How Permanent is this Grief?

Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash

Something about sorrow sounds spiritual. It sounds like awakenings and revelations. Sounds like pacts and promises. Sounds contradicting too, like hope and despair are twins. We want to shackle ourselves to change. Something about sorrow got us questioning our own mortality. But how permanent is this grief? Where are we two years from now? Is this feeling fleeting? Will we forget our own deaths could be just as close as Kobe’s? Right now is good. It’s all reflection-like. Our throats are full of emotion and saltwater. Only time will tell if this is real or just another ode to the people we worship as Gods. Today, forgiveness is an anthem we sing each morning. Kisses adorn the faces of our loved ones, and the heavens ain’t heard these many prayers since the last celebrity died. And yet I ask myself how permanent is this grief? What have we learned?

There are people we know and love that are close. We can reach out and touch them. Now. Today. Will we? Some of us will Tupac this young man’s legacy while forgetting the promises we made to ourselves to be better people outside of the internet. We will forget those feel-good words we concocted when the world was in mourning. The “every day ain’t promised,” and “hug the ones you love,” we spit into the air as if life has promised our names won’t be the next one carved into the next hashtag. Like our pictures won’t be the ones swarming the internet like the locust currently congregating in East Africa.

Yea, something about sorrow sounds spiritual. Got us thinking about life and truth and family and love. But will this last? How permanent is this grief? That is the question. 

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I write to restore Black Historical Truth for the freedom of all people. Visit me online at and @yecheilyah on IG and Twitter.

3 thoughts on “How Permanent is this Grief?”

  1. Far be it for me to be the cynic–yeah, right–but I believe sorrow and grief only have true meaning when they’re personal.

    In this instance, I’m not discounting the feelings of TRUE sports fans and those who’ve followed Bryant’s career, but I was online Sunday morning when the news story broke and watched the tweet counts and hashtags swell until by the time I left Twitter, Kobe Bryant was trending in no less than nine different hashtags.

    You had only to read a handful of posts to know they weren’t motivated by sorrow or grief, but the desire to be a part of the buzz. People weren’t realizing their own mortality or the fact tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us. They were striving for likes and follows and for others to agree with THEM.

    I didn’t post or respond to any posts on Twitter, but I did post to my Facebook Timeline. It wasn’t for or about Kobe Bryant, the basketball legend or his career because I know very little about either, but more so, Kobe Bryant, the father and husband who had a daughter perish with him, and left a wife and three daughters behind to live without them.

    Losing my husband last May and my mom two months later has made me especially sensitive to what those left behind go through and the new path they didn’t choose but must take. It’s NOT a spiritual, cleansing or enlightening journey. There’s anger, resentment, regret and pain. Euphemisms like “hug your babies tonight” and “make sure you say ‘I love you’ to friends and family everyday because tomorrow isn’t promised” only have meaning to those who already live them, because it’s not about the LAST time you see your loved ones, but the life you lived with them. Self-serving, feel-good promises motivated by someone else’s loss are just dust in the wind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I lost my Uncle when I was twelve-years-old, my dad to cancer when I was thirteen-years-old and today marks the thirteenth anniversary of my aunt’s passing. I cannot relate to losing a spouse, mother, or child (and I am sorry for your losses). My husband and I are besties and it will be a different kind of a pain to lose him. What I can relate to is losing a loved one. So my heart broke to hear this young man lost his life, and my heart breaks that his wife lost a husband and a daughter. My condolences also go out to the family of John Altobelli, the Orange Coast College baseball coach and the families of the other passengers.

      I know that we tend to think the spiritual constitutes goodness and light all the time. I disagree. Emotions are dictated by spirits. Pain, sorrow, anger, frustration, regret…it’s all spiritual so I have to disagree that it’s not a spiritual journey. I believe that it is. Something about death and sorrow (in my experience) causes people to think deeply about their life, their choices, and their own mortality. Death changes us in a deeply personal way and I wonder if we can remember this feeling enough to have real gratitude about our life and the people in it. Such was the inspiration for this post.

      There are people in our lives who changed our diapers, wiped our noses and rocked us to sleep. There are people right now in our life who are visible, living, breathing and available. We will always miss those who aren’t and our hearts will break and laugh and break again at their memory in a way (as you’ve stated) that can only be properly described/felt by those who lived it. But if we can remember this feeling that grief leaves with us (that feeling of wanting to cherish what is here), perhaps maybe we can remember to appreciate those who are still here and what is still here.

      Of course, there are the disingenuous million who will jump on every bandwagon that’s trending. Those who will love us most when we are gone then they ever did while we lived. But on a deeper level, this post is not really about them either. The world can’t help but know who Kobe was and I for one cannot help but think about a woman who lost her husband and kid. I hope this kind of news encourages those of us who are genuine,to think deeper and to appreciate more rather than forgetting what it feels like to be reminded that life is fragile until the next tragedy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Point taken, my friend, and understood. And while I agree loss does cause self-reflection, IMHO, it CAN lead to spirituality if we reach out or else what is the point? Is it possible to have gratitude and appreciation for this life without expressing or sharing it? Agree to disagree and enjoy the day. 🙂


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