Layoffs and COVID-19: Scared for what?

It wasn’t a surreal feeling or a sense of foreboding, but a feeling that I’d liken to a prescience of sorts. It seemed to be a lifetime ago, but I had gone through a restructuring at another corporate monolith before –  interestingly enough all of the signs from that time were at this place and I tacitly acknowledged their existence.

And I waited.

When I got the call – or in 2020, when I got the news via the Skype conference call…

“That due to organizational changes, COVID-19 and etc; that my position was being eliminated.”

There wasn’t a sense of shock or sadness, but instead I was infused with a sense of resolve – as I realized at that moment:

I have never been in a situation – where I have haven’t been alright – where I haven’t been taken care of – that a door didn’t open to something greater.


I used to place all of my value in the wrong places, like where I worked, but my Bigmama spoke power into me one day.

While they were giving me the spiel about my value, how hard of a decision this was and the like, their words rang hollow as I plotted my next steps.

But out of the corner of my eye – a picture of my late Bigmama (Grandmother) and I beckoned – bringing a smile to my face.

My Grandmother gifted me with her resolve.
The picture of my Bigmama that stared back me.

I remembered the words that she gifted me with when I was my in the midst of my feelings during my aforementioned corporate downturn years prior.

We were conversing in her living room on a sunny Spring day and I asked her about the feelings of trepidation that she had – coming to Chicago during World War II, after my Grandfather was drafted into the conflict.

My Grandparents during World War II with their lives ahead of them.

The Promised Land of the North offered opportunities where there were few in the South – as a young woman born in a small Alabama town, my Bigmama refused to abdicate her self respect to the blatant racism of the Jim Crow South  – she became one of millions of African-Americans who changed the landscape of the United States during the Great Migration, she left and never looked back.

Journal Entry
My Bigmama arrives in Chicago (a page from her journal – May 1945).

She leaned forward in the chair – and met my question with a glint of defiance in her eyes telling me:


“Shit… scared? Shit scared for what?! Nobody was going to help me sitting around crying and feeling sorry for myself… I was too busy to be scared!”


Those words that she spoke on that day, healed me up – because at that moment I was sitting around feeling sorry for myself.

And I haven’t been scared since – because she changed the trajectory of my life that day.

Against the backdrop of sudden unemployment and a Pandemic – I stand as the recipient of her fortitude.

And like my Bigmama…

“Shit, I’m too busy to be scared.”

My Bigmama’s spirit guides my steps.


Copyright © 2020 ShunPwrites. All Rights Reserved.



  1. anaelrich says:

    Like you stated, I’m also sure that doors will open and you will be in a greater position in a very short time… Take care!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thank you Ana, be safe out there my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ryan Doak says:

    Well written and I love your perspective. Take Care…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate you my friend, thanks for chiming in! Be safe!


  3. Will S. says:

    I am sorry you have to endure that. But the lessons of your Bigmamma will get you through it and serve you well for years to come. Godspeed.


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