Sometimes it’s just all too much. We wonder why me, why now, how much more am I supposed to take? I’m on Facebook and I see my cousin’s daughter posted a picture of her and her son with the simple status update “feeling angry”. I wonder what’s up. Tanika has been doing well. She’s just had a successful surgery and lost over 100 pounds. Her job seems to be going well. Then I see a cryptic post from her daughter. I piece it together. Something dreadful has happened to Tanika’s son, Savonne. I don’t know the young man. I might have met him a family reunion. He looks vaguely familiar. My heart goes out to Tanika. Her son, just 25 years old, has made his transition, suddenly and unexpectedly. I know that pain. My heart is broken, again.
I wait a couple of hours and then call my mother, my go-to for family news, she tells me what she knows. Savonne has overdosed. Just a few days ago, his mother had posted a picture of him in the ER where he had gone for a broken ankle and foot he sustained in a fall. He was scheduled to go in for surgery tomorrow. There will be no surgery. His body has been found.
I wait a day to call my cousin- his grandmother. She’s such a distant cousin, I couldn’t begin to tell you how we are related by blood. But, she’s just a couple of years older than I am and she and my mother were very close. We grew up together, so she’s as much of a first cousin to me as any of my others. I flashback to last year when I had to make this same call. You see, last year, her granddaughter, Yazzie- just 16 years old, made her transition due to a previously undiagnosed disease. In a matter of days, she was gone. I called Buffy and tried to give her comfort then. I had no idea what to say. Buffy and I don’t talk often. We haven’t spoken since I made that call. But, I have to call, even if there are no words. I pick up the phone and dial nervously, wondering if they’ll come and what words will come. How do I talk to her knowing she is experiencing this again, her girls are experiencing this again?
She tells me the details, as much as she knows, surrounding his passing. As I said, I didn’t know the young man. It sounds like he was somewhat troubled, but he was a sweet mama’s boy. They call him Little Savonne. Due to an ongoing investigation and respecting the family’s privacy, I won’t comment on the circumstances of his passing other than to say my heart was ripped apart as I thought of the things his mother, aunts, grandmother, and sister must be thinking. There are so many questions surrounding the circumstances that they don’t know. “Did he die alone? Was he scared? Did anyone else have a hand in his death? Was he calling out for his family? Was he in pain?” I want to tell my cousin what I know. The answer to all of the above is probably “No”. I want to tell her the story of the medium who connected with a woman being driven to her murder. She saw it all through the woman’s eyes. While in the back seat being driven to the place where she was to be murdered, she looked up and saw an angel who motioned her to come with her. She left her body and avoided the trauma her body would go through. I want to tell her of all the NDE stories I’ve heard of people who have left their bodies before the moment of death, watching the whole thing from above with mildly interested attachment to what was their body. I want to tell her that, according to Swedenborg, no one dies alone. At the very least, there were two angels to meet him. I want to tell her that the moment we leave our bodies, we don’t care what happens to the body any more than we care what happens to a coat we give to Goodwill. But, my cousin is a traditional Christian. I don’t know how she will receive any of this, so I sit with her feeling the pain of uncertainty she feels until it overwhelms me. Why are these tears in my eyes? Why is my voice cracking? I talk to parents going through this every day. Why is this touching me like this? It’s been a rough week I guess. I feel a lot of emotions welling up in me and they have to get out, now.
I quickly get off the telephone. Her granddaughter has come over with her newest great-grandchild. This is my excuse to get off before I lose it. It’s just too much for me to hold in right now. I let it go, the tears are flowing. Tywana comes into the room and thinks someone else has died. She asks if it’s Kayla, is it Grammy, is it Poppy? She doesn’t see me crying like this every day. I have to compose myself enough to get out the word ” I just talked to Buphenia.” It’s all I can get out right now. I can’t speak. I’m feeling her pain right now. I’m feeling Tanika’s pain, I’m feeling Tonia’s pain as she relieves the loss of her Yazzie along with the loss of her nephew Savonne. And I feel Buffy’s pain watching her two girls go through losing two of their children. All of my knowledge can’t take away their pain. Their pain is coming through me and I have to let it out.
Savonne’s family doesn’t have the money to cover the cost of the funeral. They have started a GoFundMe. As of this morning, they are about halfway to their goal. If you can donate, even a very small amount, it would be most helpful. Many hands make light work. Pennies, add up to nickels, to dimes, to dollars. The link is here: https://www.gofundme.com/savonne-jr039s-memorial
I would say Rest In Peace, Little Savonne, but I don’t think Little Savonne is resting. You see, what else I know is Yazzie was probably there to meet him. I know the spirit world knew several weeks ago that he’d be coming. I know he’s probably met Buffy’s mother for the first time- his great-grandmother. I know he’s healthy and whole. And, I know he’s watching over his family and will be at his service where they will honor his short time here. And, I know he’s trying to bring comfort to his mother, his aunties, and his grandmother right now.