will go around the continent for seven years to address the grief of the people. Our people are lifting up songs, they are offering up words of condolence and healing. Everyone is sending out good prayers and chants to the Creator and sending love to those in mourning.

I am in mourning with them. It runs parallel to the pain of the families of missing and murdered women and resonates so deep within me I can’t brush it aside. This week I went to the Sisters In Spirit rally in Hagersville. A row of women were standing behind me singing in unison with the hand drum. I was supposed to be there taking pictures for the newspaper, but my heart was compelled to join in. So there I was…half singing along with the drum, half crying, snot running down my face and my little cardboard sign blowing in the wind. It took all of me not to fall down on the ground and start wailing. Not for myself, but because I know the pain of losing my niece too soon.

I know what it is like to miss her. I miss her laugh. I miss her messy hair and her dirty toes. I miss her everyday and when I am not busy missing her it is only because I am busy trying to fill up my days with housework, interviews and printing so that I don’t have time to think about her. When I do, I ache. My very insides groan because she is gone and I was powerless to stop it. And yet the world goes on, and we move on grieved with it.

I don’t have much, but today I offer up my voice and my pain. If we only ever connect through the pages of a newspaper I offer it up to you my Haudenosaune brothers and sisters. I will stand here with you in this place of pain and cry together with you. I will stand with you whose insides ache because you are grieved and I will cry out to the Creator together with you in their memory and ask for healing. May we never forget and May it never happen again.

(For my old friend Jenni’s mom, for Tashina who I never knew, for Elaine and Shelley and Karina. For Jair, for Elle, for Shiyloh)

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Nahnda Garlow

Nahnda Garlow

Nahnda Garlow, Onondaga under the wing of the Beaver Clan of Six Nations, is Outreach Editor for the Two Row Times. Her popular column, Scone Dogs and Seed Beads brings weekly thoughts on current day indigenous identity. Nahnda has been a journalist with the Two Row Times since it's founding in 2013. She studied Journalism, Human Rights and Indigenous Studies at Laurier University. She is a self-proclaimed "rez girl" who also brings to the Two Row Times years of experience as a Haudenosaunee cultural interpreter, traditional dancer and beadwork aficionado. Nahnda is a member of the Canadian Association of Journalists and the Native American Journalists Association.

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