The world received more shocking news this past week as we learned of the passing of Chadwick Boseman. As explained in several news reports, Mr. Boseman died of colon cancer at the young age of 43. This news was not only shocking but added to the grief we are already experiencing amid the pandemic. Mr. Boseman made a conscious decision to keep his illness private and only shared this information with a selected few. This allowed us to enjoy his work as an illustrious actor without being overly concerned about his health. We laughed and cried with Mr. Boseman as he brought to life strong, positive characters that represented the best in us. We felt pride as he gave us the royalty of King T’Challa, in The Black Panther. We cheered with him as he embodied Jackie Robinson in 42. Mr. Boseman’s work greatly impacted the black community and we have suffered a monumental loss with his passing.
I not only reflected on the impact that Mr. Boseman has made, but also on the suffering that he undoubtedly endured as he pushed himself to continue to be a man of excellence. He helped change the lives of children who were suffering from the same disease he himself had. Every interview he did, every movie role he played while dealing with his pain was nothing short of miraculous. It gave me some form of comfort that he did not suffer in silence. No doubt Mr. Boseman’s family and loved ones continued to be his biggest cheerleaders as he battled his illness.
During this time of quarantining I wonder how many people are suffering in silence. People who are in abusive situations; women and children who are suffering from domestic violence, sexual abuse, and child abuse. Women who do not have a safe place and live in constant fear of their lives being snuffed out by an angry, uncontrollable, enraged partner. Children living in fear of doing or saying the wrong thing that will trigger a monstrous reaction from their parental figure. The parent who unleashes their frustration on their child because he/she is at the end of his/her rope and cannot digest any more bad news. I would suggest to you that there are many who are suffering in silence during this pandemic; hiding behind happy face book posts, smiling during zoom meetings, and reassuring their loved ones that they are ok during their weekly telephone call……Suffering in Silence.
While we adjust to this new normal that COVID-19 has brought, my prayer is that you do not suffer in silence. Reach out for help, check in with your loved ones, be that listening ear that we all need every now and then.
I am grateful for the positive impact that Chadwick Boseman left on our lives. He gave us hope and reminded us that what may seem to be impossible is possible. More importantly, I am glad he did not suffer in silence.