On Wednesday afternoon, Elon’s campus was blanketed with sorrow and mourning as word spread that classmate and football player Demitri Allison had passed away. With heavy hearts, the Elon community quickly organized a candle light vigil and a “Gathering of Friends” at Rhodes Stadium. Although I did not have a personal connection with Demitri, it was obvious that he had touched many lives here on campus.
With a family of football players mourning his death, the candle light vigil was emotional and moving. Students gathered around his closest friends in silence. They soon began to speak about the story behind his passing and what Demitri was going through. I distinctly remember one of his teammates stepping up and talking to us about the Elon community. I remember him saying “every f*cking life matters”, black, white, whatever your race, religion, or orientation, you all matter. He said it so passionately, my friends and I were just awestruck. He went on about how this tragedy needs to fuel us to come together as a community and make this school even better. Lend a helping hand. Pass a smile on to someone passing. Reach out to a friend who could be struggling. To whoever that kid was, I hope you read this and realize that you moved a lot of people that night.
Every life matters. I commend the women that start the Black Lives Matter movement, but we can’t forget about every other life. We all matter. Black, white, rich, poor, any race, religion, orientation, size, shape… whatever you may be. You mean something to someone somewhere.
Depression is complex. According to the Harvard Health Publications, depression is not only chemical imbalance but can be brought on by many different elements. Depression cannot be boiled down to one simple cause. It’s awful that we have boiled depression down to something people just live with when in reality it drives peoples days and impacts each and every one of us.
It’s so easy to feel passionate after a tragic event. Emotional ties to tragedy can make people feel some type of way. What defines our community is not what we do in times of tragedy, but how we continue to act months after.
Rest in peace Demitri Allison.