Youree Dell Harris, better known as “Miss Cleo”, has unfortunately succumbed to cancer Tuesday morning in Palm Beach County, FL.

The memorable “psychic” who amused us with her commercials, urging us to “call her now”, battled with colon cancer that spread to her liver and lungs.

Via TMZ:

A rep for Miss Cleo –tells us she died Tuesday morning in Palm Beach County, FL. We’re told she was recently hospitalized, but was discharged last week to a hospice center.

We’re told Cleo was originally diagnosed with colon cancer … but it spread to her liver and lungs.

The rep said Cleo remained a “pillar of strength” during her illness … and died surrounded by family and friends.

Harris was 53-years-old.

Rest in peace

Bankroll Fresh was emerging as one of the hottest rappers out of Atlanta when he was gunned down outside of an Atlanta Studio Early Saturday. According to reports, Bankroll Fresh, whose birth name is Trentavious White, was shot about a dozen times. Police recovered more than 50 shell casings from the scene. Street Execs Studio is partly owned by Two Chainz.

Bankroll Fresh has worked with Gucci Mane, Future, Mike Will Made It, and Metro Boomin.

The 28-year-old rapper died on his way to the hospital.

Condolences to his loved ones. Such a tragedy.

Source: FactsMag

 

 

 

Laura Hillier was 18-years-old when she died at Juravinski Hospital after her heart suddenly gave out during her second battle with acute myelogenous leukemia. According to The Spec, the Burlington, Canada native had a donor and was in remission in July of 2015, but was shocked to discover that the patients that were ready for a transplant had to wait up to three months for the treatment because of a lack of beds and specialists in Ontario. Laura’s pleas for help caught the attention of Ontario Health Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins who asked the ministry to work with Cancer Care Ontario to expand the program.

CTV News reports that Laura’s family attempted to find another hospital to complete her surgery, but found wait lists across Canada. An operation in the United States would have cost upwards of $250,000. In August 2015, Laura finally received her hospital bed and underwent surgery, only for her cancer to return in November.

Laura died January 2oth.

Laura’s unfortunate passing happened right before her high school graduation, so her classmates wrote handwritten notes on her white coffin; something that is traditionally done in yearbooks.

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This hurts my heart, loves!

Maurice White, legendary singer and co-founder of the iconic band, Earth, Wind, & Fire, has died at the age of 74. According to TMZ, the singer died after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease, which he was diagnosed with in 1992. Maurice’s condition worsened in 1994, forcing the singer to stop touring with the band. Although Maurice couldn’t tour, he was still involved behind the scenes.

Earth, Wind, & Fire are credited for being original funkmasters with classic hits, such as “September”, “Boogie Wonderland”, and “Shining Star”. They were also considered fashion icons with their flashy outfits while showcasing their awesome stage presence. With Maurice as the bandleader and producer of most of the band’s albums, EWF earned legendary status by winning six Grammy Awards out of a staggering 14 nominations, an NAACP Hall of Fame Award, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and four American Music Awards, and selling over 90 million albums worldwide.

Maurice’s brother, Verdine White and fellow band member, released a statement about his brother on the band’s FB page.

My brother, hero and best friend Maurice White passed away peacefully last night in his sleep. While the world has lost…

Posted by Earth, Wind & Fire on Thursday, February 4, 2016

Mr. Maurice White will be sorely missed

I’m angry.

I’m angry that a young mother of three was taken from her kids because a man could not accept her disinterest in him.

According to CBS Pittsburgh, Janese Talton-Jackson was approached by the suspect, 41-year-old Charles McKinney, before closing time at ‘Cliff’s Bar’ in Pittsburgh, but she ignored his advances. Police say after closing, he followed her outside and shot her in the chest.

 

Like Janese, every other woman has the right to say ‘not interested‘ when approached by men. Some men accept that and move on like gentlemen, some will respond to our disinterest with rude or unlikely behavior, and the rest will kill us.

It’s a blunt thing to say, but unfortunately, it’s true.

As a woman, I’ve experienced enough and have seen/heard enough to know that a man with a bruised ego could be dangerous for girls and women. This is not the first time we’ve heard of a woman killed by a man who she turned down and as a woman, that scares the shit out of me. I’m also scared for my 12-year-old daughter. One day, she will be accosted on the street by a guy who wants her number. Will he simply move on? Will he call her a bitch and/or spit on her? Or would he feel so embarrassed and disappointed, that he will pull out a gun and shoot her dead?

Janese could have been any of us! When we’re going about our daily lives, we’re not thinking of the possibility of being murdered when we turn down a guy’s request to exchange numbers. We shouldn’t have to fear for our lives when we say no but it’s become more apparent that we should be more cautious and observant when we’re approached. Janese’s story has shed light on a societal issue with misogyny and mental health that I wish we could somehow tackle head on. It’s my belief that those issues are why women are dying by the hands of men who can’t handle rejection. I’d like to think we can pinpoint the mental issues of strangers before we meet them, but I know that’s impossible. Incidents like this happen all the time. In some cases, the woman is beaten and bruised, but she lives to tell about it. Janese is one of many victims who will never get a chance to see her children grow and experience more of life because a “man” took her life for saying NO.

I look back at the few times I’ve been approached and immediately think of how lucky I am that the men I’ve turned down accepted my disinterest like gentlemen and walked away. I look at my children and wonder how much they’d struggle if I wasn’t here for them. Janese’s twin girls and a one-year-old son will never get to be cared for and nurtured by their mommy ever again. I can’t even imagine how they’ll feel everytime they hear how and why their mom died.

Janese Talton-Jackson was murdered….because she said no.

…and that makes me angry.

 

Things took a tragic turn after a pregnant teen decided to shovel the snow from the front yard of her home.

18-year-old Brianna Gerloff of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, was eight months pregnant when she died, shoveling snow from the blizzard that hit the East Coast over the weekend.

According to NBCPhiladelphia.com, the teen suffered from several heart defects, including Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (WPW), a disorder caused by an abnormal accessory electrical conduction pathway between the atria and the ventricles.

“I told her it probably wasn’t a good idea for her to be outside shoveling,” a family member said. “She wanted to do it anyway.”

Once she finished her work, she came back inside around 9 a.m., police said. Soon afterward, her younger brother found her in the kitchen, unresponsive, and called 911.”

Gerloff could not be revived. Her unborn daughter, Kayliana, died with her.

 

Prayers and sincerest condolences sent to the family of this young lady. So tragic.

 

Anthony Wayne Smith, former defensive end for the Oakland Raiders, will spend the rest of his life in prison without parole for committing murder of three people;  torture killings of two brothers in 1999 and the 2001 slaying of another man.

As told by Fox Sports:

A Los Angeles County jury convicted Smith, 48, in November of three counts of murder with special circumstances of torture, kidnapping and multiple murders.

Jurors were unable to reach a verdict on a fourth murder charge, involving the slaying of Smith’s friend Maurilio Ponce.

Prosecutors said Smith was sentenced to three consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole.

They said Smith posed as a police officer to kidnap brothers Ricky and Kevin Nettles from their Los Angeles car wash business on Nov. 10, 1999 before killing them.

Smith was also accused of kidnapping Dennis Henderson on June 24, 2001, from the Mar Vista section of Los Angeles before beating and stabbing him to death.

prison

Prosecutors said Ponce was lured to an Antelope Valley desert highway in 2008 where he was beaten and shot after a business deal went bad.

No motives were given for the other killings.

The Nettles brothers’ bodies were found about eight miles apart. Both had U-shaped branding burns on their cheeks, and Ricky Nettles had numerous burns across his abdomen and feet.

Prosecutors said Henderson’s body was found in a rental car and had more than 40 non-fatal stab wounds inflicted before his throat was slashed.

This is horrible

 

 

We couldn’t go into 2016 without paying respects to those whose lives were taken; those who’ve touched us, inspired us, made us smile, or simply enjoyed the entertainment they provided for us in some way, shape, or form.

 

Ahmad “Real” Givens

1982-2015

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One-half of the reality show duo Real Chance at Love, in which he starred with his brother. Ahmad died of Cancer. He fought a good fight!

Charmayne Maxwell

1969-2015

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Pictured here to the left with the braids, the songstress and 1/3 of Brownstone, suffered a deep cut to her neck from a terrible fall. The cut was so deep, she bled to death.

Bobbi Kristina Brown

1993-2015

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The daughter of Bobby Brown and the late Whitney Houston, Bobbi Kristina’s death eerily echoes the death of her mother. After Bobbi Kris was found unresponsive in a bathtub, she remained on life support for six months. She never fully regained consciousness and her health continued to deteriorate.

Ben Powers

1950-2015

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The actor who played Thelma’s husband, Keith, died from liver cancer.

Stuart Scott

1965-2015

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The lovable ESPN anchor died from his long battle with cancer.

Johnny Kemp

1959-2015

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He’s best known for his hit single, “Just Got Paid” , which was everyone’s anthem every other Friday. The announcement of his death came with some controversy, as his death was initially ruled as foul play. Foul play was ruled out after further investigation. Kemp was found floating face down at a beach in the tourist resort town of Montego Bay on Thursday morning. According to local police, they interviewed several passengers aboard the cruise ship on which Kemp was a passenger and based on their investigations, he died from natural causes.

Anthony Mason

1966-2015

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The basketball star died from a massive heart attack

As an accomplished model and actor, Sam Sarpong seemed to have had it all. One would never thought that he would commit suicide. On the outside looking in, Sam’s life was “perfect”. However, no amount of money or success will have any bearing on your mental state. The death of Sam Sarpong proves that.

Sam’s Death teaches us that depression is prevalent in the black community. Often times, when we are suffering for whatever reason, we keep our problems to ourselves. It’s the stigma that covers us like a black cloud. Because we’re taught to be strong and proud folks who should keep others out of our business, we hinder ourselves from reaching out and getting the help we truly need, particularly black women, who are looked upon as the “backbones” and nurturers of our families. We forget that we are humans with feelings, and like everyone else, we go through the daily stresses of life which can be excessive and sometimes difficult to bear. Instead of asking for help, we deal with our problems in our own way, which could lead to self-defeating effects such as negative thought patterns or worse…self-harm.

So many of us work hard to make sure our outside looks good (exercise, make-up, cosmetic surgery, etc.), but we also neglect our inside. Let’s get our minds right by seeking professional counseling if need be, or even talking with family members and friends who care.

Check on your loved ones, talk to them, ask them if they’re okay.

Don’t worry about being ashamed or being scrutinized for showing weakness. We all go through moments of weakness in our lives, whether it’s from loss of loved ones, job loss, broken relationships, etc. We should never be ashamed to seek help with a therapist or a doctor that can prescribe you the appropriate medication.

Sam’s death has taught me that folks can appear to have it all, but we’ll never know what’s going on with them behind clothes doors. Let’s start communicating with our loved ones. It could possibly save lives.

After losing my son, I had to know where to find my place of acceptance and I couldn’t do it soon enough. I needed to be a mom for my other two children so “bouncing back” was a major priority. I was aware that bouncing back fully wasn’t going to happen and naturally so. After losing a loved one, we grieve in ways that sometimes only the sufferer understands. It wasn’t until I did my research that I’ve learned about the seven stages of grief and how that would help me recover and move on with life. Little did I know that I have already gone through a few stages. Everything I’ve read about the seven stages of grief was very familiar. By this time, I realized that I was going through exactly what I was supposed to go through in order to find my place of acceptance and recover.

 

Shock- When I asked the doctor if my son pulled through, a wave of paralyzing trauma went through my body, causing me to collapse onto the floor in such emotional agony when he told me “no”. After processing the devastating news, I felt numb. I remember feeling like I needed to wake up from a horrible dream. His lifeless body was placed in a room, covers neatly folded at his tiny waist. I could tell he was placed there with care for me to say my goodbyes. His room was dark (shades closed, lights out). Silence echoed throughout the room so much, you could hear my tears fall. At that point, I was still sitting next to him, still numb and waiting to wake up from this bad dream.

Denial- Because I wanted to stay strong for the kids and not bawl out of control in front of them, I denied my tears, my pain and my hurt because I felt I had to. I’m realizing now that’s the worst thing a grieving person could do. Never hold back your feelings. Letting go releases amounts of emotional weight that could be very unhealthy(emotionally and physically) for you to carry .

Anger- My son, who had never had any health problems other than an occasional cold, died in his sleep. I was angry, because he was taken from me…just like that. Autopsy revealed that it was a viral infection that took him. His report was read “normal” page to page. Nothing unusual, suspect,etc. My question was “why him?” I was never given an answer and that’s why I had so much anger. That was also the My anger was lifted once I realized that as humans, we do what we think is best. God saw to take him, because he was too good to stay on Earth. God placed him as an angel and I’m just thankful and blessed to have had Robert in physical form for his short three years.

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Bargaining- I hoped and prayed to change how I felt as I dealt with the death of my child. I even bargained with my heart to try falling in love…not understanding that I was forcing it, because I wanted to feel happiness and joy again. That didn’t work for obvious reasons. However, I acknowledged my behavior and decided that it was not his responsibility to make me happy. I had to discover happiness on my own…starting with finding it within.

Guilt- Oh boy! I felt tons of guilt. From not being with him the day he died to feeling like a complete loser of a mother, guilt was that one symptom that was hard for me to get over. It’s that need to “turn back the clock”, so we can do things over. I regret not being with him during his last moments. However, It took a lot of understanding and knowing that I did what I thought was best for my child, was all that mattered.

Depression- It’s one of the most common symptoms when we lose a loved one. I go through profound sadness, usually around his birthday. I get over it by celebrating him like I normally would if he was still here. That includes buying a cake and singing “Happy Birthday”.

Acceptance- I accepted Robert’s death when I realized I could go on with life. I knew life would never be the same, but I hoped for peace of mind and that’s what I got. I can talk about Robert and my lips will form a smile. A memory of him being silly will pop up and laughter escapes. Those are my signs of acceptance. When we learn how to deal is when we accept a loved ones death. For some of us, we will never learn how to heal and naturally so. As long as we learn how to deal and find the strength within ourself to find our place of acceptance, we’ll be fine. It takes an uber amount of courage & strength for ppl to live their best lives after losing a loved one. I’m showing off my courage everyday. I recovered when I believed in owning a better life. My son’s death has taught me how strong I am.

 

I wanted to make sure I had something to honor my son’s memory. Of course, I started a journal. However, the grief support/counseling sessions I attended gave me the bright idea to not only write in my journal, but decorate it.

The pic you see above is that of my journal with all decked out in all  things Robert. I used a composition notebook, construction paper, glue, a few pics and other lil nick-nacks that you can get from any arts & craft store. I also covered it with plastic so it could stay clean and intact.

In the midst of grieving, this crafty project helped keep the tears away. I was able to create something about him that would last a lifetime; Something I will forever cherish. All of my thoughts about him would be poured into this book made with love.

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This box was given to me by the funeral home. Its contents were Thank You Cards, envelopes, and visitor sign-in book. I took the contents out and decided it would be a great storage box to put Robert’s thing in. I call it a “memory box”. I put his favorite hoodie in it, a few of his favorite toys, documents, and a few other miscellaneous items. You could also use a show box and decorate it, using the material aforementioned. Every now and then, I look through the box and reminisce. It also reminds me that Robert was indeed here. He wasn’t a dream…a thought…a memory. H was here in human form and now…he’s my own very angel.

I thought about my son a lot today.

That usually occurs close to his birthday or anniversary of his death.

While my heart aches from thoughts of him not being with me, I reminisce about how I miss HIM…his eyes…his smile…and his gigantic personality in such a small body. The first time I visited his grave site, I watched my own tears  fall from my face and hit the dirt he’s buried under. I remember wanting to scream so loud because he’s not supposed to have a final resting place until long after I’M GONE.

However…

I accept…that’s he is gone

I deal…with his absence

I hurt…every day

I cry…when he crosses my mind

I smile…when he crosses my mind

Repeat

I’ll never get over losing my son. I’ve just learned to deal. It takes a lot of strength for a grieving mother to go on with life. We have a choice to “die” with our kids or keep living for them. I chose to keep living for Robert and his siblings. I still have two other children to care for and be strong for. Sometimes, being strong is being able to show emotions, and I want my kids to understand that talking about their brother and showing emotions is okay. I sense their strength in them when we bring Robert up. I pick up on how they try NOT to cry because they don’t want to see me cry. That makes me want to cry more. On the flip side, I love that they like to keep his memory alive by talking about him. Every time they do, I feel like Robert’s spirit is in the room with us.

How do I heal?

I never fully healed and I don’t think I ever will.

He’s not here for me to hug, kiss, grow, nurture, teach…..AND LOVE.

But knowing he loved me is enough to keep my heart pumping with joy, and I am blessed to be his mother.

I can hear his lil voice now…telling me he loves me. That always used to be the highlight of my night before bed, because he used to tell me every night before he fell asleep.

In closing…I’d like to share with all parents who has lost children that your child is there with you. You know the feeling you get when it feels like they’re in your presence? That’s them, letting you know that they’re always going to be with you. Trust and believe me.

One night after his funeral, I felt his lips touch mine as I was falling to sleep. That proved that he will always be with me.

I guess you can say that’s how I deal with the loss of my child.

Remembering his sweet kiss to let me know that he will forever love me…near and far.