The late Chadwick Boseman, who graduated from ‘The Mecca’ Howard University in the nation’s capital, had to have had one of the best tight neck groups of friends that we have ever seen. According to The Hollywood Reporter, they never told a soul about his condition while he first suffered from Stage 3 Cancer and recently succumbed to Stage 4 Cancer.
These are the friends who stood proudly by Boseman’s side during his last days here on earth, holding some personal and private information like the four-year battle with cancer that he faced to themselves as well. Bravo! Since this is what makes (excuse my French) a damn good friend.
THR also reported that these friends knew he was a “private person.”
Friends like the black college grad had are ones that we can depend on: They never told what they learned from the beginning.
Not necessarily because he probably wished that the fatal illness that took his life remained private, but more so because that is what exactly friends are for: They stood for love and loyalty in a desperate need for both of these qualities because, um, trust issues.
Take this for an example: put yourself in Boseman’s shoes and consider your circle of friends. I bet that the cat would have been out of the bag faster than a 90s kid running back home after the street lights lit the block.
No matter what would have been the case, though, especially given that they told anyone, Boseman still had to have faith and endure to the end, despite it all. He had to keep his mind on eternal things, not temporal things while life might have seemed bleak, at least for him. After all, he knew that he had faced an uphill battle.
Boseman’s weight had declined and some people laughed at his pain, not knowing what he was suffering from. He showed great courage and bravery, smiling through said pain.
During his commencement speech earlier this year in August at Howard, Boseman spoke boldly about the many things from God that are in store for us, which is of good, saying, “When God has something for you, it doesn’t matter who stands against it.”
“God will move someone that’s holding you back away from the door and put someone there who will open it for you if it’s meant for you,” he said, standing over a crowd of proud Howard graduates who probably looked up to him. He continued, “I don’t know what your future is, but if you are willing to take the harder way, the more complicated one, the one with more failures at first than successes, the one that has ultimately proven to have more meaning, more victory, more glory then you will not regret it.”
That somebody or somebodies that had opened the door into a loving space where no judgment was taken place that Boseman spoke of toward the latter part of a now unforgettable speech certainly must have been the mentioned family members and friends that loved him dearly, those who were reportedly told by him that he had cancer and that he was fighting to try to take control of his life.
That is, a life that was navigating a new-found low, that has had some early success, and recent fame. This is impressive in part because it shows a sense of loyalty and respect that these individuals honestly, and truly had for Boseman, and in part because, it seems to me, usually this is not the case, even to keep a secret or a promise that someone may or may not confide to you.
However, and for some strange reason, this, to be the definition of the word friend, keeping personal information like cancer between the two or more parties involved, apparently is not the norm today. With all due respect to this quarantine craziness and the millions of people who have died as a result of the new coronavirus or the “new norm,” this is exciting to see, and a breath of fresh air. Here, my feelings on this are valid.
Finally, I can breathe again.
Indeed!, he was a handsome, talented, and bright man that had an even brighter future until, suddenly, to those of us who are mourning his death now, he, and the good, the bad, even the ugly that came along with Boseman left. And thus we see that, indeed!, Howard did give him his proper homecoming, making his untimely death an incident that, perhaps, maybe all the more will be remembered for the amount of good that he did bring, and in particular, to the younger generation in his role as the beloved Black Panther.
Of course, he was much more than that, which is a child of God, too. And besides, we didn’t hear much of the bad that Boseman did anyway. At least not at the moment while I’m writing this piece.
Things like canceled culture, or some unknown somebody scrolling down and stumbling upon a couple of “unforgivable” past tweets of his, or whispers of rumors of wrongdoing appears unlikely, considering how much of a professional and a self-proclaimed “private” individual Boseman was during his lifetime.
As spiritual beings living a life of mortality, we tend to forget how quickly we leave. Let us honor and celebrate the life of Boseman, and really all of those who have lived, are present now, and those yet to come, despite it all, meaning more of love for self, for your fellow human beings, for your community, and for your country. Let us start there, knowing that these things only will bring us closer to Him who created all things, and making us a more perfect union.
I’m sure some of the friends and family that he reportedly told knew about some of the bad things Boseman more than likely did, though. But they have not said a peep, not a word regarding the personal and private parts of his life, including what we already know — gone too soon.
Had Boseman’s friends and family spoke of it, the illness that took his life, even once, it could have potentially ruined his career. He would have missed out on key roles such as The Black Panther, the last couple of Avengers films, and more.
This is because, perhaps, the filmmakers and other key positions at work during these films — and their feelings would have been valid — feared that he might succumb to this illness, and maybe at the time of filming. But he is gone now, and, fortunately, we do not have to think about what could have been.
We only know what his trusted and valued friends already knew for years, which is what the media just disclosed to us — that these friends knew he had Stage 3 Cancer, and Stage 4 Cancer in which took his life.
We did not.
This is what makes a good friend.
So, here is to his dear friends and family that knew all along.
We remember and celebrate the life of Boseman, which reminds me today that almost is never enough, and the fact that we can do better, and be better friends, partners, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, siblings, and neighbors.
He was a son, brother, a husband to Taylor Simone Ledward, a trusted friend, and so much more, and he will be missed.