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Sunflower Child

Updated: Jul 4, 2022

Jhanae, Earth misses you dearly. Your heart’s fingerprints have been left on everyone your love touched. If death has taught us anything, it’s that we don’t know everything; and some of us haven’t experienced some of the most unbearable forms of pain. Like that of losing a child or sibling; or a granddaughter, niece, and cousin; and a best friend to who we are connected to at the hip.

A safe haven:

“Your nephew is getting so big and being a mother is getting harder by the day. The self-doubt, the stress, and the sleepless nights really take a mental toll on me and my anxiety. I know if you were here I would have someone that I can fully lean on with no judgment, someone who would drop whatever/whenever to make sure I’m straight. Your smile and sarcasm alone would help me. This new chapter in my life is even harder because you are not here.”

~ Tiana

For those hurting right now, for any reason, remember that storms must pass; and dark clouds are wanderers who have no home. Flowers need as much sunlight to grow as they do rain. Search for the sun while a storm is passing, and if you can’t find it, wait for it. Its light sits just behind the clouds. Death has no glory right now, and it likely looks for our mourning and grief. We will learn to celebrate what was both taken and found by God. Death will soon learn that even he must submit to what God ordains, and dying doesn’t mean God’s work is finished.

A home and comedic relief:

"Sisteerrrrr! From a hair video, movie quote, or even a random argument that I know you would know the answer to and Tiana thinking she’s right! Life without you = confusion! I hate to be so selfish, but I have so many questions. Man, so many times I wish I could talk to you to just vent or just ask you the “little big sister” for advice. Who would’ve thought your niece would have a head full of hair you were supposed to be here getting her right with all the styles? So much u wanted to see me accomplish. Tiana had a baby. Can you believe that? She’s killing it too, the same girl who couldn’t even hold a baby! I hope we’re making you proud living in your legacy! I love you Royce girl."

~ Dominique aka Your Porsha

“As God’s children, we will always live with the echoes of the blues.”

Your picture hangs over my bed— the one you left on my work desk during the afternoon on Valentine's Day in 2020, with a box of food. Just beneath it is the photo we took while in Atlanta for my birthday in March. That weekend you told me I’d be meeting the rest of your family and seemed more nervous than I was.

Your smile in these photos greets me every morning and my eyes can’t help but glimpse in its direction throughout the day. I still play Beyoncé’s “Sandcastles'' and the playlist you created for me as ambient noise while I work. You titled it “BlackBoySing….. Out loud.” and included in its description “This playlist is for your sanity, escape, reflection and safe haven.” That’s what both your love and protection were, and the ways you embraced me reassured me that my love landed softly. I still can’t remember the last time we spoke or what we spoke about. The little memory I still have brings none of the clarity I’ve searched for over the last 2 years.

Jhanae, there are so many things peopled want you to see them do:

What’s up Jhanae? I really miss you and wish you were here to meet your nephew. A lot has changed since you’ve been gone. I got into a master’s program and I’m actually pursuing the degree, and we live in Atlanta. Truth be told, things seem to have slowed down for me since you’ve left. It hurts me a lot to see your family not have you around. Whenever I visit your mom’s house, I don’t have someone there to help me cook breakfast, so now I’m taking forever to do it. Man, there have been so many times that I haven’t been clowned on because you weren’t there. I miss that and I miss you so much. I’m trying to do the things you pushed and urged me to do. I owe it to you and my family to do that. Thank you for letting me know I can succeed. Love you sister.“


Grief is beautiful and you are now the object of ours. You deserve our grief, and you deserve our love. You have that just as much now as you did when you were here. My heart is torn between joy and dejection when you reach my thoughts. But I’ve learned that both of these things are okay. God’s character bled through your essence and aura. His grace shined through your smile and your cheeks could hold water for His angels to bask in. Your love is so innocent and genuine, and I constantly return to it. It lingers within us now. You deserve all of your flowers, Sunflowers because roses are fleeting.

Jhanae, your life is worth celebrating in every arena your feet touched:

"My dear! I'm going to pour us a drink. A toast to you. First, I want to say, I am proud of you, so freaking proud of you. You're really the hardest working Gen Z person I know. A genius, a badass. You're that girl! You walked the walk (like catwalk, literally) and talked the talk. You're just absolutely amazing. I'm still taken aback by your work ethic and your ability to do everything you set your mind to. I miss your presence and your texts you would send in the morning; your have some jokes on you chile. You also had love. Pure love, you know? You matter to me and I love just for who you are, and you made sure that I knew the same was true for me. I appreciate you. I think about how you moved forward through life, no matter what came your way. You're taking in what life has to offer, openly receiving the blessings meant for you. Enjoying good company, good food, making the best out of your darkest days, and turning up. There's so many blessings out there that people miss out on, and you definitely didn't do that. So let's toast to that”


Jhanae, you make a best-friend feel linked to you at the heart:

“It's so tough to write this without crying. Every time I think of you, I think about how I told you I would give you a trip to Nicaragua once you graduated.I think about how much of a beautiful, goofy, multifaceted Black queen you are. I still struggle with speaking of you in the past tense. I know you're still with me every day. Life would be much easier if you were still here. So many of us are still hurting and grieving your departure from the physical world. I hope you can still feel the love, admiration, and respect we all have and will continue to hold onto for you. I’m so proud of our progression as friends, more so sisters. Besties for the resties', I will never stop talking about you. I promise.”


Jhanae, you are the only Sunflower that bloomed in the summer. You will always have a spot in our garden. Forever our Sunflower Child.

Written by: All of us

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