You bring someone back from the dead. Who is it?

It would be nice for my mom to have her dad and my dad to have his mom. I think the whole 27 Club deserves a second shot, and imagine a collab between Kanye and Tupac, Biggie and Nicki.

But I don’t think I’d bring any of them back and besides, the prompt calls for one person. How can I justify the resurrection of one single person?

A girl once labeled me a humanitarian. I suppose she’s right. I cried at my Grandma’s funeral, but I can’t imagine the tears shed over the tiny lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary. And for parents to say their daughter died a hero in the Battle of Fallugia takes away only a portion of pain comparable to a leaf that held on tight through a hurricane. That leaf will fall by the end of autumn and the parents know you can’t walk a Purple Heart down the aisle.

In the war on terror, how many of the casualties should I consider?

In the Holocaust, we lost six million Jews, but we shouldn’t forget the gays, gypsies, and political enemies. And what about the boy who thought suicide was the only way to heal his soul’s throat, so sore from always screaming I am woman? Do I bring him back and say it gets better because hey, just look at Bruce Jenner and what money can buy?

No. I would not bring any them back.

I cried a long time over the death of my best friend’s mom and maybe it’s cliché to say everything happens for a reason, but I wouldn’t bring her back either. I don’t think we’ve fully discovered the reason, but I know for sure Jane is as much an angel in heaven as she was on earth.

Yes, death can be tragic but above all else, death is final. Blockbusters have deliberated on the drastic change thousands of lives undergo when just one person is brought back. Human connections big and small shape our lives in ways that often go unreported but so does the loss of those human connections.

Poppy was the first person I knew to die. I was four and only understood that from then on to see him, I’d have to look at pictures and to talk to him, I’d have to look up. I think if he were still alive, my life would be different in ways I can’t exactly fathom, and I don’t think I really want to find out. It is what it is.

I struggled for a long time with this prompt, pondering it on buses and trains, when I couldn’t sleep, when I read up on the latest disaster. What about that person? Or that one? To the woman whose pained face is splashed across the front page: why should I bring your loved one back?

What would MLK have to say about Ferguson? Would he still have a day in his name if he survived that gun shot?

Let the deceased remain as they are. Have faith in fate. Good has come from those who have suffered great losses. May the spirits of lives lost give us strength to carry on, guide us when we need guidance and welcome us when our time comes to leave this world, as blessed as it is cursed.

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