Nipsey Hussle + Lauren London

I do not know Nipsey Hussle. I do not know Lauren London.

But I do know the sneaky way death creeps up on you when you least expect it. When life is seemingly going well. When bills are paid on time. When the people in your life are there because you want them to be. I know what it is like to have the incredible feeling of the good pacing of life — the feeling that for once, “..this is really working out the way it all should be.” And then in a blink, without notice, without consent, without any pleasantries, death comes.

The thing about death is, it needs no introduction. Death assumes its position, same as before because death has been here before — many times, that is its role. To show up when the time has come. The time came for Nipsey Hussle. It came for him and his love, Lauren and their children and their family. I know this unexpected guest all too well. Reluctantly you answer the call, let him in, Death sits down, props his feet up on your coffee table while your loved one takes his final bow. It’s painful, it’s shocking, it sucks.

In the haze of this homegoing, Nipsey’s spiritual departure, we have to remember the people places and things he has left behind. The golden road to success he paved in the life he did leave. We also have to remember the woman who stood by his side, Lauren. Unwittingly, she became a left-behind.

The thing about death is, it needs no introduction. Death assumes its position, same as before because death has been here before many times, that is its role. To show up when the time has come.

I am defined by many adjectives. Some given to me some earned. I earned the title of widow as I was left behind when my late husband transitioned. Recalling those days, months and now years since what stains is the knowing that eventually people move on. They go back to their lives and continue to live while the widow or left-behinds seems to have a more tedious time at the forward journey. Someone dies, you share your condolences and then you go back to your Starbucks, yoga and dogs. Death is cold and lonely for the left-behinds, you have so much to do, so much to prepare to say good-bye, so much emotion you don’t know how to deal with and then you have to send your loved one on their way… forever, because, Death showed up.

So, let us continue to honor Nipsey’s legacy but never forgetting the ones he’s left behind. Hold Lauren in your thoughts, prayers and actions. Let’s make it possible for her to grieve and hold on to whatever her vision was for their love and their beautiful children. Support those in your circles who played various roles of the “left—behinds”. It is a title that is earned, it is a badge that is worn, it’s not something to be afraid of, it’s just a thing thing too.

Prayers up.

For Nipsey. For Lauren. For the Culture.

GQ Magazine