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  • Sujuane Smith

What the Hell Happened?!

Some of you might be wondering “what the heck happened to the makeup side of things?!” Well at the beginning of 2020 I honestly just had a feeling it was going to be a rough year. Never imagining we would face a global pandemic, but I just wasn’t looking forward to what 2020 had to offer. I was so unenthused I elected to have dental surgery on NYE. For me, it started off with the crash that took the lives of Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and the other beautiful people aboard that helicopter. I was in Las Vegas when I heard the news and it penetrated my heart in a way not many celebrity deaths do. “Those poor children” was all I could think about, not that I didn’t feel hurt for the adults. I was so pained that those young ladies didn’t get a chance to live their lives. Moving into February my Grandmother’s baby brother unexpectedly passed away from cancer (RIP Uncle Charles). I spent the next months making sure my Grandmother and Dad were ok, then another death. Another brother of my Grandmother’s passed in July, two days before my birthday. My Uncle Elijah and I had a unique relationship, I just felt that he got me. By now COVID had really set in and attending his funeral in person was extremely risky due to the virus spreading. I remember thinking there’s no way God would do this a third time. Boy was I wrong….

This next part is extremely hard to write. I already have tears streaming down my cheeks. My Grandma. I was in the grocery store shopping for an upcoming camping trip when I get a phone call from my dad…frantic. Only bits and pieces of what he was saying was registering with me. All I could make out was “Grandma on the floor”. It still hadn’t registered as to what he was telling me. Then suddenly the words unconscious and unresponsive shook me. I ran out of the grocery store screaming and trying to catch my breath at my car. I called my husband (we both were working from home) and he rushed to the grocery store parking lot. I got home, threw God knows what in a bag, got my dog and we hit the highway. That drive felt like forever.

I got to the ER where my Grandma and Dad were and I had to go through all types of COVID screenings. I finally got through security and I took a deep breath as I walked into the room. My beautiful Grandmother was lying there unresponsive. I went to her, touched her, talked to her. The sound of my voice seemed to ignite some movement. I’m thinking this was all that was needed, she just needed to hear my voice….any minute she’ll open her eyes and we’ll be home tomorrow at the latest. Unfortunately, that wasn’t going to happen. My Grandma suffered a massive brain aneurysm that left half her brain full of blood. Surgery at best would have left her completely dependent on us for her survival and she wouldn’t have wanted to live that way. So we had to make the heartbreaking decision not to operate and to ultimately take her off of the ventilator.

That day was August 26th. My dear sweet Grandmother held on until September 5th. There’s no doubt in my mind she was holding on for my dad and me. The Thursday before she passed I managed to read scriptures to her from the Bible and finally gathered the strength and courage to tell her “we’ll be ok Grandma, I understand if you have to go.” Those we’re the hardest words I’ve ever had to say in my LIFE. I went home Thursday night, planning on returning to her side first thing Monday morning. You see, I had makeup gigs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of that week.

Saturday, September 5th 7:45a

My dad calls my husband’s cell phone because my phone somehow ended up on silent. He gives me the dreaded news “She just passed”. I. fucking. lost. it. How am I supposed to get through today’s wedding? How do I keep it together? How am I going to get through TOMORROW’S wedding? If I didn’t have these damn gigs I could have been there holding her hand. I was supposed to be right by her side until the end. Now what do I do?

By God’s grace I made it through the weekend and rushed home to be with my Dad after Sunday’s wedding. The rest is history.

After that weekend I blamed makeup for preventing me from being by my Grandmother’s side when she passed. I didn’t realize then that she didn’t want us there when she passed away. The last gig I put my ALL into, was ensuring my Grandma looked her absolute best for her Homegoing Celebration. Since then makeup artistry hasn’t felt the same. I’ve done gigs here and there on a super small scale, mainly for friends or repeat clients. I finally came to the conclusion that this chapter might be coming to a close.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

My maternal Grandfather took his last breath in the hospital. That s.o.b. COVID claimed my Granddad’s life. I spiraled even deeper after his death. This was only 5 months after losing my Grandma.

My heart is shattered and makeup just doesn’t feel the same right now. I still love makeup but I need to put my mental health first. The decision to shut down a business I spent over 15 years building was not an easy one. I don’t think this is goodbye forever, it’s more of a “see you later”. As I come up on a lot of first anniversaries of my grief, I know this was the right decision. One thing I learned from both of my Grandparents is to have faith in God. I know someone reading this might be wavering in their faith or feel like giving up. Remember my Friend, when God pushes you to the edge of difficulty two things will happen, either He will catch you when you fall or He will teach you how to fly.

Thanks for reading 💕

~Sujuane~


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