As an author, I’ve always been a writer. Been writing forever. So I’ve had a blog online since the 90s. A lot of that stuff ended up in the 26 books I published. On the contrary, there was a time when I didn’t publish anything. Not even online. I had lost my love for writing. I barely kept a journal. I didn’t write for an audience for a while and barely even spoke to one. Why? I was busy. One of the most beautiful people I’ve ever had the honor of knowing had been battling cancer since being diagnosed in October of 2011. Which developed into stage IV metastatic breast cancer in 2013. The same kind of battle she lost her mother to when she was only eight years old.
So as you can imagine, it hadn’t been easy.
But you can only imagine.
If you knew exactly what she went through, for how long, and how far she came, you’d understand why I have no words for how proud I was of her. Even still. She’s the strongest woman I’ve ever known and that battle was the realest journey I’d ever been on.
To illustrate though, she coulda gave in long before she made her return to the essence. That was never a consideration for her though. Instead, she fought on because she understood that it was bigger than any of us. That we had to live for our children. So through it all, we managed to keep both ourselves and them from falling apart. Although, admittedly sometimes I wished I could’ve been on the ground in one of the areas where resistance took shape… But the family had to come first.
It was the mother of my children, my earth, my queen, and my wife of seven years who had to fight.
The Immortal Mecca Wise.
And she gave her life to the world after a three-year war.
Then cancer took her in September of 2014 and I became Danny Tanner from Full House, the hood version! It was too real. Definitely harder than Full House, I swear. There wasn’t any uncle Joey or Jesse there with me and some days I coulda used one around cause I’d damn near lost much of myself raising them two girls alone! It was survival mode. I just made it look easier than it was. People may assume that just because I have an audience I automatically have a support system that takes care of my family. But one of the toughest parts of this life experience had been dealing with the lack of emotional support available to a man raising kids on his own.
Still, I had to hold it all together. I had two beautiful daughters to raise, one to get ready for elementary school, one going off to college in another state, a household, several businesses, and mountains of debts and disorder. In fact, throughout the battle of our lives, our family used every resource we had to consult with every expert you can think of. Both Western and traditional. Not to mention having to pay for all of the treatments needed ourselves. There was a point in time when we were a quarter million in debt. And if you didn’t know, Susan G. Komen and most of those other big cancer nonprofits don’t help folks with cancer much.
So I missed and still miss her. The girls did and still do too. They used to say they would call and she didn’t answer, but I know they were still scared to call. I used to tell myself I’d be happier if she were here, but that was just my way of noticing I was unhappy and didn’t know what to do. That’s when I wish she was here. To do something… Anything. Because Mecca set an example. She gave herself even when she struggled. She maintained her character no matter the trial. She taught without you knowing she was teaching. She was sweet and strong at the same time. She raised two amazing girls who are built the same. She raised countless others as well. Even now. We’re all here just for a moment, and we do what we can with the time and resources we have. Many of us have no idea how much time we have or the resources within us. Mecca was able to find her light in moments of darkness, the kind of darkness that would extinguish most flames.
And grief is hell.
But as I transformed through the heat of it all, it didn’t appear as though I was often overwhelmed as I went through just about every other emotion possible along the way.
Which took me some time to begin to make peace with.
All of the anger I’d been experiencing from feeling abandoned since it all went down. Because I thought I forgave everyone at the funeral, but I had to learn how to forgive everyone who never showed up after that! It was honestly some toxic energy, so I had to get it outta my system. That anger couldn’t live within me. Because some people aren’t at a point in their personal lives where they can even do that much for the others in it, I had to learn to honor them too regardless. As soon as I understood that, people would reach out and say “Sorry if I left you hanging, I was goin thru my own shit, and I didn’t know what to do for you. I love you though and I want to do more cause u family” and that was enough for me. More than enough. So letting go of that resentment was for ME and those of you who can relate know, you don’t want any of that toxic shit inside you. Cause no matter what you put in your pot, all that other shit will seep in and change your chemistry.
So I just want you to consider people you know who are grieving, who might not be able to talk about it like I can, who need your support. If you have the emotional capacity to do so, make sure you reach out to someone who lost a loved one today! I share these stories so you can do the right thing for the people around you. The change in the world starts with us. I want you to understand the depths of this struggle so you can properly support those who struggle around you.
We grieve every day so those messages still matter.