It’s been a week and I still get chills and this gut wrenching feeling when I see his picture or hear his name. And audible groan escapes my mouth when I think of how he was taken. Nipsey’s death hit me hard. I mean really hard. Hard to the point where I tossed and turned all night on Sunday. I even woke up for a brief period unexpectedly and had a hard time falling back asleep. Usually when I have nights of interrupted sleep, I grab my phone to pass the time. This time though, I didn’t pick up my phone besides checking the time. I stared into the darkness as my other half slept soundly beside me. I prayed for Lauren, I prayed for his children. Eventually, I dosed back off but Monday was not kind to me. The funk of Nipsey’s death followed me as if it were my shadow. I rarely have bad days, but Monday was a bad day.
Celebrity deaths don’t usually affect me. Not since MJ’s passing in 09 anyway. Of course I’m empathetic to the loss of life but typically I’m not impacted greatly. This was different. I got chills when I discussed him. I actually cried when I thought of how much he had already given of himself and how much more he had left to give. I couldn’t accurately quote any of Nipsey’s lyrics and I didn’t even give Victory Lap a second listen until recently. Admittedly, I felt like something of a fraud. How and why are you taking this so hard? Dare I say, Lauren London was really the reason I knew what little I did. So why had his untimely death made me feel so heavy?
In hindsight, I wish I had been a bigger fan. I wish I had taken the time to hear this brother speak from his heart on so many topics that many of us are afraid to touch. The past few days have shown me why this prolific figure’s death hit me so hard. Besides the fact that he was ripped from his community and loved ones in the most senseless manner, this hurt because this man was not replaceable. He was one of a kind and he did the same things many of us say we’re going to do but somehow never quite get around to it. After years of street life, gang affiliation, and hustling his music any way he could, he was finally on the path to reaching the pinnacle of his career. A true rags to riches story. He owned a business in the very city that bred him. I’ve read reports that he often gave people from the neighborhood articles of his costly merchandise free of charge to those in need. He invested into the lives of impressionable children so that they would be less likely to make some of the same mistakes he did. He put his people on and he was truly about making a difference. Nipsey is who I strive to be. He’s who I say I will become “eventually.” He’s who I want my husband to work towards being and who I’ll groom my son to be. This hurts because in 33 short years, he managed to do more than some do in their entire life spans. This hurts because a remarkable being was truly one of a kind and had just gotten started. Nipsey’s death will not be in vain. I am motivated and inspired to make a difference while I can.
The marathon continues.