A while back I watched an episode of Basketball Wives of LA, I actually watch all the episodes of all the wives whenever I can. From Basketball wives to Real Housewives and First Wives Club, all of them. So in this particular episode Jeniffer lost her mother and her grieve got her acting out in all the “wrong” ways. She was angry at the world and everyone in it. So she had one of those angry exchange with Evelyn, the ghetto one but classy now. In a very well orchestrated setup, Evelyn dropped the biggest bom that everyone still talks about till today. Jeniffer was apologizing to everyone for her behavior and Evelyn said “Your mother dies and you become an asshole” I swear that moment was a wakeup call for many as well as a jaw dropping question from fans all over. A lot of people who understood what it was like to loose someone close to them were sympathetic towards Jeniffer and hated Evelyn. Those lucky ones who never had to grieve understood where Evelyn was coming from.
I was on both their sides. Grieving causes the kind of anger that’s uncontrollable and it becomes worse when you don’t recognize it yourself until you are called out on it. Jeniffer was rich, lived in a mansion, divorsed with no kids. She could have done anything with her life at anytime, even travelled the world if she wanted to, but grieve doesn’t care about all that. She felf empty with each day and everything she had meant nothing at the time. She needed therapy. That’s another thing about therapy, it is necessary. As for Evelyn, she has never met a spade that she has never called out and that’s why most of us love her. She speaks her truth undecorated and often comes across as rude and insensitive. But that’s just it, she can’t be sensitive towards something she doesn’t understand and like I said, people who have never grieved don’t understand it.
So whichever side of the fence you end up in, learn the simple art of communication. Tell people close to you how you feel and what you need from them. When I went through all of my grieve I closed off from everyone and became an asshole, but to myself and that’s why I didn’t reach my true potential, I held back because I thought the world would see me the way I saw myself, as broken. I recently became close to someone who was struck by the biggest loss there is, the loss of a sibling at a mature age. I have heard a lot of people say losing a sibling cuts deeper than losing a parent for very different reasons that I might get into in #Prt3 (If I get around to it) This person is on a constant rollercoaster of emotions. One weeks they up the next they are down. I hadn’t seem them in a very unreasonable amount of time and I became upset. I failed to communicate those feelings and they failed to communicate their reasons which was both necessary to do. We should never assume. So in a moment of an argument they said “My sibling died and I’m trying to deal with it” that cut me so deep because I felt insensitive. I was also confused because when we went out that other time their sibling was still dead. So why can’t we go out now? When they came over that other time and we hung out, their sibling was still dead, so why can’t we hang out now? In my confusion, I had to remember that grieve hits differently, you start to feel undeserving of other luxuries. If you have a job, all you have energy for is to go to work and that is exhausting enough. Anything extra feels like torture and I had to understand and hope that amidst all that grieve I don’t become a distant memory. We do that a lot as well, when we grieve we tend to push people away just so we can lose them too because we convince ourselves that it’s inevitable. When you grieve, you need even stronger people around you.
So many people treat grieve as if it’s some sort of rare disease that nobody is supposed to catch and if they did catch it, then they are not supposed to talk about it because otherwise they become burdens to those around them. I used to be one of those people who was grieve stricken ( I still am, I just handle it different now) and didn’t know what to do with it. So I decided it’s better to keep to myself about my feelings and emotions (the worst thing I could have ever done).
Grieve occurs when we loose someone close to us. Sure it can occure when we loose things such as jobs, homes and other sentimental stuff we deem essential to us. In this instance though I’d like to focus of grieve caused by loosing someone near and dear to death. Having someone close to you die is like watching a part of yourself walk out of your life with nothing you can do about it. It’s one of the most confusing and hurtful things than can ever happen because you immediately start to question your entire existence. I vividly recall a time when I questioned everything about my life as it was just shortly after my baby sister passed on. I questioned where I was supposed to be in those moments, I questioned everything I did leading to those moments. I wondered if I shouldn’t have let her nap or if I should have woken her up earlier or if I should have even left the room. I even questioned if I should have been the one to still be here. I felt undeserving of the air I was breathing because the person I loved so much was no longer breathing. That was for sure thoughts of guilt because in the order of the universe, we come into the world in a certain order but we won’t go out the same way. I wish I had some sort of control of that order and I bet you wish you did too but we don’t. What we do have control over is how we choose to honor the lives of the people we lost.
After I was done with the guilt (which I’m not really) came acceptance, I had to accept that my sister was gone and I had to accept that I was in pain and needed help dealing with it. Needing help is not a sign of weakness in actual fact, asking for help is the strongest most bravest thing anyone can do. We just have to be careful of where we seek it because sadly, people are not what they seem or who they say they are and that is where instinct and intuition comes from. Which I believe is how our departed beloveds communicate and guide us, we just need to learn new ways of listening.
Grieve is as normal as taking a breath, when you loose someone you love, you think you loose the love you have for them by not knowing where to place it. You feel like you can no longer place it on them because they are not around to see it. Well you can place it on things and people they loved. You can even place it on yourself in their honour. We also feel like nobody else can love us the way they did so not only did we loose them, we lost their love too. When I lost my baby sister I lost someone who played terrifying pranks on me, I lost someone to take to the movies, I lost someone to fry eggs with in the middle of the night, I lost someone to gossip about the rest of my family with, I lost someone I enjoyed being with and there was nothing that would ever bring it all back. She was gone. And I had to live with that emptiness.
Some days I miss her so much I cry. Some days I miss her so much I laugh. Other days I think of her and other days I don’t. Grieve is custom and there is no time frame to it. How long or how short we grieve is not equivalent to how much or how deep we loved our departed. The sooner or the later we move on with our lives without our beloveds does not equal the pain we feel to live without them. Either way, they will forever live in our treasured memories in everything we do and in every way we grieve. Grieve is a process that can’t be taught therefore there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Also grieve does not always equal depression. It can lead to depression over time but does not always result in it. Get up everday with the intention to honour and celebrate your departed beloveds in any way you choose. Live in those moments. Just don’t let go. As frustrating it is to go through this, it is frustrating for those who love us to watch us go through this because we often think the best way is to shut down and self seclude. Be on the look out for those who extend their hands earnestly and grab hold. There is no shame.Posted byTebogo B DitintiPosted inUncategorized
Published by Tebogo B Ditinti
I am just like water… Pure enough to quench your thirst and strong enough to drown you. View more posts
I think I have not been in here for a while, or let me say I have not been in here as often as I’d like and I reckon that is because I have discovered vlogging. By vlogging I mean; I record videos of myself and upload them mostly on my Whatsapp and sometimes on my YouTube channel https://youtu.be/ZcCQ4mNtYhc there is a link, so if you stop by here to check this out, please head over there and hit like and subscribe. It will make me feel good and boost my confidence.
So I am not sure what to tittle this, Bare naked or The Naked Truth? Either one, this is about being naked from the inside out and being truthful always. I have been battling with this for a while. I have worn a mask for so long that I sometimes struggle to recognize myself without it. I do not mean the three layers covid mask. I mean the mask I put on my face and whole body to hide from the world. I hid from the world so much, that I began to hide myself. I kept crawling back into a fetus position each time I was meant to be out in the world living. Whenever I curld up, my mask cracked, with each crack it broke. My mask is broken and I’m now forced to march on and be a trooper without it, like it or not and ready or not.
Here I am bare naked and facing right ahead without hesitation. I caught myself wanting to throw a pity party thinking about how I just can’t catch a break. It’s like whenever I think I’m done dealing with something, another thing pops up out if nowhere so I never really get a chance to fully heal from something and work it out of my system. It’s like I’m constantly rebounding from pain and trauma. It is just not fair. I no longer want to say “If not me then who?” No I’m done with saying all that. Now I say “No, not me. Please let it be someone else right now. Just not me” I’m tired of it being me. I have had it and I am at the threshold of pain. I deserve a break. I need a break. I deserve a break and all I want to do right now is be naked and never go through another hardship ever again. No. I’m done.
With each blow that has ever been thrown at me, I waited. I waited because I knew it wasn’t the last one so I waited for the next one. And the next one. With each blow that has ever been thrown at me I waited. Some blows boomeranged. Some I created, some I had coming. Blow by blow I had to learn how to fight and stand firm on my feet without falling down.
With each blow that has ever been thrown at me, I waited. There was a one particular blow that had me out for the count. A total TKO. A whole TKO and entire TKO and while I was waiting for the counting to be over so I can be declared out of the ring and officially losing the fight, I knew it wasn’t my last. I knew more was coming so I had to get up and get ready for that last blow. With each blow that has ever been thrown at me, I waited for that one last blow.
That last blow that I waited for is here, it has been thrown at me and it hit me hard as I was standing on the tip of my last leg. The last blow had been dealt, now what? It has been said that we create what we fear the most. There’s a bit of truth in that. I might have created this blow by expecting it and therefore creating room for it in my life and now that it has arrived, it has space to live and exist. That last blow has a home. As much as I waited for it, I did not at all prepare for it. It caught me by surprise even though I waited for it. In that ring fighting ring I was in, I looked at every corner hoping to spot my fighting coach and all I saw was an empty chair. Maybe waiting for me to sit on and catch a breather all on my own. Maybe the decision to go back into the ring or not was sorely mine to make. Do I keep fighting or is this last blow that will finally take me out? Not just out for the count but out of the game completely.
Thing is I’m tired. All the black men and women in me are tired. I’m bruised, beaten and broken. Bleeding and sweating all at the same time. Hungry and full. Thirsty and quenched. In between and at the edge. I’m done waiting. There are no more blows. The last one has been thrown. The wait is over.
My first memory of a sunflower was in my dreams when I was not even 10 years old yet at the time. I didn’t even know what this flower was called when I first saw it and fell in love with it in my dreams. All I knew was that I have recurring dreams of this beautiful flower in a field filled with them. I’m not sure if I ever told anyone about it but I sure wrote about my sunflower dreams quiet a lot.
The first time I saw this flower in real life, I was of a road trip to somewhere and we passed by a field filled with yellow flowers and I remember looking out the window of a moving car and I could not believe what I was seeing. I was passing through my dream and I could not get the words out of my mouth to express my amazement. I just remember on the way back asking my father if we were coming back the same route. After he said yes, I quickly asked him to stop by the field filled with yellow flowers and just like that, I did not need to explain. That was the thing with my father, he never questioned my requests because he always knew that I never asked for things for no reason. There were always good reasons attached to requests. In his true manner at the time, he pulled over on the side of the road and held my hand as we crossed over to the other side. We were greeted by a high fense that prevented us from running through the field. There was a sign on the fense that read “Sunflower Field” that is what it was… a field. And that is what the flowers are… sunflowers. I stood by that fense, held onto it and almost wished to ghost through it. My father watched me enjoy the view without rushing me and when I was done and ready to go,he picked one sunflower, gave it to me then lifted me and carried me on his shoulder as we crossed the road back to the car. I was happy. I trusted that moment. I trusted life. I trusted everyone. I trusted that little girl I was and I trusted my father.
Sunflowers have always been in my heart and soul. They have always had deep meaning for me and holds a very special place in my heart. I used to call my little girls that “My Sunflowers” “Disonoblomo tsaka” and they will remain that way till the end of my days. Sunflowers represent life to me, even in death. Wherever my daughters are resting; I hope they remember that they are my flowers that belong to the sun and they will forever remain in my heart.
An ancient practice that has suddenly popular or has it? Wait… allow me to rephrase; Steaming is an ancient practice that has always been popular just not openly. That’s just it, steaming has always been an open secret. The only issue is it has always been associated with “black magic” which makes no sense at all because we have people who love steam roo.s at the gym or at the spa. If it is done by other races then it is deemed “healthy” or “healing”. I’d hear a lot of people say stuff like “Chinese Steam Session” or “Indian what what” however when it is administered by us black people then it suddenly becomes dark and voodoo like. I have to say we are thee most ignorant nation to ever exist. (That is just my opinion that everyone is entitled to).
If I may ask; how do you guys steam? When do y’all steam and how often? I have been told on very many different occassions that my method is quite heavy and strong but yet effective. That it is I mean look at my skin. The devil doesn’t even try to come for my pores anymore he’s tired of loosing. Steaming has now become a necessary practice and everyone is openly and freely talking about it which makes my skin glow even more from the inside. Now how about we don’t just take steaming from ancient times and ancient methods of healing? How about we take EVERYTHING. From all angles and ways of life. From the food to the keeping active. Everything apart from the clothes, even a simple girl such as myself can’t be walking around in robes and sandles or whatever the people wore back then.
I steam often enough or rather too often because I’m constantly exposed to ridiculous levels of toxicity, personally, socially and otherwise. Not to mention the exposure to Covid19 we are currently facing and fighting. The beauty with steaming is you can control the outcome with health being the ultimate goal, it just doesn’t fix lazy eyes.
I forgot who I was for moment, but I remember now. When posts start like that, you know the writer is going through something. When they carry on to say stuff like “I am the daughter of the most high, Jesus’s favorite sister and God’s last born” then you know for sure the writter is definitely going through something to heavy to make sense of. When someone goes through something too heavy to handle, they tend to lose track of who they are and what their purpose is. Lack of a better phrase, any kind of trauma is a total mind fuck.
My entire life has been one traumatic experience after another and each one worse than the other. Someone close to me assured me recently that everything that has happened will never happen again. I believe them because I know for a fact that with each experience I have become better. Much better than who I thought I would ever be. Or rather much better than how I would have turned out without the pain. Through it all; I never forgot. I might have lost track of who I was but I never forgot. I hopped from one path to another in pursuit of who I was meant to be and through it all, I never forgot.
I’ve always known who I was and still am. I am the descendant of great power and royalty. Those who came and walked before me carved a path so pure that I had to become them to be me. Become them in the way I walk, talk, think, feel and carry myself and most definitely become them in the way I live, love, heal and forgive. I had to become them so I can be me and I’ve always known. They created a path so clear for me to busk in without worrying or competing with anyone else for a position I was born for. If I never do anything with my life, let me do the only thing I can’t get wrong. Be them.
Yes greater is He who is me than He who is in the world. The more accurate statement to make would be “Greater are them who are in me and we who is in the world” I’ve always known that I don’t walk alone. I don’t have to, I never had to and during those times when I felt alone was because the human in me was too wrapped up in the idea of being anything else than who I was designed to be.
I am the great grand daughter of the greatest healer of his time and his generation. And when my mother rejected this gift that was to lay on her, it bounced on her like she was rubber and stuck on me like I was glue. I am the grand daughter of the greatest healer who has ever walked the streets of that place I long to visit and call home. A force of all women kind I’ve ever had the honor to know. Being a woman has always been a superpower in my family so to have one pass on the baton unto me with such grace and purity is a different kind of favour upon my life.
Her womb needed a twin and mine was it. Our wombs did the unthinkable and the imaginable and when my granmother once held my hand and looked down because she had to hide the tears that were rolling down her wrinkled face and said “Hlamalani” I knew I had to become what I’ve always known. I’ve always known who I am.
A single word that forms a complete sentence. Someone extremely near and dear to me has been religiously repeating this phrase to me for a while now. Every chance they get, they make sure to tell me to Live. During a time where we are amidst a pandemic, or should I say a number of pademics because is much as we are under attack from #Covid19 we are also in the middle of a recession which is a pandemic in itself and our daily bread #gbv #unemployment #death #depression #anxiety and plenty others, it tends to get a little normal to forget to Live. How does one do that when all we see and feel is doom and gloom.
I forced myself to take a moment and listen to my elders, I was not raised to disrespect my elders by not listening to them so when my beloved keeps ordering me to Live, I just can’t do otherwise. So where do we begin? How do we do this living thing? I ask because I feel like all I do is exist and with each day that goes by… living becomes only but a distant memory and a far fetched dream but here is the trick though; time to wallow is up. That’s the thing about time, it keeps on ticking whether or not you use it wisely. Time is also the one thing we constantly assume we have enough of and the truth of the matter is we do not. We don’t know how much time we have left with the people we love and they do not know how much time they have left with us. Let me ask you this… if you knew for sure that you are living in your last 5 days on earth, who would you spend time with? Go spend that time with them now. Living is about making a lost lasting life filled with warm memories anyone can visit at anytime. When our time is up, nobody looks at our bank balances or our cupboards and fridges that we work so hard to fill up of a regular forgetting what is important in the process. Pause and think of who you miss and go see about them.
We are all going through something or the other and instead of waiting for people to check in on you, check in on them. We all deserve to live and nobody deserves to live alone. Memories are much better shared. If you see me happy, just smile and wave and know that I deserve it. If you don’t see me for a while and you miss me, check in on me, I just might need it more than you. If I check in on you, you don’t owe me anything but authenticity.
I’m off to Live, I hope to meet you there. If not, I’m coming to get you.
I used to be a believer in making New Year’s Resolutions. In fact I used to look forward to making them with beloveds and writting them down. I used to also enjoy crossing them off the list one by one as I break them. I do not remember a resolution that I made at any beginning of any year that I actually kept and saw through… as I laugh at myself and roll my eyes so hard that I could see my brain if it were possible.
After the year that was 2020 and all of the flames it has shown us my only resolution is to be happy. Cliche as it may sound, happiness is underrated and that’s not right. On a more serious note how about we all resolute to make women happy and keep them safe? I might have left the resolution making business but I’m coming back to it and I’m asking you to tag along. #gbv is a disease that has no cure or vaccine. It is up to us to prevent it where and when we can. The protection of women and children should be prioritized at all times and at all costs. In fact it should be a norm. In 2021 how about we all resolute to play our apart in the dismantling of #gbv and the restructuring of the justice system that seems to work sideways. It is crippling to be unable to count and rely on the very people who are meant to protect and serve us as victims and survivors but more so as women.
Everyone has a price and that is the tag line of our country. My heart breaks for us victims and survivors. My heart breaks for us women, children and mothers. My heart breaks over our inability to protect ourselves and not take matters in our own hands because we are all we have. Let me say it again… We are all we have, all we have is each other. Let us all make the resolution to see about each other.
I wish I could share positive energies, good vibes and high spirits with everyone in welcoming the new year but I’d be lying to myself. So much so that I ushered 2021 in bed holding back tears brought upon by the pain and sadness of losing my beloved uncle a day after my birthday and a day before Christmas. We laid him to rest a day before new year’s eve and it breaks my heart to the core to say that out of all the funeral services I attended in 2020, my uncle’s was the worst.
I have always said that I do not have anything against the constitution of marriage, I just do not believe in it for me as a personal preference. Sometimes a marriage can be the end of you especially if you are in a union with someone of different beliefs. I must say this was not the case from the beginning of their union, things just changed as life got the licking out of them and they found themselves in different spiritual paths which led to my uncle being burried in a way nobody understood except his wife. Non of the normalities we are customed to were practised and it was hurtful for us to bare witness. Sure when someone gets married, it is said that they leave their father’s house to join their spouse. It should carry on to say the spouse must at the very least accomodate the family in times of grieve. I also have to say that just because my uncle was not burried how I would have preferred does not mean he was not burried right and well. It was just different… too different.
I take comfort in the fact that I have at least a shirt of his I can cuddle myslef in when my longing for him becomes heavy.
I want to wish you and yours blessings in abundance and never ending peace for this year and hope to never lose beloveds because there is only so much we can take and handle. May you take all the shots and leave nothing to chance and may you welcome yourself back to you. Let us keep talking to ourselves about ourselves and let us listen to ourselves about our needs and mostbof all… let us love ourselves enough to protect us from our very own negativity and self doubt.