Grieving the Loss of a Warrior
As an SCD patient, you probably have met another warrior who is no more. The fear of death that comes with SCD gets worse or deepened anytime such a death happens.
Whether you are a parent of a sickled child, a friend, lover, or family member, you start to worry and fear for the life of your warrior. Invest the same energy into the minds of another warrior... That’s how we feel every time a soldier falls.
Devastation and fear
There was a time I lost 18 warriors in a year. I was devastated. Sleep was no where to be found because all I could think of was "Am I Next?" "Who is next?" or "What sort of punishment is this?"
I would think till day breaks and continue during the day. Unfortunately for me, not long after that, I had a lung infection and this only deepened my fears.
Reflecting on the loss of a loved one
Many times, when a warrior falls, we forget to focus on the life our fallen hero has lived. Were they happy? Did they fight until the very end? The lives they impacted, the loved ones they left behind. Instead of focusing on these and suffocating in pity, direct that energy to the positives. Think about what you can do to help now.
Understand this: everyone is going to die someday (it’s just inevitable). Healthy or not, sickled or diabetic, rich or poor, allow your mind to process that and prepare for it. Luckily, you are still here. Make something out of that time.
Making the most of our lives
Try to live and enjoy your life. Appreciate every moment and don’t waste that opportunity.
I check my bucket list and choose an adventure when it gets lonely and boring.The last thing I checked on my bucket list was my nose piercing. Your bucket list doesn’t need to make sense to anyone. They are not you and would never understand why. Be you regardless, and don’t give anyone or anything the chance to consume you.
When a warrior goes home, grieve, cry, and wail all you need, but don’t let it consume you. Get back up and move on with your life, now you have a responsibility to continue to fight until that last breath.
To my fallen warriors:
For all the warriors that lost their lives while on this journey, I pray you rest well, you did what you could, and so will we until it’s time to meet again. You fought your battles well and we are proud of you.
To my fellow warriros
I want to encourage warriors to make time as often as possible to check up on the family and loved ones of deceased warriors. Be there for them as much as you can. They need that and we owe our fallen heroes the responsibility to care for them especially in the moment of grief.
The fight is against sickle cell disease not sickle cell warriors. Let us learn to be each other's keepers and friends.
Do you consider yourself an advocate for sickle cell?