Grief: Taking Others for Granted, Mourning Flowers Never Given


Grief can take on many forms. It comes in different shades, shapes and many levels. It’s not lateral. Nor vertical . There’s no formula for it. There’s no way to tell when it will begin or end.

Death stirs up so many different emotions. Grieving, mourning, and realizing we may have taken someone for granted can weigh so heavy on us. For me personally it hits randomly and HARD.

When my grandmother-in-law (my step dad’s mom) passed, I couldn’t believe it and as the baby of my family I couldn’t imagine how he (the baby of his family) felt. I wanted so badly to take his hurt away. I didn’t feel anything initially. A part of me just felt sad. After the funeral we went back to her house and I felt sick and faint. The family offered me her bad and I lost it. I’d only laid in that bed with her; the one person in his family I felt comfortable with and that made my family feel like family.

When my paternal grandmother passed three years ago it hit in waves. When I was told the news I held it together somehow. Finished my work route, calmly told my manager I’d need time off and even stayed to finish the work day. During my drive home I broke down; it was short but hard. Then I was okay. I walked inside my parents’ home and shared the news, made arrangements for travel, planned my drive from Los Angeles, CA to Chunchula, AL in less than 48 hours. I made a 21 hour straight drive to Houston, TX, then the drive with a cousin to AL. Slept in my granny’s house and all. Still nothing.

When the funeral began after everyone was allowed to view her body and the ushers began closing her casket, I lost in. My body shook uncontrollably. Tears wouldn’t stop although I made no sound or blinked. A full grown adult and something in my head couldn’t stop shouting “she can’t breathe, if you close it how will she breathe!?” I hadn’t noticed this until my Uncle grabbed my hand to console me. I was fine again until I saw her casket go in the ground.

These are family members that I left this realm. Women I love and have spent quality time with.

Those same feelings of grieve have been coming in waves with Nipsey Hussle’s passing. I did not personally know him. I have never met him (to my recollection). With his death I have good days and bad days.

There are days that I see a photo of him and I’m at peace. Then there are times I can’t stand to look at a video and hear his voice let alone see a picture. A positive light, influencer and activists from a community I am from. I didn’t post about him while he was alive. I didn’t shop at his stores, not because I didn’t want to, but because I prioritized. So it’s easy for others to say I didn’t give him his flowers while he was here. And sometimes I feel that way, when I’m “in my feelings.”

Anyone who knows me knows I bragged about what he was doing in our community. Anyone who came into town I took them by both his clothing and hair stores. I was so proud. He was a great leader and such a good example.

But it’s a wave. A wave that I’m sometimes riding and at other times I’m submerged under. I’m unsure of how to give myself permission to grieve in this case. When I move to allow myself to feel, I pull back. I think about his family. I think of his children. I think of Lauren London. I immediately feel so selfish. They experienced Nip in another way and on another level.

I’ve rambled a bit, but I’ll end with this..

Grieving allows us to heal, to remember with love rather than pain.
It is a sorting process.
One by one you let go of things that are gone
and you mourn for them.
One by one you take hold of the things that have become a part of
who you are and build again.
—Rachael Naomi Remen

Grief doesn’t just occur with the death of a life; it happens when relationships “die,” careers end and so on. I’m giving myself permission to grieve a beautiful soul and not feel guilty about it as through his death I’ve realized I’ve still been grieving other losses. I invite you to grieve whatever it is that you may be hanging on to and take the time to explore your feelings and heal yourself. You deserve peace and tranquility. I love you.

– Viola Constance


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