Sunday, August 9, 2020


Don’t Tell Me When to Cry.

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(ThySistas.com) It is unfortunate that we have people in our community that want to tell us when we should hurt and how. If the person that transitioned isn’t my elders, parents, or siblings I don’t get to succumb to grief. Now, I’m allowed a little space for other family members like aunts, uncles and cousins. There is also understanding for mentors, coaches, and friends. However, the levels to which one can grieve is varied…every death shouldn’t have the same cry if we let society tell. Who am I to think it’s okay to grief a celebrity? How dare I cry for someone I never knew personally? Some don’t want to hear about the impact they had on life from a distance…no, we are told cut that out and get it together. Sometimes it’s the sister in the same circle as you…since she isn’t tore up about that celebrity you shouldn’t be either.

When I heard Kobe Bryant passed, his daughter passed with him, and seven other people I was sick inside. I remember vomiting as waves of sick grief washed over me like a cruel storm. All I could do was turn everything off and lay down. I didn’t want to see the TV, social media, or talk to a single soul. I needed to understand why I was so hurt and angry at the same time. My first thought was “gone too soon”. I love football; basketball was okay and was something to watch to pass the time. Kobe Bryant was an amazing player, and his presence on the court was predatory anytime I found myself watching. In many ways that did remind me of Michael Jordan. Honestly, Kobe Bryant has my attention when he injured his achilles as I was watching that game. I remember thinking his career was over. However, he chronical his journey to social media, and during this time I would be battling with my own health. I finally saw “Mamba Mentality” off the court. He had become someone whose life I was learning from, and even after retirement I was still learning.

His passing hurt deeply as I feel there was so much more to learn. The suddenness of his passing sent shocks through my soul, and many others. In this space the argument of why we cry for celebrities would begin. I was told by a sister friend directly that I was being dramatic and needed to cut out the foolishness. I heard of others being ridiculed for crying…and I realized this is not okay. No one has the right to tell us what another human being, or that persons life, should mean to us. No one has the right to regulate who we should grieve over, and how much. This is inhumane, and ugly! I wish I could say I expect more from my community. However, this is the same space that weighs the life of parents differently. If mom passes we allow the highest grief regardless of her life, however if dad passed the same degree of grief is not allowed. There is an expectation to quickly get over the death of anyone that isn’t mom, grandmother, or a child.

I will take a stand for my own emotional space. No one will make me feel ashamed for grieving the loss of life no matter how it hits me. There will be no explanations given about why someone impacted my life enough to bring my day (or week) to a screeching halt for grieves sake. Kobe Bryant has transitioned, and I won’t be getting over it quickly. I’m hurting inside, many people are hurting inside, and there is nothing to be ashamed about.

Staff Writer; Chelle’ St James

May also connect with this sister via Twitter; ChelleStJames.


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