On Friday night, the world was shocked to learn that actor Chadwick Boseman had died at age 43 from colon cancer. In a statement released via his official account, it was revealed that Boseman was diagnosed in 2016, which means he was living with chemotherapy and surgeries while filming his iconic role in Black Panther as King T’Challa, and many more. The unexpected loss was a terrible blow for many and grief poured out online as people processed yet another terrible event in the year of terrible events.
— Chadwick Boseman (@chadwickboseman) August 29, 2020
Boseman had so many friends and colleagues who admired him and communicated with him and many came forward to share their feelings and stories. Actor Josh Gad decided to share a fairly recent text message he had received from Boseman early in quarantine this year. The long missive is deeply moving, reflecting not only an awareness of mortality but the difficulty of isolation in this pandemic.
“Breaking my twitter silence to share some beauty,” wrote Gad. “This was one of my final texts from the brilliant & once-in-lifetime talent, @chadwickboseman– take this in & celebrate life. He knew how precious every moment was. Tonight the Heavens received one of its most powerful angels.”
“CATCH THE RAIN,” Boseman’s message starts.
“If you are in Los Angeles, you woke up this morning to the rare and peaceful sound of a steady precipitation. If you’re like me, maybe you looked at the week’s forecast and found that it’s supposed to rain for three straight days — not without breaks of sunlight and reprieves of moist gloom. But yeah, it’s gonna be coming down like cats and dogs. Great, we’re stuck inside these damn quarantines because of the COVID, and now we can’t even get no sun in Cali. Come on now!”
“But now that the rain has stopped and today’s storm has cleared, I urge you to go outside and take a deep breath,” he continued. “Notice how fresh the air is right now, after our skies have had a three-week break from the usual relentless barrage of fumes from bumper-to-bumper LA commuters. And now today’s rain has given the City of Angels a long overdue and much-needed shower.”
Boseman went on, “Inhale and exhale this moment, and thank God for the unique beauties and wonders of this day. We should take advantage of every moment we can to enjoy the simplicity of God’s creation — whether it be clear skies and sun or clouded over with gloom. And hey, if the air is in the clear right now, and it does rain tomorrow, I might even put jars and bins out and catch the rain, throw that in the water filter, and I have water more alkaline than any bottled brand out there.”
The beauty of Boseman’s perspective even as his health was suffering is astounding and moving and a reminder of what a difference his presence in the world made to so many, and why.