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POC Voices

The 5 Stages Of Grief: Tusk Black Voices Edition

By Darius Faulk

At some point in life, we all experience grief. As we go through it, the pain is unbearable. During this process, we move through the five stages of grief that are supposed to make the loss bearable when we come out of it.

But how do you grieve when you know another loss is unavoidable? When another loss occurs during the grieving process? When the loss is justified by the State?

These are the five stages of grief in a police state. 


The first stage of grief is denial. The slim reprieve we give ourselves hoping that the worst has been avoided. When another name starts to trend, there is no denying what we know to happen. Denial is replaced with the slow creep of dread; the terrifying realization that another body lies cold in the street.


Yeah, we mad; We big mad. It is more than anger though. You begin to cycle through a kaleidoscope of emotions, settling on one for a moment before becoming overwhelmed with the next. The sheer force of such a process leads us wanting nothing more than to burn it all down.


We tried that in the 60s. We also tried that during the Civil War. We have tried to bargain for our humanity through politics. We have tried to bargain for our humanity through song. We have written poetry. We have led marches, held speeches, and set shit on fire.

We have asked repeatedly for our brothers and sisters to consider us as much. To realize that we have loved and bled for this country, and that we know no other place as home. What more do we have to bargain with? What more do we need to give? 


I’ll refer you to my therapist. Or my spiritual guide. Would you like to meet my priest? How about the collection of mindfulness apps that clutter my phone. How about my yoga instructor? My dealer? What about my second therapist? My aunts, uncles, cousins, mother, father, and friends?  


In the final stage of the grieving process, we are supposed to accept the tragedy and find a way to move forward in life. Yet, before it is possible to move on, the inevitable happens again. Another name starts to trend and the dread starts to creep.

We will not accept another body lying cold in the street.

If you are struggling with mental health during this time, please reach out to Counseling & Psychological Services. We love you Titans.

One Comment

  • Ye’Vell Hopkins says:

    Well said young man. We have been going through the 5 stages of grief for decades and I don’t see an end in sight. The best we can do is try to find joy in the midst of our grief and share that joy with others. Thank you for speaking on a subject that some would rather ignore.

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