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There is Life After Death.

This one is heavy guys. Alot of people are scared to ask about death, alot of people do not want to talk about death, I am going to address this monster head on.

Listen, let's be clear, I know death is coming, if there is one thing that I have no control over, it is death. It comes with no preparation, it does not ask for permission, it does not care if you are ready and when it comes it does not ask you "Are you ok to proceed with life" it does not leave a "Death for dummies" book laying around when it leaves either. Death comes and leaves you vulnerable and clinging on to every inch of Faith in God you have and that is what has gotten me through this year.

The day before death was normal, I talked to her via text, she went to work, she posted about her favorite (Byron), I posted about Ayva as usual she commented on my post about 7 pm ish, no different than any other day. I told her I would be over the weekend to cut her hair, I was too tired the weekend before from moving my niece to Kansas for college. 7:00 pm August 1, 2017, I had a mom, 7:30 am, August 2, 2017, I was motherless, she was gone, at 57, my mom was gone.

The events of the day are vivid, it was raining, I hear Paul on the phone (I didn't hear mine ring) Paul heard his, I remember him saying "She doesn't have a pulse" I did not think anything of it until he said "It's James" and handed me the phone. I do not think then it registered to me, he said "She is cold, I can't find a pulse". My mom is always cold, in my mind she is COLD and he can't find a pulse because he is nervous, then he said he could not move her, she was on the floor, my mind shifted. While on the phone, the ambulance arrived, I said I was throwing on clothes and to answer their questions and I would call right back. I called my sister and told her the same information I had. It could not have been 3 minutes between the time I called him back, I asked specifically "What are they doing"? He replied "Wrapping up", there was no other confirmation I needed but the words came out "She is gone". I slowed down, I broke down, I composed myself, I called my sister (this was hard) she is the oldest (and meanest) but she is more sensitive, if that makes sense.

So listen, I knew something was WRONG but never knew what. I threatened to go to DR appointments with her but I did not follow through because well of course she didn't share that information. She would always say "I'm just tired" or "I took an allergy pill and it makes me loopy" I KNEW something wasn't right but it wasn't until after she was gone did I find out she had a heart condition, Coronary Atherosclerosis. WHAT? This woman was being treated for a whole heart condition and ain't said NOTHING and every symptom associated with this condition she had, cause of death, a Heart Attack. I was left piecing her life together, I found out she dealt with depression, WHAT? Depression is the worst kept secret in the black household. I was left trying to figure out what I missed but NONE of this would bring her back, so I stopped. I accepted that she told me what she wanted me to know and nothing else mattered. After losing my mama it dawned on me that she was carrying some heavy burdens. She still mourned my grandmother who had been gone for almost 15 years, she also was mourning my great grandmother who had passed away about 3 years before at the age of 97 on top of daily life, on top of a heart condition, depression, she was no longer able to handle it all and I don't think she wanted to handle it all another day.

Here I am, 1 year later, months ago I made a very intentional decision to not let death kill me. I cry, I reminisce, I think about the "what ifs" but I never allow these emotions to take over, I only give them a few minutes, then I shift. I CHOOSE to reflect on the best memories I have of my mama, I truly believe that she is where she wants to be, with her dad, her mom, her brother and her grandma, that brings me more peace than me being able to call her knowing she ain't telling me the truth! The biggest heart ache is her not being here for her Grandkids, my daughters especially. But we have a village that will stand in the gap.

At her memorial her best friend sang Total Praise, I told her to sing what she could and what she wanted and that is what she chose. The morning after, I woke up, I slept on the floor in the kids room and I don't remember why, anyway, I picked my cell phone up and I unlocked it, that was ALL I did, Pandora opened and Total Praise started playing, it absolutely took my breath away. When people say loved ones send you signs, IT IS REAL, I felt like that was my sign that she was OK and it was ok for ME to be OK. Life after death is OK, it's different, it's an adjustment, but it is OK to smile, it is OK to laugh, it is OK to continue living, this does not replace the love or the memories you have of who you lost. How mad would my mama be if I was dragging around her grand babies all depressed and in a funk because she is not here in the flesh? What kind of mama would I be transferring that energy to my family, I have to prepare my kids for life and life after me! I am not saying ignore your emotions and "be strong" all the time, the ugly cry is coming, the long stares at pictures, yep, they are coming too, the "I don't want to be bothered" moments can't be avoided. All I am saying is, there is LIFE after Death, you can't die because your loved one did, you still have stuff to do. Find the things that will restore your soul, you WILL get through.

Happy Angelversary Mama. I love you so.

Pauline Nannette Bryant

August 24, 1959 - August 2, 2017

If you are dealing with depression I urge you to talk to someone, do not be ashamed, someone wants you here, someone needs you here, there is LIFE to live!

If you are dealing with illness, be honest with your family. You are not protecting emotions by being quiet. The truth is going to come out and it NEEDS to come from you.

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