An Open Letter to Breonna Taylor and The Stages of Our Collective Grief

Hey Bre,

Girl!!! Let me tell you…well, you probably already know since I am guessing you can see everything from up there. But for real, can you believe this s*#t?  You’re lying in your own bed, minding your business, trying to sleep!!!…and these motherf*#%!s come in YOUR house and…smh. It just doesn’t make any sense…

It’s been damn near four months now. When we first heard, we were legit in DENIAL. We couldn’t believe when we saw the story on the news and all-over social media that not only had it happened, but they were acting as if there was some question as to whether people needed to be held accountable! As if there may be some version of this where you deserved to be slain in your own home…some version that they deem justifiable…smh. I avoided social media for an entire week at one point thinking maybe if I didn’t see it then it wouldn’t continue.  That maybe somehow disconnecting would make it less true, would make all of the feelings no longer exist.  No luck.

Well let me tell you girl, that denial quickly turned to ANGER and people all over the world started screaming your name! We were and continue demanding that they arrest the cops who murdered you. I’m talking about out in Cali to here in Philly, all the way over in London! I find myself irritated at anyone saying anything slightly sideways these days. I have been deleting people left and right off of social media for any hint of ignorance or privilege.  My tolerance is at an all-time low.  And while some days I may find the need to dig deep into my professionalism and educate someone on their ignorance, more times than not I just choose to leave people right where they’re at!  I have decided my skills are best used educating and uplifting those on the same side of the fight.  It just hit home Bre…yet another slap in the face of how much we are not valued.  They do not value our lives. They did not value your life! It is beyond frustrating.

There are times I find myself BARGAINING with a higher power just asking that another mother doesn’t have to lose their child. That another child doesn’t have to watch their parent being murdered over and over and over because it has been captured on video. That another Black man, woman, or child gain recognition due to a damn hashtag!  Every time something else happens I find myself asking for protection over my own Black daughter, nieces, and nephews.  I find myself thinking of new ways to have the same conversation with the little people in my life in such a way that they are informed but not afraid.  In a way that they are educated but not jaded….because it is a fine line, right?

So here we are. Posting and protesting and petitioning and making calls and writing letters. Some days we are anger fueled, many days we are focused, and other days…well. It all is just so overwhelming. Some days it catches up to you and it is DEPRESSING. It’s just too much. I’ve shed real tears for y’all.  You, Ahmaud, George, Elijah and everyone that came before you all.  People are being lynched in 2020 for God’s sake and it is not even given a second thought! Suicide they say…yea, ok. There are moments I feel helpless. Because it keeps happening. Even after you Bre…the s*%t just keeps happening.

So, I have ACCEPTED the finality of it all. That you are gone. That you all are gone. That the feelings are real and need to be felt.  That it is okay to have moments where I may cycle through all of these feelings.  But I know we cannot afford to get stuck in them.  I know that in order to stay vigilant, we have to stay focused. And while we can accept your passing, what we cannot accept is that no one is held accountable for you…for them, for us. So, we will continue to say your name. We will continue to find our roles, big or small, in this fight, understanding that we are in it for the long haul as those were who came before us. We will continue to create healthier boundaries, higher standards, and greater expectations for continued growth as a people.

I cannot promise that I won’t have my days where I lead with anger, or have moments of helplessness, or “log out” for a while…but I can promise to continue to be your voice. Because Bre, even though we never actually met while you were on this earth, I know you. We all know you. You are our sisters, best friends, mothers, and aunties…

You are us…and we are you.

Love you girl,


For information on the stages of grief from a cultural perspective, click on the link:


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