Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The 2 Middle Fingers I Get to Put Up:Honor to The 5 Deaths of 2015

You are probably thinking what kind of title is this for a post on a business blog. Or, how is this going to be uplifting? If this is your first time interacting with me, then you must know I do not separate who I am from what I do, and, my message always ends with encouragement for the person who needs it. I confront women as I confront myself - wholistically. No amount of material success will generate wholeness. Therefore, that is not the platform on which I stand to encourage success in business.

What I am about to share is personal, but, I am willing to be transparent and vulnerable to help another woman committed to living her wholeness.

This year, five deaths shifted my life as I knew it.

A Mother of 5 Sons - A beautiful light who began shining in my life in 1998. Although we were not joined at the hip, moments of showing up when one of us needed it, genuine respect, and woman-to-woman encouragement were the elements that made our friendship bloom. Expressing my admiration for her renaissance woman soul, the strength and know-how to find solutions in challenging life situations, and her amazing ability to raise five brilliantly solid "black" boys, never had a problem with flowing from my lips to anyone's ears. (As I type these words, I see why our beings connected.) She called me early one morning when one of her sons went missing. Without hesitation, I became present in whatever she needed me to do. After receiving the update about him being safely at home, I could no longer reach her. That was odd. That was not like her. I knew something was not right.

Sitting in silence, I cried after learning that soon after our last interaction with each other, she had a stroke and was in a coma for about a year. She died.              

The Refined Guayanesse Woman - We met on Facebook. Never having the opportunity to meet in person, she allowed me to get to learn about the girl she was and the woman she became through her book, and we both opened up more during our warm-tone phone conversations. She was an older woman (maybe 15 years older than me) with a matter-of-fact yet empathetic demeanor. To be called on when creations were needed for guests at her events, always gave me a good feeling.

She was always purprosely moving forward in her life. Never once displaying a vain ego. Visiting her Facbook profile, one day, to see where support was needed - it was the postings from others that told me about her death. Building a friendship with someone you meet on social media is rare. I was sad.

The Young Man, The Artist - I was a teen, he was a baby boy, and it was my responsibility to comfort and care for him when his parents needed me to. I proudly did so (for more than 3 years) His mother always mentioned how calm he remained in my presence. The family moved. Years passed.

My heart was broken when I discovered the police found his body in the bay in Virginia. The funeral brochure contained his artwork (drawings). I never knew that talent was a part of him. I kept the program on a downstairs table, in a place where I could always see his beautiful smile, until I knew it was time to put it away - in a special place.

My Parent - This one is difficult to share. Let's see.... It was the last game of the NBA Finals. While Curry rejoiced and James showed disappointment, I said to myself that life will always mean something different to all three of us on that date.

Someone told me that they would be out of their mind if their parent died, and asked why wasn't I. I explained that physical death is a part of a physical life, and that while my parent was living I honored them. So although sad, I knew the life I lived with them. Two years before the death, I found myself waking up in a mourning state many times. The first time I woke up crying, I wanted to deny it - this shift wasn't coming (not right now anyway). I thought maybe I could convince myself that it was just a dream...But I knew better. What comes to me in my sleep is never frivolous. Then a year later when my parent uttered from their mouth a resolve of their physical life coming to an end.... As I mentioned, I honored my parent even before knowing about death, shift was pushing me to do so even more within that amount of time. I obeyed.

A More Than A Two Decade Friendship - Speaking of another shift that I saw on the horizon. In fact, one day, three years ago, I was having lunch with another woman who wanted my perspective on a life situation. After talking she asked if I ever experienced what she was going through. I told her no, but that I feel a similar shift coming. When asked what was I going to do. "Let it happen."

(To share a perspective on how to support women in their endeavors,  I plan to share more about this shift in another post.)

Although not a physical death, I mourned for this loss as if it was. Detachment should not be feared. Shift, in many ways, comes to help growth. But being human, I still tried to nudge it away or postpone it. Why? Because I loved love her. I remained present, showed admiration, and still wanted her to know that I was there, by making her a priority. Reflecting, I made sure that I did everything that I was obligated to do to keep the friendship viable. I did not want to be that woman - the one who leaves behind friendships with women, even when nothing offensive has taken place - leaving them to deal with their own emotions. But what kills relationships? Lack of communication. I could no longer accept the cordial text messages as reciprocation.

Acceptance. Aching soul. Tears. Angry. Sadness. Release. It's done.


I share the deaths that I experienced this year, because as women, it's the interpersonal relationships we form that shifts in ways we do not imagine that burdens us. I've observed that we lose motivation in almost all aspects of our lives. Be it a shift in an intimate relationship with a man, or the ending of a friendship with a sisterfriend, there's a tendency to allow the emotion that is needed for healing to turn into the stumbling block called emotionalism. Thus leading to not trusting others. Thus not being able to trust self. Thus hindering purpose.

I do not go around putting up my middle fingers; however, I truly understand the aggression that releases from that gesture. And that aggression is what liberated me from the sadness and heartbreak, when I was ready to come out from under. I refused to lose motivation. I refused to be tethered to the negative emotion from the last death, because I create for women and I only need (and want) them to feel joy when using my products. What did I do? I chose the affirmative, the positive, the absolute - four of those people supported me in my entrepreneurial journey. For that, I honor them ALL.

Death moves us in either of two ways: 1) Stop and get stuck; 2) Fight harder. The latter is necessary although not easy. Your purpose is counting on you.

Your Turn: Has death (physical or figurative) moved you in a favorable or unfavorable way? Check the boxes below to share what you think about this post.

Be Whole,