Our Darlings Are Dying

Take care of yourself and each other.” Famous last words from Jerry Springer after his shows, where we’d witnessed the insanity of the episode’s entertainment. Jerry always offered sane and rational words of advice which was in clear opposition to the mess he’d just thrown at us. His end message always resonated after which he’d remind us of the importance of self-love and loving each other.

Take care of yourself, and each other.

The world today is a hard place, a hard and brutal place where the underbelly has risen to the surface with the loudest voice and even larger platforms, and in the midst of the chaos they create, we are losing our darlings. I feel for us, for our loss and the uncertainties ahead. It is especially hard for us Black People, there is an immense sense of loss that has accompanied us for a long time, and it is never ending. It sure feels that way.

We lost a superhero. Chadwick Boseman was a real-life superhero not just in Wakanda.

He was our darling and we have lost him. Its deep, its personal and it hurts so, so bad; heart heavy, breath jagged.

Death is so final. A debt to be paid by all, but these days the sting of death hurts even more so when we look at the people it takes from us, the lives it denies us and the promises left unfulfilled by it. It reaches deep within and a part of us, some little part never truly heals from it.

I am still not okay thinking about Kobe or looking at any pictures or news that has to do with him. It will be that way for Boseman too.

Chadwick Boseman gave all Black children everywhere a superhero, and a dare to hope and dream and believe. He gave us a new lens to look at our stories, he had to know what he was doing for us and what he was leaving behind. He simply had to know, which is why he kept pushing, past the abject pain he must have felt daily, the traumas and surgeries, and the bad news of his deteriorating health. He was a man who lived and acted two lives and two stories every day since his diagnosis in 2016; the one we saw on screen and the one he held private, amidst some of the most public moments in his life. This man was a superhero.

In a world of bleakness, he gave us rays of hope and happiness because he was the vessel in which we told some fundamental stories about our Black heroes. 42 was a movie that was both moving and deeply profound in his portrayal of Jackie Robinson. Black Panther means the world to Black people the world over, wherever we are, whatever our walks of life, it means a great deal to us and forever will; to hear our accents, see our world, our colour, our hair, our traditions… on a global scale; that means everything. Black History.

It feels incredibly sad and selfish to still want him here knowing that he is resting in peace and no longer in pain, he gave us such joy whilst dealing with what was without question some of the most traumatic moments of his life, knowing it had an end date that was sooner than most. Beyond the roles he played he reminded us of the legacy through which he came to be and the legacy he was leaving behind. He was someone who knew the gravitas of his roles especially within the Black community and whole heartedly took on board the joys and immense pressures that came with it. Black Panther left a legacy for young Black children to see themselves and possibilities in a new light not one fashioned by a media so steeped in telling their own narratives of who they think we ought to be. That is legacy, legacy unparalleled

It is hard loss to bear and it is okay to be distraught by it.

It is okay to mourn the death of someone you never met.

It is okay to feel their loss because they gave so much of themselves to us. Much more than we deserved.

It is okay to be heartbroken that they are no longer on the same planet as you because there was a comfort to be gained simply knowing they were still alive, even though you might never meet them.

In our way we knew them, without ever having to meet them, we felt them.

It’s okay to be sad and cry at the loss of someone whom you welcomed into your life because they welcome you into theirs too.

It is absolutely okay.

Our darlings are dying; be sure to let them know how much of a darling they are to you before they are gone.