Summer 2020 will forever be remembered by me as my summer of tears😭. In the month of June two family members died: Peter my uncle by marriage and one of my all time favorite people, and my Aunt Daph, the kindest person you would ever meet and it was hard, so very hard. I didn’t have enough time to process Peter’s illness before he died and so it was difficult to make peace with it. Then in July I got my heart broken and I felt a level of pain that I haven’t felt in a long time and I cried for the loss of possibilities with this person. My move back to Abidjan was a shit show that led to more tears and I felt depleted at times. I have cried so many tears this summer and today I cried even more. Just when I was feeling like life was getting better and I was feeling settled…tragedy happens.
This morning I found out that Sarah, a friend and neighbor from when I lived in Ethiopia suddenly died. I was literally in shock, shaking when I saw that message, I had to read it twice before my brain could comprehend what I read. It took all of my strength to get the words out to tell the secretary what happened and that I need to take a walk. I needed to cry so I left my office, went out the front gate of the school, walked around the corner of the building where no one could see me and I stood there leaning on the wall and I cried and cried. I cried my ugly cry for Sarah, for her family members and for myself because I don’t want to deal with any more death this year. I cried so much I thought I would lose my ability to stand up. Out there in the open where strangers walking by looked and wondered what was going on I cried loudly. At one point one of the guards walked by and asked if I was okay, I waved him away because I didn’t have the words in French to say I don’t want to talk about it. I stood there and cried until I felt a release of sorts and then I went back to my office, closed my door, sat at my desk and chatted on messenger with friends who knew Sarah. This helped a bit.
2020 has brought me so many tears, it been a test of my faith, of my strength and today I felt shattered. There’s a scripture that older black people like to quote that says “God won’t give you more than you can bear” but today I felt like I would break. I felt like Enough already God, Enough!!! I do not want to deal with losing anyone else this year. It is TOO MUCH. Finding out about Sarah’s death was so hard, it reminded me of the fragility of life. That in this expat life I chose some of us are more alone physically than others because of the countries we choose to live in. I don’t know where I found the strength to stay at work all day and to respond to student requests but I did it. As I sit here on my couch listening to music because my brain is too active for my Friday nap, I decided to write this post because writing is one of the things that makes me feel better. It helps me to process my thoughts and make sense of my feelings. This post will help my friends and family to know about this loss of life today that has affected me deeply and triggered all of the grief I suffered this summer. I know that I will cry more this weekend as I think about Sarah and her family because that is part of the process of grief. Times like these make me wish I lived closer to the people I love so someone could come over and take care of me. #sigh #summeroftears #2020losses #griefandheartbreak #selfcareisrevolutionary