I am probably over reacting, but I just wanted to vent a little bit. Last Tuesday I attended the wake of my brother. I was in the receiving line, the fourth one in line. As people started coming to pay their last respects, I noticed something that I haven't experienced in the entire thirty years since my injury. I don't know if anyone would agree, but I would have to call it discrimination. Many of the people in attendance were friends of my other siblings. Some were teachers. Some were people who work in the medical field and some were from various other working backgrounds. Anyway as the people were working their way down the receiving line, I would say that at least 1/3 of the people walked right past me on to my sister, who was the next person in line after me. There was no eye contact or acknowledgement shown to me in any way. At one time I counted as many as six people who just walked right on by. Many of them hugged my brother in line before me, then hugged my sister in line after me and totally ignored me in the process. At one point I nudged my sister, who started telling some of the people that I was a sister too, to which they would turn around and offer me their condolences. I really don't understand how there could have been any confusion about that. I was in the middle of the line. I felt at times like I was invisible. My family said that I should think of my brother who had just passed and to let it go. So that is what I did.

The following day at the burial there were chairs placed in a line for all of the next of kin to sit in. My wheelchair was placed at the end of that row. After the service was over the preacher walked down the line to shake everyone's hand and offer his condolences. When he got to the end of the line where I was, he turned around without saying anything to me. Again my sister stopped him and told him that I was his sister too. Then he turned around and offered me his hand, quickly.

I can't explain to you how alone I felt in those moments. It was just a horrible, horrible feeling on top of having to deal with the sudden loss of my brother. I loved him too and will miss him too. Don't people get that? I don't understand how or why people could just walk by me like that. I keep thinking, even if there were ramps and accessible bathrooms in every building in America, it means nothing if people continue to have the mindset that we are not all to be treated equally as human beings.