Saturday Night Live comedian Michael Che announced the devastating news that his grandmother had died of COVID-19 on April 6 in an Instagram post. He said he was "obviously very hurt and angry that she had to go through all that pain alone," but he was "also happy that she's not in pain anymore."
Everyone handles grief differently, and Che explained that he was going through "the whole gamut of complex feelings everybody else has losing someone very close and special."
A week and a half later, Che has announced that he's doing something to honor his grandma—paying rent for the month for all 160 units in the public housing complex his grandmother used to live in in New York.
In response to a comment, Che explained that his grandmother had lived in the New York City Housing Authority building more than three decades ago, before moving south. But, he wrote, "it's crazy to me that residents of public housing are still expected to pay their rent when so many New Yorkers can't even work. Obviously I can't offer much help by myself. But in the spirit and memory of my late grandmother, I'm paying one month's rent for all 160 apartments in the NYCHA building she lived in."
"I know that's just a drop in the bucket," he continued. "So I really hope the city has a better plan for debt forgiveness for all the people in public housing. AT THE VERY LEAST." Che then called on Mayor DeBlasio, Governor Cuomo, and Diddy, saying "Let's fix this! Page me!"
Channeling grief into giving is a beautiful way to honor someone who has passed away, especially in a time when so many are in dire need of assistance. No doubt having a month's rent covered will be a nice surprise and at least a slight ease of burden for families in that apartment building.
Well done, Michael Che. Let's hope your generosity spreads to others who have the means and the heart to share the wealth.
'SNL' Star Michael Che's Grandmother Dies From COVID-19 www.youtube.com
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