One More Tragedy

Loss brings family together

December 10, 2021


My Family: Aunt Nene (front), my mother Sheree Taylor, my sister Natalia Jones, Me, and my Aunt Sapphire. We went to an arcade/ inside playground in 2014 to have a nice family outing.

In the U.S. 2.5 million people die each year, leaving behind an average of five people grieving according to Grief by The Numbers. 

Little did I know I would become that statistic. 

I was sound asleep, in my bed on the morning of April 5, 2020. All of a sudden, I heard a scream out of nowhere from my mother that echoed from the living room to my bedroom. I pulled the covers off me, rushed out of bed toward the living room.  

“Oh my God!” My mother yelled. “My heart.”  

She sank onto the floor while yelling that same phrase for minutes and that’s how I knew this would be the worst day of my life.  

My aunt rushed  into the room along with my siblings, wondering and concerned. 

“What’s happening,” my sister asked with a tremoring voice.  

“I didn’t know,” I told her worried, anxious, afraid. 

Our mother sat on the floor, crying in agonizing pain as tears drip from her red, strained eyes. 

 “My sister is gone!” My mother yelled. 

For a second there was a pause in my body and I just saw everyone crying and comforting my mother while I stood there, in complete shock. 

I thought to myself, “No, my Aunt Nene is the liveliest person I know. Her dying isn’t possible.”  

I had to come to the reality that she did die, she’s gone and she was never coming back to cheer us up or to tell us her death will be okay.  

For me that was scary and it made me feel depressed that such a happy person was taken away from us. 

My sister was the one most affected by this tragedy in our family. She and my Aunt Nene had a bond like no other. They talked about everything, did everything together. She was more than an aunt to her. She was her best friend.  

My sister fell on the floor too and started crying in emotional pain along with my mother.  

“Come here guys,” I said to my siblings. “It’ll be okay, she’s somewhere better now,” I stressed.  

Truth is, I didn’t know if that was the truth or not…. I thought she was the greatest person I knew, but I hardly knew her as a person and as an aunt.  

This made me afraid because as a family member, I thought I automatically knew her but outside of family, I didn’t know her  

As a Christian, when it came to questioning where she was going once she died, I prayed to god that she was going to a good place because even though I didn’t know her well, I loved my aunt and wanted her to be in the best place possible after she died. 

Soon we had the funeral, where for the first time, my family was all on the same page. This page was grief.  

We were in our church, all in black, lights dimmed, with the weary looks in the room and tears on the floor. We had only been like this when my grandfather died, and now we had to go through it again. 

In the aftermath, we all went to a private room where we ate, laughed and reminisced on the memories of our aunt who was also a sister and wife. 

“She’s watching over us right now as we laugh and remember her in this celebration,” my mother said. “God Bless you, Tanita.” 

When my mother said this, It gave me some relief because my whole family was praying and it made me feel safer with them because even thought we’re not sure, we can still pray and feel her in every part of us. 

I hope she knows that I miss her and her bright energy every day. 

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