• The shock passing of Chadwick Boseman has spurred many to reflect on the hidden battles we don't realise people are dealing with. (FilmMagic)Source: FilmMagic
"You truly never know what personal battles people are fighting."
SBS staff writers

31 Aug 2020 - 10:56 AM  UPDATED 31 Aug 2020 - 10:56 AM

When Chadwick Boseman, the 43-year-old star of ground-breaking superhero movie Black Panther died last week, following a private four-year battle with colon cancer, colleagues, fans, and admirers of his work were left in a state of shock. 

Boseman had never publicly discussed his condition and worked on multiple blockbuster action movies during and between "countless" operations and chemotherapy, his family said in a statement.

"It was the honour of his career to bring King T'Challa to life in 'Black Panther,'" they said.

"A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all," the statement continued. He died in his home "with his wife and family by his side."

It wasn't long before the initial shock of Boseman's death spurred a collective reflection across social media, with many showing awe at all that the actor had achieved while so unwell, and considering the ways in which we're often oblivious to what is really going on in someone's life.

"We never know what people are enduring," Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King Jr, tweeted.

"Humans...we are wonders."

"It was Chadwick Boseman’s choice to stay silent about his health," speaker and founder Goldie Chan wrote, adding: "You never know the secret physical or mental health battles that a person or their loved one is fighting.

"Be gentle, be kind, be patient."

Social justice advocate and writer Shanita Hubbard tweeted: "Chadwick Boseman out here literally dying in front of us is a HUGE reminder that we never know what battles people are fighting."

She continued: "You don't know what's killing a person. Be kind. Offer grace. Be gentle. Love freely."

Boseman's loss was felt by many, with politicians including Kamala Harris sharing in the shock and gravity of his passing.

"Heartbroken," Harris tweeted.

"My friend and fellow Bison Chadwick Boseman was brilliant, kind, learned, and humble. He left too early but his life made a difference. Sending my sincere condolences to his family."

My plans to get healthy have been held-up due to lockdown but that’s OK
Is being fat or getting fatter the worst thing to happen to someone in a situation like this? Absolutely not.
Chronically ill people are accused of 'faking' their health problems every day
The accusation we are 'faking it' for attention and sympathy is one that chronically ill people battle in day-to-day life.
Learning to accept help for my mental health changed my life
I struggled to accept that mental illness — invisible and elusive — was in the same league as disability.