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Open Love Letter to Covenant Moms & All Grieving Mothers


Dear Covenant Moms:


After watching the less than mediocre ‘Extraordinary Session’ this week at the TN Legislature, I simply had to reach out to you. And because yesterday was the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington, it seemed a fitting occasion.

All Photos by John Partipilo


Much has already been written on the debacle that occurred in our State Capital and how TN Governor Bill Lee was absent and how the first order of business was the Majority Speaker's attempt to silence your (our) voices. That's for others to chronicle.


In spite of all the attempts to derail the session, your fierce courage this week touched me profoundly. Every word spoken about your children, the horrific events of the day, your grief since the mass shooting, and your incomparable determination to advocate for ALL children (and 70% of Tennesseans) reverberated around the world.


Please understand how significant this is. Hold still in the power of it, for just a moment. And embrace the understanding that sometimes love must be loud to rise above the clamor and noise of oppression.


This week, You, (along with thousands of other mothers) were loud and loving. And that was THE most powerful force in that chamber.


Along with thousands of observers, I was appalled (on your behalf) about the callous treatment you endured at the hands of these so-called public servants.


In witnessing your grief-laden entreaty to the TN GOP Legislature, it seemed there was a powerful and uniting force working beneath the surface. A divine force that connected you with all of those who've ever experienced feeling invisible and silenced by this body.


For all those who've been dismissed & belittled by elected officials, whether Black and Brown, LGBTQ folks, Immigrants etc, perhaps something transformational occurred in collectively witnessing your pleas fall upon callous and unsympathetic ears.


From the outside, it appears we couldn’t be more different. I am not Southern nor a mom, and not religious per se (although carry 12 years of Catholic School in my backpack). As a Democratic writer/filmmaker whose spent decades focusing on issues relevant to equity in education, criminal justice and healthcare, it's possible we have voted differently. Ok, quite differently. That said, you all opened my eyes and my heart a little wider this week.


Rather than collapsing or capitulating to the brutishness of these politicians (many of whom you may have voted for) you spoke through tears with fierceness, conviction and clarity. And like all those who marched on Washington 60 years ago, you spoke truth to power. And It was encouraging.

During a stage IV cancer experience a few years ago, I discovered there are few questions more revealing than: “what‘s the grief beneath the grievance?” Your very presence last week perfectly illustrated this revelation.



You fueled your grief with ferocious love. You stood up to bullies in the most powerful of positions and galvanized thousands in the process.


And while historically, people have always been purposefully pitted against one another for political profit, you are yet another reminder of how much more powerful we are—together.


In love, loudness & Sisterhood

Molly Secours

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