Grief is an inevitable part of life. How we each handle grief is a whole other bag.
Metro area rapper Goonew (given name Markelle Antonio Morrow) died late last month on March 18th at the age of 24. Shot in Prince George’s County, Maryland, he died later that night at an unspecified hospital.
So why is our cruel ‘chew’em’up spit’em’out’ news cycle returning to him a few weeks later?
On Sunday, April 3rd, Goonew’s embalmed body was propped up at Bliss Club in Washington, DC. The headlines ran something like this:
“Body of slain Maryland rapper Goonew propped up on nightclub stage in ‘horrifying’ display for public showing: reports” – Brian Linder, PennLive Patriot News 4/04/2022
“Club Responds to Backlash for Goonew’s Deceased Body Standing on Stage” – Trent Fitzgerald, XXL 4/04/2022
“Corpse Propped up In Nightclub … On Display During Funeral” – n/a, TMZ 4/04/2022
You can almost hear the disappointed mumbling on the [relatively] sobering TMZ headline.
Some reports made more clear of the event’s purpose. Billed as The Final Show, some articles make a point to call the event at Bliss Club a memorial or a funeral and not just a general club night or concert. While I haven’t found any promotional materials (flyers, graphics, etc.), how the event was promoted will likely gauge the intended effect of the show, be it anything from a loving final send off to a Barnum-esque promotional stunt.
It’s a tricky situation in which we don’t know all the details. Speculation leads to accusation and justification; the fascination with death, the pursuit of wealth, internal and communal grief collide.
If you’ve ever had a friend that’s been drunk, or just feeling goofy, they’ve probably said something along the lines of ‘when I die, do _____’: some non-traditional funeral process like shooting them into outer space, burying them in a corvette, etc.
We, the speculating public, don’t know what Goonew asked for or would have wanted. And so it’s important to remember as we wait for things to uncover: Markelle Morrow was a person, and in being so lived a life that ought to be considered equally grievable to all others.
Let his family and friends go through what they need to go through, let his community go through what they need to go through. If they want you to party, they’ll come out and say it.
Rest in Peace.