There. I said it.
The wonderful thing is, He can take it. And he take it with much more grace than I can give Him at the moment, and that brings me peace. In a weird way. But I’m still mad at him.
My Granny Blackburn died in 2000. She died after meeting her first great grandchild once. She held him for the longest time at our family reunion (which my mom wasn’t going to let me go to by the way because it started on the precise day in which I reached 6 weeks postnatal) The ride down to Memphis was eerily quiet as my mom, all of my siblings and my newborn son trekked down to see her for the last time. She wouldn’t give him up either. When family members would ask to hold him, she’d just smile and say no, and keep talking to him in her singsong way.
My sister died in 2002. She wasn’t here on this Earth for long either. At just 18 years of age, she passed away in her sleep, and I felt gutted. She hadn’t had enough time with us, or her first nephew – who she fussed with often in the short time she spent with him.
If Jessica was alive today, I’m sure that she would be over the moon with all of her nieces and nephews and maybe would have even added to the brood that we have. I currently have 50% of the grandchildren and well, I don’t think anyone is going to be beating that record at the moment, and part of me weeps because of that.
My Uncle Leodis died in 2011. In May. He was shot while driving a fare home. The young man wanted to rob him, and only got $50. My uncle was murdered over $50. He was a quiet man. 20 years older than me, and very unique. He found humor in simple things, and he made sure to show up in ways I didn’t appreciate until he was gone and I could reflect on it properly.
He was a man of few words, and now that I think about it, when he came around, it was all good times.
My uncle Randy died in 2017. In a car accident. He was a passenger and we found out early in the morning on a day where I was complaining about someone outside honking their horn. I remember it vividly. And then my mother called and told me the horrible news. My uncle Randy was only five years older than me, and the life of the party. If you were around him, you were going to be laughing until your stomach hurt. He had just had a baby with his fiancee before his death, and I remember thinking that life wasn’t fair. Our family has suffered loss after loss after loss and I didn’t think I could take any more.
Then my brother died. June 28, 2019. Complications from a car accident. My heart still hasn’t returned to beating the proper way. This death has probably been the angriest that I’ve been. My sister in law, his wife, was pregnant with my first niece from any of my siblings, and his older sons were approaching milestone things. 8th-grade promotion is coming soon and just other things that I don’t think about until it pops up. He was the baby of the family and the baby of the boys. Just like Jessica was the baby of the girls. Both my brother Gabriel and I lost our people. The folks we could always count on in the family to side with us, and want to hang with us.
Daniel was coming into his own in his thirties. Something that made me smile a lot last year. He would show up randomly at my house while working his business and he was always snagging my children to come and spend time with his. He became a safe space for my oldest and the neutral kid when it came to family affairs. He was always attending a family gathering when I just couldn’t be bothered any longer, and he never made me feel bad about not wanting to.
I’m so mad. I feel like I’ve had so many of my loved ones taken away, and I am SO SICK of people telling me that it gets better. It doesn’t. For 20 years, I’ve lost family members close to me, and the hurt doesn’t get better. It becomes part of my DNA in a way. Entwined in the way that I think, move, behave. I’m more protective of my space. Not going out and spending time on things that bring me no joy. I’m determined to spend as much time with my nephews and niece as I can.
I feel deep in my bones that there is something that He wants me to do, but instead of just telling me – HELLO – I have to deal with being blinded by the loss of my people. At this point in time, I’m not interested in making sense. I KNOW that God doesn’t just kill people just for the heck of it. I KNOW he didn’t say “Hey, Daniel, you’re gonna die today so I can rip the hearts out of the bodies of the people who love you the most!” and I KNOW that He doesn’t harbor some deep twisted desire to make my life miserable.
But it feels like it.
It’s dark here. And lonely. And so freaking frustrating. People always want to say things to “fix” me and my sadness, and my frustration, and I want to fix their mouths to stay permanently closed.
I don’t want hugs. I don’t want soft words. I want someone to go and break things with me. To tap into the primal need to just break some stuff. I want my people back.
I just want my people back. And that’s not possible.
I’m so mad at God. But I know He can handle it, and still love me through.