Te-Erika’s Diary: The End Result of Life

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I’m thinking about death again. I think it was that video about the girl who tweeted about finding out she has brain cancer and what she did with the last months of her life that inspired me to visit my morbid side- again.

Truth is, I think about death- A LOT. If not, every day, every other day. I don’t have a fear of death, its more of a curiosity about it. I don’t think its a bad thing. I believe it is a release.

My aunt Gloria Jean Burrows is 45 years old and we just found out she has stage 4 cancer. She disappeared from the face of earth about 3 years ago and no one had heard from her until she went into the hospital in Miami just before New Years.

They told her she has cancer and she is in the final stages of the disease taking over. She refused treatment, which I don’t disagree with at all. How can you cure stage 4 cancer? You can’t. Now she is simply waiting to die. When I called her to speak to her she sounded just the same as always. She has always been quite bitter and rude but she’s my aunty so I didn’t care much.

When I think about her dieing, I am not sad at all. Everyone has to die. What happens after death is probably way better than what we experience here. I bet it is! To think she gets to say goodbye to those she cared about while many don’t. The lady who found out she had brain cancer and tweeted about it got to travel for 2 months exploring the world before she died.

I do wish my aunt had some more joy in her life though. I think she spent too many years worrying about what others thought of her (including god) and didn’t live her life the way she really wanted to because she was ashamed of who she was.

When I think about death being the end result of life, I think it kind of takes the sting out of life. Like, there is so much we can hope for and strive for, but in the end, what does it all mean really? There are so many people lurking, looking for ways to take advantage of you and hurt you, the world is full of evil hearted people, but death is reassurance that you don’t have to be beat up for long.

I honestly have only a few hopes for my future. I would like to see my boys grow up and remain happy people who love life instead of being so hurt and bitter like I am. I would like to take care of myself financially and be able to do nice things with my sons regularly. I hope that they grow to respect me and women. I hope they experience healthy love.I hope I never have to rely on anyone to care for me physically. I hope I never have to rely on anyone- period.

This experience will be over soon enough. Until then, I’ll keep trying to smile every day. I’ll stay away from all of the bad people (majority) who live on this planet and I’ll keep being ME, whoever that is.

Until the day I die.


My Aunty Glo died this morning about 8 hours after I posted this. It had been a little less than 3 weeks since she first learned she had cancer that spread to her entire body. When I first called her, she was normal. In fact, every time I spoke with her she seemed normal so I was able to chat regularly and listen to her grumble as usual.

When my Mama called me this morning to tell me about her passing, I wasn’t sad. I felt a twinge of jealousy that she now knew the answer to a secret I can’t know. I bet it’s wonderful on the other side. I bet its peaceful, like early retirement in the country.

I hung up the phone with my Mama and thought about my Aunty and how I spoke to her a few days ago. I thought about the sound of her voice and how I’ll never hear it again. I thought about how it’s okay that I’ll never hear it again because that is how life goes and it’s best that I appreciate when I did hear it and that she was a  part of my life. She was my Aunty, just 10 years older than I am. She would play with me all of the time when I was little. She never hurt me. She only wanted to have fun.

So I spoke to the Universe or whatever and asked her to come visit me in my dreams now that she’s gone. People who die usually come visit me if I know them well and I don’t mind. I look forward to these visits because I get to see them again and they are usually happy.

I really, really, hope she is now. In fact, I bet she’s more than happy.  Sometimes I think death just might be a reward for making it through this crazy world.

Goodbye Glo.


So I did cry. It surprised me. Crying is a natural reaction to the news of death of a loved one but I thought that I had made it up in my mind that death wasn’t a bad thing so there was no need to cry.

But as I walked up Wilshire during my 4-mile daily walk, the song, It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday by Boyz II Men came piping through my headphones and as the first chords of the song began to play I burst out in tears. I remembered the sound of her voice. I remembered visiting her at work when she worked for the plumbing company.  I remembered giving her her first computer and telling her that it would change her life. She became hooked on the internet like I am.

I just spoke with her a few days ago. I can still hear her voice saying, “Bye Te-Erika.”


I’m back trying to process more feelings about this. I know that when someone dies it is okay to mourn. I offer myself permission to do that. I’m angry, really. No, I’m not angry, I’m jealous.

That sounds so selfish doesn’t it? Yes, I can be quite selfish because I am ME and I have myself to worry about since no one else has the job. I am jealous that my Aunt got to die.

Crazy huh? Weird? Yes. I know. I just feel like I’m thinking of her life and all that she didn’t do because of her fears, her shortcomings and how she held herself back and how her dying means going to a more peaceful plane of existence than this and I’m still here and I don’t hold myself back much and I go for my dreams with gusto and I take risks and I put my foot down and I am authentic and I am always releasing my brilliance yet- she and I are not that much different.

She was single for her entire life. She lived a solitary life with cats and the internet. She does not know what it is like to be loved or to be touched by someone who loves her and neither do I.

We have the same fucking result and I put in way more effort and now she gets to be free from this cold world and I have to stay here in this bullshit.

When your own family turns against you like my sister did, it sheds a new light on what love is. There is no such thing. I don’t know if I’m just feeling sad about the amount of work I’m doing and not seeing any progress or if I’m mourning my aunt or if I’m just being weak and stupid right now but you got two people, me and my Aunty, and we both enter the world with functioning limbs and brains and talents. She doesn’t do much with hers, choosing to isolate herself and limit her potential, and I choose to try to break through and be a renegade and we both end up the same, except I don’t have cats.

I feel guilty for even writing this but at the moment my phone is OFF because my paycheck didn’t come on time and I ran out of money. I’ve been eating whatever I could find in my fridge for a week now and I’m down to vegetables.

But I keep thinking about her. Her voice. Her frustration with the world. Her frustration with men.

Did you know that she hated men too?

During our last conversation I was telling her about a story I was writing and she interrupted me to say, “Don’t tell me no story about no man! I don’t want to hear that!”

I don’t vocalize my feelings in that same way but in my heart I feel the same way she does. Disappointed. Disgusted. Isolated.

But she gets to go and I have to stay.

I think about my sons and I know they need to know me. I feel like I am a good influence on them. I sometimes wonder if they love me though. I know that sounds crazy too but I wonder if I’m necessary in their lives being so far away. I talk to them all of the time and try to stay connected, but in the back of my mind their father’s words whisper, “They don’t need you. You are worthless.”

I can’t get a handle on how the only two people I stopped my life for couldn’t possibly appreciate me or how the man I gave such a precious gift could be so disgusting toward me.

I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m feeling but I’m feeling some kind of pain in my chest. It hurts so much. And I feel stupid for even writing this. Stupid for even doubting if my kids love me. Stupid for even comparing myself to my dead Aunty. Stupid for even thinking about my children’s father’s abusive words at a time when I should simply be mourning my Aunty.

Nah. I need to be writing and making some money to keep my mind off of this. There is plenty of work to do. Let me get to it.


I know death has to happen but it still hurts to say goodbye.


***edit 6/14/14

It is now 5 months since my Aunty passed away from Cancer and I have had the pleasure of a visit from her.  I was looking forward to it, asked for it aloud and somehow knew it would come.

It happened in a dream. In my dream I was in Long Beach walking to the Blue Line station on First Street to take the train back to LA. As I approached the station my phone rang. I answered it and it was my Aunty Glo. I chatted with her and asked her how she was doing and she said that she was okay. As I asked her that question my mind knew she was dead but it didn’t seem real so I told her I wanted to come see her and to text me her address.

“Where are you?” I asked her.

“I’m just off Crenshaw,” she replied. “Just off Crenshaw.” She had never even visited Los Angeles before she died.

“I’m going to come see you! I’m glad you called!”

That was it. I woke up feeling happy.

Now All I do is think about death and how much happier she must be right now than when she was in this world.

***Edit 10/7/14

I found this picture of my Aunt online yesterday. I was googling her name trying to find a picture of her because I don’t have one and we were not connected online although I know she was an avid internet junkie.

Gloria Jean Burrows

I have been sitting her staring at her photo on my phone as though I could really touch her face. I know she’s gone but it’s not like I believe it’s permanent. I remember her. I remember how she has known me my entire life. I can still hear her last words to me- Goodbye Te-Erika. And I did get that after death communication from her in the form of a phone call during one of my dreams so I know she is okay.

I am not mourning her, just remembering her and still feeling a little jealous about how much peace she has now that she is dead. She’s dead. It feels so weird to say that about my Aunty. Like those two words don’t match somehow.  But I’m not sad anymore, I feel happy for her. She gets to relax and be free from this world. If she can, I bet she thinks of me. I bet she smiles at me. I bet she wants me to know she loves me and she was glad to know me. That’s how I feel she was. We are going to hang out again one day. Just feeling grateful that she’s finally free.

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