Learning how to heal

Photo Submitted by Columnist Kha'Mari Mitchell.

“Such is life, here today, gone tomorrow,” Sarada Devi

This cliché quote is more common to today’s generation than it should be. With 70 percent of teen deaths being caused by intentional injuries, hundreds of families and friends are left with heartache and remorse for their young loved ones. Death is nothing that anyone can prepare for; young adults and teens who have to deal with the loss of any one close to them truly experiences new emotions that no older person can prepare them for.

At 3:17 p.m. on Jan. 27, a message that changed my life forever lit up my screen. I received the news that my middle school best friend and high school sweetheart Terrance Lamont Kinard Jr.’s life had been taken by a senseless act of gun violence in Texas.  

Instantly thinking back on all the many memories made over the span of a decade, it was hard to believe that my forever friend was no longer just a phone call or message away. No matter what the adventure was, it was a point in time where being attached at the hip was an understatement. Whether following one another to practice, going to our first real concert, family vacations or tons of binge watching movies, I truly got to experience life with someone else and I'm forever grateful.

“You can’t give up, you can't. You've made it to far and Lamont would be proud,” is what I’ve been repeating to myself since February.

Dealing with a loss while also being a full-time student is still an everyday struggle. Trying to juggle staying focused on my schoolwork but also making sure I’m mentally and physically OK as well seems to be the hardest thing. Time definitely doesn't heal or help instantly but with the right support from family, friends and professors I know this obstacle is only going to make me a stronger person in the end.

Everyone’s experience and reaction to losing a loved one is different but the toll that takes place afterwards is the same and can truly unveil a completely new person. Unfortunately FAMU as a campus has dealt with its share of losing current students and teachers in recent semesters. Kayla Bronson, a junior health management scholar who also is a member of Mahogany dance troupe, recently lost a dance teacher who truly touched her.

“I think teens and young adults deal with losing someone a lot tougher, for most it’s their first time really dealing with the loss of a loved one or friend so it’s hard to understand how death happens so unexpectedly its something I'm still struggling with personally,” Bronson said. “Losing Mr. Grant felt even more surreal because I was with him the day before and even offered him a place to rest for the night. I couldn't shake the feeling of being responsible in some way. Knowing that I learned the last piece he ever choreographed is really an honor and something I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

Not only did I learn what grieving felt like but I also realized that I wasn't going to take another second for granted with my loved ones simply because everyday isn't promised. Death is simply sad but learning how to celebrate our loved ones lives and reliving all the positive moments instead of mourning is what I truly think can help the start of some type of healing.