Grief Tsunami - COVID, Cancer & Cops
In response to the impact COVID 19 was having on my community, a few weeks ago, on my FB Live show, Tisa's Rants and Musings, I had grief therapist, Dr. Cheryl Hardy, come on and talk about coping with grief. The fact that so many of my friends and loved ones were losing people to this pandemic was heart wrenching. I felt I needed to do something. My Facebook page looked more like an obituary column in a local newspaper, than the social media page filled with funny and inspirational memes that I was used to. I even started to feel anxious when going on, wondering who's death would be announced next. At its worse, someone even made the mistake of making a death announcement for my father, who at the time, unbeknownst to me, was suffering with Stage IV Cancer. Almost all of my comments during this time were to offer my condolences and prayers to everyone else.
Well it was during this segment that Dr. Hardy used the term "Grief Tsunami" to describe the waves of grief that can hit a person hard, all at once and mostly unexpectedly. Little did I know, that just two and a half weeks later, on Memorial Day in Virginia, my father would lie in a hospital bed and slowly die. While in Minneapolis, on the same day, George Floyd would lie on the ground and slowly die as well. Both died trying desperately to breathe.
My father had a tumor in his heart so large it blocked oxygen from getting through. For several days I watched him get weaker and weaker, mouth unable to close, gasping for air that just could not be reached. He lost mental consciousness even though his heart was still fighting to survive. Eventually, his heart gave out. As did George Floyd's. For eight minutes and 46 long seconds, George too gasped for air that could not be reached but not because he had a personal physical condition that precluded his getting the oxygen he needed, but because Officer Derek Chauvin, kept his racist knee on his neck, despite George's cries for help from even his dead momma. Sixteen others died trying to breathe...from COVID.
Whew...Grief Tsunami, words that seem as big as the waves of grief and anger that has swept over me and the country. It's been some week. Violent protest, racist reactions and funerals, all in the midst of a global pandemic. Grief Tsunami. It comes in powerful, waves. Please don't underestimate its impact. Stay vigilant about your self-care, because if you aren't careful, you can drown. To drown is to not get enough air..enough have died trying to breathe.