I think everyone else around me, gets how incredibly difficult and painful, what I am going through is, better than me. On a conscious level, I keep expecting to wake up and it’ll all be better. I truthfully and honestly, dead ass keep waking up, touching my belly. Expecting it to be big again.

It became my favorite pastime, these past few months. Touching my belly, every night and every day, to feel how much, if any, she’d grew. I thought, if she grew, that was all I needed. I was clearly wrong. Or disillusioned. Or both. Who knows?

Now, when people talk to me in sweet, hushed tones, it irks me. When people look at me, like they feel bad for me. Like it hurts their heart to even make eye contact with me, it drives me nuts. I wanna scream, ‘I am no victim! I am not broken! Don’t look at me like that!’ Even people who hate me, have replaced their death stares with sad eyes, when they see me. I hate it! I hate the sympathy and even empathy. I detest it! It makes me wanna vomit!

Why do people want to suddenly be nice to me? People that have always treated me like shit? People that could care less, if I had food to eat a month ago, when my butterbean was alive, are now seemingly concerned on whether I eat enough? People that probably secretly hoped I’d just disappear from the earth, a few weeks ago, are now checking for me? And it makes me sooooo angry! So, pissed. So, foolish with frustration.

Does it really take the worst tragedy ever, imaginable, to get a little fucking humanity in this world? And even then, it’s finite, forced and not as sincere, as it humanly should be. And then, it’s like, who gives a shit? I don’t give a shit! I don’t care if the whole world cried for me and my butterbean. Cuz it’s too fucking late! She’s gone. And no matter how much I wanna blame any and everyone, I just blame myself.

I keep thinking. And rethinking. Where I went wrong? What could I have done differently? Why didn’t I start fighting for her life, sooner? How come I couldn’t have been stronger? When did it all turn from hopeful, to desperation, to pleading, to nothing? I can’t answer people’s questions, because I can’t answer my own.

In my heart, I know I will never have these answers. So, I’ll never have answers for the world. I know I don’t need them. I don’t owe anyone anything. I know. I just, really, really wish I had answers. Cuz I’m an answers type of person. When things don’t make sense, I need an answer. I have to make sense of everything. Even the things that will never make sense. I am compelled, to at least make sense of why they won’t make sense. It’s wired into me.

That made yesterday, one of my worst days so far. I had no answers. No understanding. Too many fucking questions. Packed with a lot of pain. A lot of anxiety and hurt. A lot of loneliness and guilt. I think, finally writing Tuesday’s piece, in acknowledgement that Bayyina is gone (just writing her name, makes me cry) broke my resolve. All I had left of my denial stage, was not writing that piece. And yet, I needed. I need, to get past this stage. I need to keep going. Like right now. For me. For Bayyina. I need it so badly, my bones ache.

Having people respond so quickly and fervently, with compassion and love, fucked me up. It’s like they know the secret, I’ve been lying myself out of believing, for who knows how long. They know. Everyone knows. Except me. And it makes me angry. And sad. And devastated. All over again. Like, I’m just waking up to this reality, for the first time, again. And again. And again.

I had to be honest with myself, and get real. I’m not really mad at everyone. Underneath it all, I am so grateful for the love and compassion. Even from people who dislike me. It means a lot. I am grateful, that if nothing else, Bayyina’s lack of life, has brought love into other people. So much so, that they even wanted to share it with me.

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It doesn’t really matter how long it took. Or if I tell myself, “it’s too late.” Because, it’s all in His timing. I truly and fundamentally believe and live in the truth of that. That everything always is, and always will be, in God’s timing. That He may not come when we want Him, but He’s always on time.

I’m just mad, y’all. And though, my first instinct is always to deter myself from taking stuff out on others, I have this undying urge to throw that instinct away. I want to take everything out on any and everyone. I keep telling myself, ‘it’s only fair, Shaquana.’ But, that’s honestly not true.

More importantly, it isn’t gonna bring my butterbean back. Taking my hurt and pain out on the world, won’t even out my crippling imbalance, right now. It won’t give me the memories with my child, that I’ll never have. It won’t do anything. But beget more hate.

I wish y’all could have known her spirit, if nothing else. Cuz Bayyina Mekhi was fucking awesome! She gave me soooooo much life! It’s not even funny! The world would have been extremely lucky to have experienced her spirit. She was positive and strong and witty and didn’t take no shit from hateful and wicked people. She was forgiving and honorable and truthful, beyond measure. She was my hero. She is my hero. I still want to be like her, when I grow up. Haha. I really do.

The me, the Shaquana, you see and hear from today, is directly a product of Bayyina. That’s the God honest truth. So, I can’t lie when I tell you, I would have wreck shit up by now, one way or another, if it were not for Bayyina Mekhi. She would never let me get away with doing, anything other than acts of love. She knows my heart too well, to let that pass. She won’t let me convince myself, that ‘misery loves company,’ is actually a reasonable way to understand life. She was never about that hate life.

So, all of my fluctuating emotions are just my way of struggling to say goodbye, to the future I worked so hard to make promised for us both. Joseph Campbell said, “we must be willing to let go of the life we planned, so as to have the life waiting for us.” This rings true of my life right now, in so many more ways, than one. I don’t want to say goodbye to the prospect of Bayyina’s physical life. Literally, I have Boyz II Men’s “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye,” on repeat in my head these days.

I DON’T WANNA SAY GOODBYE TO MY BUTTERBEAN!! I don’t want tooooooooo!! I feel like I’m five all over again and I’m being forced to miss school, so I can go to the doctor. Or play barbies (my all time favorite pastime, as child), with my misbehaving ass little brother. Or eat liver or blacked eye peas.

I’m not a difficult person when it comes to doing what I have to do. I’d rather just get it over with, than fight against the grain. For everything though, there are exceptions. This, like missing school, like playing with my little brother, like eating blacked eye peas and liver, is the exception. Bayyina is the exception.

So, like some beautiful spirit reminded me via email or Facebook (I can’t remember, right now), this is not goodbye. It’s I’ll see you later. I’ll see her, for the first time, one day, when I go home to God. This is not our ending. It’s our beginning. Though, a very different beginning than I expected or even perhaps, hoped for. It’s still a beginning, nonetheless.

I just gotta keep going, y’all. I gotta stay strong. And remember, she’ll always be right inside me. If I get still enough to listen, I can still hear her heartbeat and even, her thoughts in my mind. So, this is not goodbye, at all. It’s, see you later. I’ll see you later, beautiful brown baby doll! Mommy loves you to life and beyond!!