I got a text from a fellow natural hair vlogger the other day and she said that she’d just read that Titi from Miss Jessie’s had passed away. I immediately hopped online to see if I could find out any info and there it was. Titi Branch is dead at the age of 45. It had been posted in several places and seemed to be the hot topic of the last 24 hours. This was December 14th. Upon further investigation however I realized that she had died on December 4, 2014. She had already been dead and buried by the time the natural hair community was notified. Hmmm. That’s odd. Although she wasn’t the typical celebrity, she was a bit of a celeb amongst the natural hair movement- that she helped to advance since the beginning with her hair product line- especially for Black women who were beginning to wear their hair natural. She has been to all kinds of meet ups and hair events where people begged to get their pictures taken with her.
She was a celeb to many which still makes me wonder why we, the natural hair community, were left in the dark about her passing away. I’m sure some think I should mind my business and kinda told me that but, come on. It IS odd to hide someone’s death from his/her large following. Then it came out that she may have committed suicide but I didn’t believe it just at first. I read it a couple more times and decided that there must be some truth to it. How sad. Of course we are all shocked and many feel a little cheated to have missed the grieving period and to have been denied the chance to pay their last respects since the funeral had already come and gone. Some said that it was probably the family wanting to hide that she died from suicide. I may have to agree with that. I mean it’s a pretty strong pill to take so I can understand them wanting to maybe grieve in silence but it did still distance her following from both her and the legacy of the product(s). Her family obviously had the rights to do as they pleased but if they hid her death as a way to hide that it was from suicide then I say we still have a long way to go to understand and respect mental illness in society. It doesn’t have to be something that we are so ashamed of that we have to cover up deaths in order to hide that it exists in our family. It is NOT a fault! It’s not contagious and you don’t get it by association. The shame associated with it is what stops people from getting the help they need before it is too late.
Well there was an interesting turn of events here. It came out that she may have killed herself over her boyfriend who had been mentally abusing her for years. Her family didn’t care for him and he did all the usual things an abuser does, which is to make her feel like crap and distance her from people who would make her feel otherwise. Either way, I wish that she had reached out to someone and that her family would have let this information go public sooner. It really does sometimes serve to help others in similar situations. Mental abuse is real and it hurts. I have been mentally, emotionally and physically abused by men in the past and I have attempted suicide as a result of my relationships so I know how it is. R.I.P. Titi. Your death was not in vain.
Check out my domestic violence story!