Have you ever had a close family member or friend that has been murdered? Even if you haven’t I’m pretty sure the thought of it is terrifying enough. Imagine living everyday of your life with the nagging fear of having a close friend or family member taken away from you prematurely, by the hands of another human. Imagine being afraid of receiving that late night phone call or message, of someone telling you that someone you loved is no longer with us because they were murdered.
This is a daily reality for myself and countless of other people out there in the world. The natural death of a loved one is something That’s extremely hard to process, and you never really heal from the pain of losing a loved one. You just learn how to adapt and live with that unbelievable void in your heart. However the death of a loved one due to murder is a whole other monster. I had my 1st experience of this “oh too familiar” stomach sickening hard hitting effect of learning about the recent murder of a loved one.
July 1st, 2003. I was 14 years old. This is the day the world changed right before my eyes. This is the day when the world became a much more cruel place in my eyes. This is the day that my uncle was murdered at age 33. To clarify my uncle was a documented gang member who served time in prison during the early 90s I believe for selling drugs.
My uncle was a “street nigga” who lived two different lives. He was a monster in the streets and a caring family man who wouldn’t ever even raise his voice out of anger to any of us. One of the nicest people I had to this day ever met. But I saw flashes of his street life come out of a few different occasions on men who wasn’t apart of our family.
My uncle was in the streets and he died in them. On that fateful hot July 1st morning. My mom, my older brother and myself were enjoying family time bathing my at the time newborn baby brother, when someone began ringing the doorbell and knocking on the door. After we finally identified the person at the door and opened It.
It was a close family friend who delivered the news that my mom’s little brother had been killed in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago’s North Side. And seeing my mom instantly break down due to that powerful overwhelming feeling of massive shock and grief, instantly changed my life. She was forced to process that her little brother whom she grew up with and protected, had been killed.