I got some news today. News that I was certainly not expecting, and it came to me from an unlikely source. A mentor, A brother, and a dear friend passed away yesterday. A thief stole him. Stole his health, Stole his life. He had a lot of life left to live. It is ironic as I was listening to a podcast yesterday about this unforgiving pandemic that has swept the world and is taking no prisoners. The host of the podcast said something that struck me. He stated that “this illness will touch everyone closely. It might be a cousin, a sister, brother, a neighbor”. We will all be touched in some way by this. That statement stuck with me. It haunted me. Then today, I got the call. I am shaken.
I immediately went to the closet to grab funeral attire and stopped when I realized this thief called COVID-19 would not even allow us to grieve. We will not gather at a funeral; we cannot honor him with a home going service. I sat on the floor of my closet and cried, an ugly cry, an angry cry. I also realized this would probably be the beginning of many tears I will shed for others who I love. I pray the ones I love will not have to drop any for me.
This virus has come like a thief in the night. This virus has swept in and robbed us of our humanity. We have been robbed of our rituals, and our closure is stolen. We cannot console, hold, embrace, or hold vigil with our loved ones who are sick or who pass on. This way of life is not the way it is supposed to be.
I ask as I always do: “What am I supposed to learn from this?” These trials are first for us all—a very uncomfortable one. I do not like it. I will give it a name. I am hurt. I am sad. I am anxious. I am worried. I AM SCARED.
I will, however, be the leader. I will be an example. I will be the friend and the consoler even from afar. I will not be defeated; I will not give in. I encourage you to do the same. Feel your feelings. Give those feelings a name. Be a leader. Be a friend. Be a good neighbor. Be HUMAN. This will make our relationships better. It will make them stronger. It will make them COVID-19 PROOF.
Rest in Peace, John Hill, Sr; you will be missed.