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How I am Coping with Death

Written By: BK Spadez


I'm going to start this by saying I am not an expert on the topic of coping with the death of a loved one. I can only share my story about how I finally moved on from the passing of someone dear to my heart: my great-grandmother, Bishop, Marget Morris. She was my first teacher and a constant inspiration to me. Hopefully, my story helps you get past or live with the death of your loved ones. Let's do a bit of world-building.

My grandmother was everything to me. As a young kid, I spent a hell of a lot of time with her. My siblings and I were born in the 80s, so some of you may know where this story is heading. Our parents worked very long hours to make ends meet. So, being the village type of family, my parents sent my siblings and me to my grandmothers. Eventually, my siblings would go to school, and I got to be at grandmas all by myself. This was when we bonded the most. I have fond memories of my mother dropping me off and my grandmother making her go back up the street to Winn Dixie to get me a pack of M&Ms. It was like clockwork. I had that lady eating out of my hands as a kid, and it never changed as I got older. She was my haven. Not physically but mentally. I never felt out of place with her. I felt safe from judgment, from ridicule, and feeling left out. I never felt like I needed to be anything but me. I was accepted.

I wasn't invincible, though, not at all. I wasn't above the rules. Not at all. Grandma was still my check and balance. She would check me every time I steered off the path spiritually or otherwise. There was a time I locked her out of her house because she went to get the switch. I wanted no parts of that. I made her promise not to whoop me before I let her back into the house. She kept her word. She never spanked me again. I never actually gave her a reason to either. I had the utmost respect for her. She was my mentor, after all. She would be to anyone that walked up those stairs of her front porch. Grandma would mentor people, and I'd sit in my corner and listen. Those faces became familiar and, to some extent, family. Those times reminded me that she belonged to the community and not just me. I was sharing one of the most extraordinary jewels to walk this planet. She was one of a kind. She was fearless in her faith even when facing death. And she made sure to instill all those values and gifts in me before she left.

"But, as I'm writing this, I realize I was afraid. However, she prepped me for it, I still wasn't strong enough to face it."

We had a lot of conversations on that front porch, man. I remember sitting there with ice-cold Pepsi, watering her plants, and shucking corn as a pastime for lessons. As the sun would set on my back, the stars began the twinkle, the moon would get bright, and lightning bugs would match the stars on the ground. We would put away the chores, and she would just talk to me almost like a peer. Never once insulting my intelligence. She'd let me ask questions until I didn't have any. Her favorite conversation was telling me I was going to be a preacher. A sentiment I still push back on. But not as aggressive as I would at age seven. I just don't see it. The problem with that is she's never been wrong, and I've only seen one of her predictions come true. But I've heard stories in passing, and apparently, the calling is upon me at some point. I also have a history of defying the odds on my life, but I also don't play with God. If that's my future, it is what it is. After pushing back on the notion, my grandma gave me some advice.

  1. Never ask for anything you're not ready for God to show you.

  2. Listen to God and follow what he asks of you.

She would follow advice number 2 with if God tasks YOU with bringing souls to Heaven, it's going to happen. You have freedom of choice. You can do it when he asks you, or he'll get his souls at your funeral, which isn't as scary now as it sounded then. Plus, it makes sense. Just look at Facebook after any death. Everyone says they want to get right with God before it's too late. So, I guess that's twice I can personally say she was right. You know she may already be right about me. I sit in front of a camera, using my knowledge and research to teach people about random things. A preacher is a teacher. OMG, I'm glad I didn't bet her anything. There was also a passage from the bible she told me to hold on to Ecclesiastes, 12th chapter the entire thing. The chapter is the one part of the bible I hold to my heart dearly. Admittingly, it's like a gift and a curse to me sometimes. Even so, I cherish it as her third and final nuggets of advice to me.

So, this is the part I hate talking about because I still feel ashamed for it. It's the thing I haven't been able to let go of. See, this lady was so great to me. She was so loving, supportive, and caring. Even while being sick, she was still all of those things. I remember she had never seen me play my drum my entire high school band career and our homecoming parade started as she and my uncle was exiting the downtown bank. I can see the joy and excitement coming from her. She had her little bounce going on as she watched me march along and yell out commands to my fellow percussion section. I was so happy she'd seen me. I didn't even know I cared for her to be there. It had never crossed my mind. I never thought I needed the approval of anyone. It's cool to have it, of course. Hearing it from my Pops is a badge of honor because he's known as a great percussionist to many people. He was also my drum instructor, so it hits different. Hearing her tell me how proud of me she was was a moment that meant the world to me. It would be the only time she'd see me perform. Soon after, she fell ill and would leave me.

So, why am I ashamed? Well, I couldn't stand to see her bedridden. So, I didn't visit as much. That is what I used to tell myself for not going. But, as I'm writing this, I realize I was simply afraid. However, she prepped me for it, and I still wasn't strong enough to face it. I should've been, and I wasn't. I wasn't there for her when she needed me. I didn't get to tell her goodbye or what she meant to me. I didn't give myself a chance to be there. I should've been there holding her hand, letting her know that she did a damn fantastic job for this family, and I just wasn't. I feel like I let her down. Like I dropped the ball at the goal line. These feelings are likely never going away, but I have accepted that she was gone.

Each year is a bit different, and my regret gets a bit lighter. As a kid, she and I would have all types of conversations, and one day I asked her not to come back to visit me unless I was hellbound. I was afraid of the dark then. So natural ghosts and demons were on that list too. I think she respected that. Although, I once had a dream of falling through fire and brimstone. She was there, and she caught me. That may have been her warning me. We'll put a pin in that one. There was also a time I was alone in my room, and I could smell her perfume—distinctively potent. I was a bit shaken for a minute, but I mellowed out when I figured out the sent. So, maybe she has been looking out for me this whole time.

I do know I've never let go of her values and teachings. There is comfort for me knowing she was preparing me for something. From the moment I was born, she saw greatness in me. Knowing that makes me smile. I'm going to pass on her legacy now. This is how I cope. I have a job to do, and I intend to finish it. Yeah, I still get teary-eyed knowing she won't come to the door when I enter her home. I miss her. But I know that moving on is vital. Her legacy lives on through those that cherished her. I can live with that. I can credit many people for building the house that I am, but Bishop Morris planted the foundation. In 100 years, the first thing I will do when I die will be to hug her, apologize, and tell her about her great-great-grandkids. She would've loved them.


Written By:

BK Spadez

Host / writer / Editor-in-Chief of


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