Reflecting on Jennifer Hudson's loss

Two years ago, I felt pain like I had never felt before. Losing a parent is the hardest thing anyone has to experience in life– aside from, I would guess, losing a child.

But to lose a parent, a sibling and a nephew all at once…

I just don’t know if I could deal with it.

Surely by now you’ve heard about the murders of Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother and nephew here in Chicago. News like this is terrifying and horrible, no matter whose family it happens to. The fact that it happens to be the family of a recent Oscar winner and singer with an album currently on the charts is irrelevant. This would be news even if it was a typical family living a typical life.

The question that remains is not “How does this happen?” because the answer to that is, simply, “It just does.” Things like this, unfortunately, happen all the time, all over the world. There are crazy people out there who think nothing of taking the life of an innocent 7-year-old child, his uncle and his grandmother. It sucks, and we grieve inside when it happens, but that’s the reality of the world we live in.

The question that remains is also not “What is happening to people today?” because things like this have happened for centuries, and will continue to happen for centuries to come. Residents blame the police and the politicians, the politicians blame the schools and the families, families blame themselves and everyone else. There are fingers pointed in all directions but never any answers.

No, the question that remains is neither of these. The question that remains is, “How does one cope with such a terrible loss?”

When my father died, it was sudden. He was sick, yes, but he wasn’t dying. One day he was there. The next, he was gone. Poof. No more. Whether he died of a heart attack or at the hands of a murderer, the fact remained that he was gone, and we were left to carry on from that point forward. There were no long goodbyes or final words. It was over in an instant.

The pain we felt from that point forward was immense, but I can’t help but imagine what it must be like to experience that times three.

Add to that the emotional trauma of having to identify bodies and speak to the police about finding person who did it. It takes an incredibly strong-willed person to endure that sort of torture.

I grieve for Jennifer and her family. Because the added pain of this situation is that Jennifer Hudson is a celebrity; therefore this story will continue and be talked about for months afterward. Trials will happen and convictions will (hopefully) be handed down, and it will all be in the news.

At least when I lost my dad, my family was able to move on from the point of the funeral in relative peace and quiet, and we healed in our own private ways. The Hudson family won’t get that sort of healing time. And for that reason, I grieve for them the most.

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