On August 28, 2019 two days before my grandfather suddenly died, I shot this video of myself for a TedxHilton talk on grief in my hotel room in Chicago while on a work trip.
My mother called me frantically at 5am that Friday saying my grandfather was being rushed to the hospital and it didn’t look good. I prepped her and James to take my Mama to Miami ASAP. I got my bags together to head to the van, barely keeping my composer. I sat at one of the O’Hare restaurants and ate bacon and avocado toast as I typed the last few words of my TedxHilton app and hit send to my friend Bert former managing editor at AJC.
As I was getting up to walk towards the terminal with my coworkers, my Mama called back and said my granddaddy died and I don’t remember if I gasped for breathe or not, but I know it felt like the ground was coming up from underneath me.
Hurricane Dorian was brewing and ravaging the Bahamas headed towards Miami and I knew the roads would be a mess so I decided to wait it out. For a reprieve I went to my sister Kaneisha’s house. My niece Jania edited and put the video together for me while Kaneisha rushed to take the beautiful, but painful locs that had formed scabs out of my head.
A couple of weeks letter I found out that I didn’t get accepted into the TedxHilton program. And I was honestly relieved. I didn’t feel I was ready. But, yes one day soon I thought.
I have never watched that video until today. Until a few moments ago.
It is beautiful.
It is vulnerable.
It is me.
And I hope one day I’ll be on somebody’s stage telling the world about how to heal from our most painful experiences.