All Articles Tagged "death"
Yesterday there was an unpleasant surprise in my Facebook feed. As I scrolled past goofy videos and nonsensical opinions on Ray Rice, I came across a photo collage of a girl I was friends with in college along with the words “I am numb,” which caught my attention. I clicked “read more” and unfortunately found out my old friend had passed away suddenly. Shocked, I began scrambling through the messages on her Facebook wall trying to figure out what had happened. Aneurysm. In a matter of hours, messages asking for prayers had turned to R.I.P. statuses filled with disbelief that a woman loved by so many was gone.
Immediately, my mind went back to my most vivid memory of the funny girl from Columbus who I’d had one too many reckless nights with during our freshman year of college. I remembered how she’d encouraged me at one of my low points and I knew when I got home I had to read the journal entry that refreshed my love for her and uplifted my soul that May day in 2004. I wrote about confiding in my friend after I’d been turned down for a scholarship and a peer leader position at my university all in the same day and was feeling rather inadequate as she assured me:
“Don’t let that discourage you. When you make it big, nobody can tell you anything.”
I retorted, asking, “am I really gonna make it?” and she told me without hesitation:
“You are smart as sh*t and lately I’ve been thinking about the idea of a virtuous woman and trying to recognize that and you are one of those women. You really are an inspiration to me.”
As I read those words I instantly burst into tears I didn’t feel compelled to shed earlier. I saw us sitting in the caf at 19 envisioning how our lives would turn out 10 years later, feeling torn that her prediction for my life had come true and guilty that her life was cut short before she’d gotten to see so many milestones. My mind raced thinking, “what about her babies?” as I thought about her three children and the questions they must be asking her husband. And in the same breath, I thought about the fact that I’m just one woman, single, child-less, and her loss is so much greater than mine would be at this point in life.
As I thought about that, I reflected on the fact that I’ve always reacted very strongly to the passing of people around me — even if I only knew them from a distance. In high school, a boy I’d had maybe one conversation with was gunned down and I sobbed so hard in class I was sent to the counselor’s office. Last year, a guy who used to date a friend of mine passed away from Sickle Cell Disease and I was inconsolable when I heard the news. Later, when I’d told his best friend how emotional I was he confusingly asked “why?” Today, I realize the reason is their deaths makes me feel guilty for being alive. I think about the fact that they were parents, they had people depending on them, they still had things to accomplish. And though I’m certainly not ready to pass from this life, I feel the urge to ask not just “why them?” but “why not me?”
I also feel a pressure to make every minute count. How dare I sit around idly passing the time when there are others who weren’t given the chance to have just one more day to do something great? It’s that weight that fuels my misplaced guilt and makes me feel as though I haven’t done enough and I need to do so much more. But how can I ever fill the shoes of all the peers who’ve passed before me? It’s an impossible task I need to relieve myself of, but when I think about all the things I was taught growing up in church, I remember that reflections like this are what I’ve been taught deaths are for: To remind those who are living to live and know that if they are still blessed to breathe, they still have a purpose to fulfill. Hopefully my mission will end up being accomplished.
To donate to the Ashley Marie Mitchell Memorial Fund, click here.
The saying goes “But by the grace of God go we” and luckily these celebs who cheated death had a little more than luck on their side after surviving a near-death experience.
Tracy Morgan started his career in stand up and after the long-running sitcom “30 Rock,” went off of the air, Morgan returned to his roots. Several months ago, the “SNL” alum was returning from an engagement at a casino in Delaware when a trucker driving a Walmart tractor-trailer plowed into the limousine bus Morgan was riding in. Morgan’s friend and longtime collaborator James McNair was killed in the crash while Morgan was in critical condition. He was rushed to the hospital suffering from a broken leg and femur, broken nose, and several broken ribs. Two months after the crash, Morgan is still struggling to recover from his injuries and plans to sue Walmart.
The mayor of the District of Columbia says he’s outraged that city firefighters didn’t come to the aid of a man who collapsed across the street from a fire station.
Relatives of Medric Mills say he went into cardiac arrest on Saturday afternoon in a shopping center parking lot and later died. They say several people went across the street to the station, but no firefighters or emergency medical workers walked over to help.
Mayor Vincent Gray said Wednesday that he has spoken to the daughter of Mills, who was a longtime city employee.
Read more on this incident at BlackVoices.com
Whether young, old, rich or poor, the only thing promised to us on this Earth is death. Although transitioning to the other side is one of life’s inevitables, that doesn’t stop the hurt we feel when we lose a loved one. Everyone deals with death in their own way. Some people choose to deny the reality and live their day-to-day lives like nothing’s changed (which is probably the unhealthiest way to cope with it), some mourn and move on, while others shut down completely and bury themselves in isolation. But no matter who you are and how you handle tough situations, it is vital that you find ways to manage the aches and pain so that they don’t consume you. As someone who has recently experienced two unexpected deaths that have caused me quite a bit of emotional distress, here’s a look at some of the ways I found solace in dealing with the sorrow.
It is a natural instinct to cry once you learn someone you care about will no longer be around. Don’t try to hold back the tears in an attempt to be tough and strong—it will only hurt you in the long run. Let it out! Cry. Bawl. Sob. Hell, scream if you need to! One thing’s for sure, those salty streams are a big release and definitely aid in lifting some of that weight off your heart.
Whether it’s Allah, Jesus, Mary, Jah or Buddha—or whoever it is you lift your hands to—tap into your relationship with God/higher power for strength and healing. Pray for understanding to accept his/her will and for the might to make it through the trenches. Faith is key and it can pull you a mighty long way.
Hit the gym and run a few miles on the treadmill. Invest in some Zumba or any other dance-based class. Take to your local basketball court for some alone time to shoot hoops or stay at home and twerk it out to some videos on YouTube. It doesn’t matter how you choose to pump up that heart rate, just as long as you get moving! Exercising releases endorphins or what I like to call “happy juice.” These morphine-like chemicals naturally numb feelings of pain or depression and help shift you to a lighter mood. Oftentimes, they’re the go-to place to relieve stress and aggression. Give it a try, it works!
Don’t Isolate Yourself for Too Long, Have Fun
When you first hear word of a death, wanting to be alone is something that comes natural to a lot of us. You don’t want to hang out with friends, you don’t want to be bothered with family, all you want to do is sit around the house and sulk. While this is both understandable and expected, try not to let it keep you down for too long. (I know in some cases, it’s easier said than done.) Take a couple days, or even a few weeks to get yourself together, but don’t let yourself sink into a deep funk. You’ll find that talking to those close to you can improve your mood (we all have that somebody we can depend on to comfort us when we’re in need and those other ones who’ll act a fool just to see a smile on our faces).
Go to the club, shop at the mall, read, write, dance, play your favorite sport, travel, socialize—the point is: Go out and do the things you enjoyed before the news of death came knocking at your door. Getting back into your old groove and partaking in activities you love can be extremely therapeutic.
Think About the Good Times
When things get tough, remember all the laughs you’ve shared with your loved one and all the hilarious, outrageous moments you experienced together. If it makes you feel better, don’t be scared to reminiscence with the person you lost. Whether you believe they can hear you or not, expressing your emotions and directing your thoughts to your new angel can help alleviate any negative feelings that you are harboring. It may help knowing that while they are no longer with you in the flesh, they are with you in spirit and you can still connect with them as they will forever hold a place in your heart.
In absolutely heartbreaking news, Jonathan Ferrell, a young man from North Carolina, was killed by the police while running to them for help.
This tragedy began after a woman called the police because a man she did not recognize was repeatedly ringing her bell. When she realized the man was not her husband (she assumed it would have been him), she called the cops. A police statement said the man stayed outside of her home in an attempt to gain her attention for a reason unknown in the moment.
They now know that man was 24 year old Jonathan Ferrell and he was knocking on the woman’s door because he was trying to get help after being in a serious car accident, according to WPTV. This was apparently the closest home to the accident.
When police got close to the scene, it is believed that Ferrell ran towards them to get help. However, one officer used his stun gun and missed and another officer, Randall Kerrick, pulled out his gun and fired at Ferrell. He was shot several times and died on the scene.
Officer Kerrick has been charged with voluntary manslaughter meaning he used excessive force in self-defense, or carried out the act without intent to kill. The initial police statement also used words like “charged” and “Advanced” to describe how Ferrell reacted to seeing them. However, he had no gun and there was seemingly no reason to believe he was going to cause any harm. A statement released later in the day said that Kerrick “did not have a lawful right to discharge his weapon during this encounter.”
Kerrick turned himself in on Saturday and was held on $500,000 bond. He, along with the other two officers on the scene, are on paid leave.
What a sad tragedy that also leaves you enraged. A man who was looking to receive help from the police was ultimately killed by them.
Jonathan Ferrell attended Florida A&M University and was engaged to be married.
Our condolences and prayers go out to his family and friends.
Tupac and Biggie are two of the biggest celebrity unsolved murders in history. But they’re not the only ones who checked out under mysterious circumstances. Check out our list of 15 unsolved celebrity deaths that still haven’t been figured out years after their passing.
This afternoon we told you about the passing of Disney star Lee Thompson Young. As heartbroken as we were to hear the sad news about the man we know better as Jett Jackson, there were a number of celebrities who expressed great sorrow over the passing of the 29-year-old actor. Here are their tweets:
My heart is broken today. RIP to my dear friend and brother Lee Thompson Young. Writing partner/Friend/Brother #HeartAche
— Columbus Short (@ColumbusShort1) August 19, 2013
So sad to hear about Lee Thompson Young. He was such a good guy with a great heart. May he have peace. Prayers all around. — Lauren London (@MsLaurenLondon) August 19, 2013
My heart goes out to Lee Thompson Young RIP.. These child stars are leaving us too soon! My heart is aching… — Tia Mowry (@TiaMowry) August 19, 2013
SAD SAD NEWS. RIP Lee Thompson Young. 29 and so much promise. Lift up his family today. Stunned right now.
— Michael Ealy (@MichaelEaly) August 19, 2013
I have no words to say. I honestly am speechless to the recent passing of my old friend Lee Thompson Young.
— Keke Palmer (@KekePalmer) August 19, 2013
Very very sad to hear about Lee Thompson Young. He was always very kind, and such a light.
— solange knowles (@solangeknowles) August 19, 2013
My Thoughts & Prayers Go Out To The Family And Friends Of Lee Thompson Young. #GoneWayTooSoon
— Jackée Harry (@JackeeHarry) August 19, 2013
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) August 19, 2013
This breaks my heart. RIP Lee Thompson Young.
— Donald Faison (@donald_faison) August 19, 2013
A Chicago mother who spent nearly eight years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of her young son’s strangling death is finally — and completely — a free woman.
On Monday, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said in a written statement her office would not retry 31-year-old Nicole Harris, saying it could not meet its burden of proof in the case, the Tribune reports. “We do not believe that it would be in the interest of justice to proceed on this matter.” Since being released from prison in February, Harris still wasn’t technically free, telling CBS Chicago she was “in limbo, not knowing what is going to happen. I was scared.”Harris’ four-year-old son Jaquari Dancy was found in his room with a fitted bedsheet cord around his neck in 2005 and Harris was charged after she says she gave a forced confession following a 27-hour interrogation by police which was not videotaped.
“A lot of people may not understand it,” Harris told Fox Chicago of her false confession. “I did not understand false confessions either, at one point. It was just a thing of, how do you say that you did something that you did not do? I never understood that until it happened to me.” After her arrest Harris reached out to the Northwestern University Center on Wrongful Convictions which then turned to a Chicago law firm for help. Attorneys with mega firm Jenner & Block say a key to Harris’ victory was that the judge barred crucial witness testimony from her older son Diante who they allege saw the younger brother strangle himself.
Read more at BlackVoices.com
Instead of celebrating, a North Carolina family is mourning the tragic loss of their two sons, Deonta Whitaker, 17, and Anthony Whitaker, 27.
According to WSAV, the young men passed away after they were involved in a terrible car accident, where their car lost control and ran into some trees.
“I just can’t describe it. It’s unbelievable. It’s like it’s a dream that I want to wake up from,”said Deonta and Anthony’s grieving mother, Sandra Williams-McGlone.
According to Willams-McGlone, her sons left prior to everyone else and when she arrived at the ceremony, which was held at Bertie High School, and didn’t see them, she was escorted to another area of the high school, where she learned of what happened to her children.
“Did they survive this to know what happened and then they died, or do they not know what happen?” she asked.
Although, she is mourning this horrible tragedy Williams-McGlone confessed that she finds comfort in knowing that her boys were together when they passed.
“I don’t think that one child could’ve survive without the other, and trying to understand why it didn’t happen to me versus him. So that’s what strengthens me, that God knew best.”
Deonta had plans to attend Elizabeth State University in the fall. A funeral will be held for the Whitaker boys this Saturday at Bertie High School.
We send our prayers to the family members left to cope with this horrible tragedy.
Mind Your Business, Lady: One Of Nate Dogg’s Baby’s Mothers Trying To Stop Child Support To Another!
This is really stupid.
According to TMZ, Rhoda Mouton filed papers in Los Angeles Superior Court last week in an attempt to have a judge deny Omena Norris’ child support increase request.
Mouton, who has the elder child (a teenaged son) by Nate Dogg, says that Norris lied in her documents when she said that her seven year old son with Nate has not received any social security checks. In fact, Mouton says Norris’ child received $694 per month from Social Security.
Nate Dogg died in 2011 due to complications of multiple strokes.
Norris, who currently receives $1,624 monthly for her son, would like an increase to $1,846 per month. Mouton says that since she doesn’t have a good enough reason about why she needs this increase, the judge should deny it. What’s crazier is Mouton says Norris’ child support should be decreased to $802 per month.
This is all so weird. Why is one woman worried about what the next woman is getting as long as her son is being taken care of as well? Perhaps they don’t get along and that’s fine but..mind your business. Could it be that Mouton feels more of a sense of “entitlement” because her son is older? Either way, it doesn’t even matter.
No word yet on when the judge will make his ruling.