Aliyah, Nov 20, 1986 — Nov 10, 2009
I know that the energy on BGLH is usually high, but today I got a very sad email. Aliyah, a beautiful BGLH reader passed away on Nov. 10, 2009. She suffered from an undiagnosed mental illness, according to her aunt, who had beautiful words for her niece…
“Aliyah loved her curls. We are a large extended family dominated by women with the usual “hair issues”. Aliyah inspired many of my nieces and her aunties too—to love the hair God gave us. It was one of her best and most well loved features and she was constantly looking for ways to keep it beautiful. I went to her facebook page and found the link to your website that she gave to one of my other nieces for tips on how to care for our natural hair.”
The BGLH family extends its condolences to Aliyah’s friends and family in this difficult time. She truly was beautiful.
Another one of Aliyah’s aunts left a beautiful reply in the comment box below. I’ve added it to the text of the post:
“I am Aliyah’s Aunt Tawnya and I want to express my sincerest thanks to the BGLH family and those who have posted to this blog site. Our Aliyah was one of the sweetest souls that has ever touched our lives. We are so thankful to have had her with us for even a short time. The out pouring and love we have received from absolute strangers who have in some way been affected by Aliyah’s life and death has truly been overwhelming and we are so grateful.
I believe each soul has a designated purpose in this world and we are learning about the significant impact Aliyah has had on others beyond her family and intimate friends. She was truly a remarkable human being and a brillant and beautiful BGLH reader. I believe to bring the issues surrounding mental illness out of the shadows and into the light, is one of the many ways we can honor Aliyah’s life and death. Most people, and people of African descent in particular, have long been afriad, ashamed and in denial around the effects that mental health issues have had on our communities. Please, please let’s get educated and begin to become pro-active around mental health because it is something that is hidden and cloaked in attitudes that will keep it as a significant threat to our families, our communities and our future if we do not. We need our brillant young people and we cannot continue to loose them to violence of any kind.
Again thank you and God be with you,
If you or anyone you know suffers from mental illness please go to a counseling center or health clinic in your area.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness