the right to grieve.

this’ll be disjointed, just like my thoughts currently are.

so yesterday on my twitter timeline i saw the unfortunate news that one of my favorite mutual follows had passed away from COVID-19. actually, a friend sent me the tweet that announced it, but then i went to the timeline because this guy was a presence. well known in these twitter streets because he was a timeline CUT UP. sharp and witty, two things that are usually lacking on that app. i didn’t know him offline, but we shared quite a few kis on the twitter streets, usually about music because we both had impeccable taste (especially when he finally stopped being a beytheist, but i digress… lmao)

i felt weird at first, feeling so discordantly jarred by the announcement that he had passed, but i had to remember despite the fact that we were superficially acquainted on a social networking website, this was a person who took up a small piece of residence in my life. like when i’d heard the clark sisters movie was finally coming out, i thought of him. whenever i see a kitten heel, i think of him. seeing his name on my timeline i knew that i would be laughing soon because that was the energy he brought with him, even when he was digging into someone.

this isn’t a space for me to give a posthumous recap of his life though because i don’t know the intimate details. i do know that the world was robbed of his presence too soon and it made me feel sad. first for his loved ones. then, a little bit for myself. and i wondered, do i have that right? like, of course, hearing that someone has passed away typically gives way to a bit of sadness, but the deep feelings of bereft. like i’d personally been robbed of an essential part of my daily routine…do i even have the right?

i think we tend to undervalue just how simple connections in life can profoundly affect us. and by questioning my own response to the news of his passing and just how i am allowed to grieve his transition…how i “should” process this knowing that i was just some random follower lady…i’m kind of policing myself, right?

on social media there’s this thing that happens whenever a public figure or celebrity passes. folks are vocal (well you know, tweetal i guess lol) with their grief either sharing fond memories or just speaking fondly about the person who’s left this mortal plane and someone undoubtedly will come along and say “you ain’t ever talked about xyz 123 before and now you all in your feelings”.

i hate that shit.

which is why i hated doubting myself and trying to limit how i processed the loss of someone who, no was not my bestie or even a “close” online friend, really left his mark on this world. it’s not that i need allowances or special permissions to grieve this loss at all. and i shouldn’t juxtapose my feelings of grief against those who were closer to him or in his inner circle. it’s a different kind of grief. a different approach. a different space in which i am in to grieve.

it’s fucked up. a man was robbed of his life way too soon and i am sad about it. and will likely be sad about it for a little minute. and that’s okay. i’m giving myself permission to stand in the void and grieve until it feels better.

rest in piece, Clif. i know you strutted up into heaven in your finest kitten heels and destroyed all of the aunties and auncles.

xo,

j


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