“Til It Happens To You”

The title of this blog piece means something different than it might have meant before last night’s Oscar performance by Lady Gaga.

I don’t know her music, I don’t own a television even, but of course I have heard of her. And until last night, I had not heard of the film “The Hunting Ground” that features the song “Til It Happens To You”. Now that I have I will be sure to see it, very soon.

I had just finished dinner at my son’s when Lady Gaga gave her very powerful performance, sitting on the sofa with my almost five year old granddaughter cuddled next to me.

As I was unaware of the film and her song, I didn’t know what was coming. As it dawned on me what the subject of the song was, I became somewhat emotional. When Lady Gaga was joined on stage by dozens of survivors of sexual abuse, women and men, I struggled to maintain my emotions, succeeding for the most part, save a few tears. I scanned the faces of those people on the screen and witnessed emotion, conviction, perseverance and bravery.

A year or more ago, I would not have been able to hold back my tears like I did last night. And the only reason I even tried to hold them back was to save my family from having to engage with the legacy of the sexual abuse I experienced as a child any more. I am so much more healthy now and that is my gift to them.

I felt the softness of my beautiful granddaughter’s hand on my arm, and a shudder rolled through me. Those women and men on the stage were granddaughters and grandsons to someone as well. So is Lady Gaga.

We have much work to do.

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