“When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions.” (William Shakespeare – Hamlet)
While we mourned the passing of Congressman John Lewis last week with the rest of the world via amazing coverage in the media, Pretty and I felt the loss of two other folks closer to home.
Martha Faye Ketchum, eldest daughter of Willie M. Flora, passed on July 27, 2020 in Rosenberg, Texas. She was 73 years old. Our niece Carmen Woods said of her, “Faye was one of a kind. She definitely kept you on point.” What a wonderful way to be remembered – oh, that more of us could stay on point.
Monroe Scott, our neighbor at Casa de Canterbury for more than nine years, also passed away last Monday, July 27th. He was 84 years old. Monroe was one of the kindest people I’ve ever known – I enjoyed visiting with him early in the mornings while he stood on his front porch with his beautiful flowers he planted every year. He would laugh at my pathetic attempts to grow flowers in our back yard. He even came over one day to give me a few tips, but it was a lost cause. After we moved across the river in 2017, we still kept in contact with Monroe and his son Anthony who called us last week about his father.
Martha Faye, an African American woman I called family, and Monroe Scott, an African American man I called friend both died during our mourning for another African American man that became a national hero but was also part of a large extended family who knew him as Uncle Robert and an even larger group of friends scattered across the world. As Shakespeare said, sorrows come not as single spies, but in battalions. This past week I felt the battalions circling.
The coronavirus pandemic which continues to rage in our midst amplifies our sorrows, makes our hibernating selves more susceptible to fears about our own safety along with concerns for the well being of our families and friends. Grief becomes a constant companion for many of us who have lost loved ones and additionally lost an even more fundamental faith in our institutions.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross had this to say about grief: “The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you suffered. You will be whole again, but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to.”
We shall never be the same.
Stay safe, stay sane and stay tuned.