Tuesday: September 1, 2020

It has taken a couple of days to pen this, but anyone with access to the Internet has perhaps heard the news headlines “Chadwick Boseman is gone”. Now, there are many reactions to different messages: ‘no surprise if it was expected, indifference or total disbelief’ and this news, certainly belonged to the first category. It sent shock waves round the world.

From following the narrative over the course of the last few days, one thing became clear ‘Chad had been fighting for the most part of the last four years, yet no one but a handful of close family members knew about it’. As I looked back at this, these words came to mind- “Not every fight is visible, nor is every ongoing battle written over the face of its fighters” .

It further highlighted the fact that as humans, we have become pretty adept or very skilled at masking up difficult situations with our smiles and joys so we do not ‘worry others’. We have developed mechanisms of fighting some of life’s our toughest battles all by ourselves. This might be both a defence mechanism and a means intended to protect the memories others have of us.

Beloved, many smiles and bursts of joy are real, but a smile can also be a perfect camouflage for great distress. So just because we see smiles, does not suggest “All is well”. We may have to probe deeper, directly or indirectly, on some occasions to know if we can be of help in some way.

For years to come, Chadwick will be remembered as the “the Black Panther”, emphasis not on the length of his life, but the impact that life had.


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