Can I just be real with y’all for a second? I finally put myself in a position to sit down and just…write. No first drafts, no edits, just pure & raw emotion with fingers to the keyboard. This is definitely new for me as I am very self-conscious about my writing before I press PUBLISH. I re-read a good 3-4 times and switch out words before I deem my posts “share worthy.” This time, I just wanted to get it out.
For those who keep up with me via real life, social media, and this blog, you can probably say you are aware of my daily happenings, where-a-bouts, and even a great deal of my character. For the most part, I’m pretty much an open book. Everybody knows I’m in school for my Masters (well with the exception of those who thought I was still working at the high school….I guess I do move kind of quick), everybody knows I have a six-year-old, everybody SHOULD know that my passion for black fatherhood runs deep, and many know of the amount of loss that I’ve had in my family over the past 20 months.
To be completely honest, I am going through. I am still trying to figure out what all my “going through” season entails but I am. I can come off very optimistic (because I truly am), very dependable, passionate, and constantly at peace with life’s happenings. I try to bring a positive spirit to those around me and truth be told (unless you truly TRULY know me), if there was something wrong with me, the people around me would never know. But now, I am tired. I’m beyond tired- I’m mentally, emotionally, and physically tired. Before the violins start playing and the texts start rolling in, let me provide some context:
May 2014: My grandmother passed away in her sleep (Father’s mother).
August 2014: I lost my aunt to cancer (Father’s sister).
October 2014: My cousin and her husband were both killed in a car accident/ a few hours later, my daughter and I were in a car accident that totaled my car and knocked my hip out of place with minimal nerve damage in my left arm).
November 2014: My grandmother suffered a stroke that left her paralyzed (Mom’s mother) & my uncle suffered that same stroke two weeks later (Father’s brother).
January 2015: My uncle suffered a minor stroke but he quickly recovered (Mom’s brother)
March 2015: My aunt (aunt of my cousin) lost her battle with cancer only after finding out 3 weeks prior
May 2015: My surviving grandmother passed away from complications of her stroke (Mom’s mother)
August 2015: Younger cousin was killed by a St. Louis police officer
February 2016: Uncle passed away from cardiac arrest (same uncle that suffered paralyzing stroke/ Father’s brother).
Y’all…… I aint never sat in so many pews and faced so many caskets and urns in my life. The obituaries are stacking up and I don’t like looking at them so I keep them in the closet. I don’t know what to do with all the “With Sympathy” cards I receive from church members and close friends so I put them in a shoe box. Our name stays in the church bulletin as the family to pray for. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful to be surrounded by so many that have a genuine concern for my family but internally my spirit is like, “Dang, Lord. Can you soften up a bit?”
That leads me to the point of the post. I am venting but I want readers to be able to grasp some take-a-ways. In this season of great loss, there are a few things that God is making me aware of and that I want to share with those who can relate:
- We are all going to have our day. Not to put a damper on an already somber post, but yes, we are all going to leave here one day. I don’t care what higher being you serve, that is one commonality amongst all humans. We can all agree to that. With that said, He is reminding me that the life I currently have is a gift and my purpose should be utilizing this gift for His glory. What all does that entail? I’m still figuring that out.
- It is ok to NOT be ok. With every loss or every instance that stings, I deliberately convince myself that I am ok because I have to be ok. I have to be ok because Addy needs me, because school work needs to be done, because life still goes on, because (
insert excuse here). All that convincing led me straight to a burnout. All it took was an EWF song to come on the radio that took my thoughts to childhood and 1 tear turned into 100. I didn’t allow myself to grieve. I acknowledged that life happened and I kept moving like it didn’t happen. Don’t be like me. Be NOT ok so you can ultimately be ok with time.
- My family members are chillin. I truly believe that. I am a believer. I may not be the type of believer people feel I should be or look like the believer that people feel I should look like, but I know who holds my heart. With that said, I know who I serve and I know whose hands my family members are resting in. Have you ever sat and talked with an elder and they looked you in the eye and told you, “I am ready to be with Jesus.” Can you imagine that type of peace? That type of faith? That type of tired? My grandmother would say that all the time and I believed her. I miss her…miss her dearly. But there wasn’t anything on this Earth that I could do for her, or anyone could do for her, that could provide that eternal peace and faith.
- Lastly, God is not punishing me! Man, I can honestly say I wholeheartedly believe this but I am spending time trying to convince others the same. Not my place, I know. But punishment is not how He operates. He allows happenings & He brings things to your attention, but punishment – that’s not even His MO. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” – Romans 8:1. That false image of God could lead us down a long road that we had no business traveling down in the first place. If we just took the time to get to know His character. Conviction NOT condemnation.
To close so I just don’t have y’all constantly scrolling down (if you are still reading, that is), I am going through and currently, I am not ok….but I will be. I still love life, all the things I have going for me, my child, my God, but no, as a believer, currently I am NOT ok and that is ok. I know I won’t get stuck here. No, I’m not depressed and no I’m not hopeless. I am allowing myself to go through this season. That’s a huge slap in the face to God to remain in one spot, including grief. If you are going through, allow yourself to go through. There is no cookie-cutter way to mourn and grief. There isn’t a go-to manual to describe the proper way to do it and for how long. We just do.
If you see me and ask me how I am doing, I may just tell you the truth. It may come with a tear or two but allow me that moment. That space. As I will respect you enough to do the same.
*wipes thug tears away*
Thank y’all for listening.