During times of death and grief, especially regarding cancer, a lot of people take time to think about the messages their loved one tried to impart before they passed away. Garry Dee Chapman, 18, youngest child of acclaimed bounty hunter Beth Chapman, is drawing on her signature “be strong” attitude, in order to cope with the loss of his mother. Beth died this weekend after a long battle with cancer.
Unlike his siblings who expressed their loved for Beth over social media throughout her cancer journey, Gary Dee rarely expresses himself on the topic of family on social media. But in a recent post, he said he’s drawing on what Beth always told him– to be strong. “These past few years you have stressed to be strong now I know why you always told me to. You knew that one day soon I would need the strength to bear your loss,” he wrote.
These past few years you have stressed to be strong now I know why you always told me to. You knew that one day soon I would need the strength to bear your loss. https://t.co/jRTP54aUv0READ MORE— Garry Dee Chapman ???? (@GarryDeeChapman) June 26, 2019
Garry’s big sister Cecily replied to the tweet with the comfort and with their familial bond, “I love you baby brother you will always have me.”
I love you baby brother you will always have me ????
— Cecily B Chapman (@icEciLy) June 27, 2019
And other supporters have rushed to be there for him in the comments. “Sorry for your loss @GarryDeeChapman your mom was a inspiration to everyone she will be deeply missed.”
One supporter talked about her role in heaven, “@GarryDeeChapman I am so sorry for your loss. My condolences to you and your family just know your mom inspired many women and Heaven has gained such a beautiful and strong angel, again my condolences love u all”
And another talked about Gary Dee’s bond with Beth, “Your Mom’s love for you was obvious to all of us who shared in your family’s story. Her strength was a most precious gift she gave you. May God give you peace during this most trying time of your life, Garry.”
And some offered prayers to the grieving son.
“So sorry for your loss . No words can make this better for all you . We all loved your mama very much . Prayers for the chapman.”
“Im so sorry for the loss of your momma. She will always be with you honey i promise. Shes on ur heart and soul. Im praying for all of you. What a beautiful woman. I will miss her.”
This isn’t the first time one of the Chapman children has expressed their sadness and stress over the illness and death of their mother.
Since Beth’s death, her very vulnerable 20 year old daughter, Bonnie, has been the victim of truly vicious trolling. And at the depths of her grief, Bonnie has found the strength to fight back.
Last week, Bonnie (with Garry Dee in tow) had rushed from Colorado to her mother’s Hawaii deathbed, despite having expressed only a short while earlier (before her mother was put in a medically induced coma and was in dire straits) that she couldn’t go back to Hawaii because of “too much anxiety” likely related to her mom’s illness, and too much traffic. She was also on her own emotional roller coaster, having only recently come out as pansexual which means she is attracted to any kind of gender (Beth and her husband, Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman had shown full support of Bonnie’s sexual orientation).
And after Beth’s untimely death, Bonnie found herself besieged by Internet trolls creating imposter Instagram sites pretending to be Bonnie; mocking Bonnie for her blossoming pansexuality; and selling unauthorized T-shirts “remembering” her mom.
Some of the worst trolls attacked Bonnie’s sexuality, which was deeply disruptive to her grieving. “Pansexual, bisexual, homosexual and so forth are a violation of Christianity! Read your bible, it will tell you,” wrote one troll.
Despite all her anxieties, Bonnie managed to call out the trolls. “Don’t even try pissing me off now. I will not tolerate it!”
Then another troll wrote to Bonnie, regarding her mother’s death, “so you want pity for your mother after you publicly admit this [pansexuality] & lead people astray? Your prayers if you pray fall on deaf ears. Keep your sexuality to yourself if you don’t want others [sic] opinions”.
“People are a—– today,” Bonnie bravely wrote.
She called on fans to report the fake sites. And she also called out trolls “pretending to be me on Instagram. I shouldn’t be having to deal with this right now.”
Bonnie and Dog also took to social media to call out profiteering trolls selling unauthorized Beth commemorative T-shirts.
“Please tag me in any of these ads and merchandise. We did not authorize any of this, Mom would be pissed,” Bonnie added.
Several of Chapman’s fans have reported links to unauthorized shirts, some of which were listed on online T-shirt shops, including one that showed Beth’s image under “R.I.P. Beth Chapman.”
Another Twitter user reported a T-shirt using art from “Dog’s Most Wanted,” Dog and Beth’s new reality series yet to premier on WGN America.
We know that Beth’s disease has been at the core of Bonnie’s pervasive stress since her mother’s tragic diagnosis. In 2017, Bonnie shared with her fans how devastating she found it as her mother embarked on her cancer journey:
“Two weeks later, the most heartbreaking news hit me, my mother was diagnosed with cancer. Balancing my already overflowing emotions, and college classes was difficult. My depression was at its all time high. Stress levels seemed to just keep raising, and even though I had only one exam; stress radiated off of everyone on campus. From all this, I learned so much. I don’t regret anything, life is too short to regret things anyways. I was able to love myself, and gain confidence. The beginning of last year I had gotten my first tattoo, and now I’m up to 3.”
Information about dealing with fear and negative emotions during cancer
Anxiety and fear are totally normal reactions to the news of cancer, and acknowledging these emotions can be therapeutic and important to the healing process.
“I think the most important advice I would give to someone who has just received a cancer diagnosis is to find people whom they find as a source of support. To allow themselves to go through all of the different emotional reactions to that news,” said Dr. Susan Parons, Director of the Center for Health Solutions/Center on Child and Family Outcomes at Tufts Medical Center, in a prior interview with SurvivorNet. Dr. Parsons did not comment on this case specifically.
“The anger, the frustration, the fear. The disappointment. Whatever those emotions are, figure out what’s important to you and find those people that can help you realize that.”
Dr. Susan Parons, Director of the Center for Health Solutions/Center on Child and Family Outcomes at Tufts Medical Center on dealing with fear and anxiety after a cancer diagnosis.
In times of frustration, it can be useful to a little bit of direction on specific ways to deal with it. A few of the most common ways to deal with fear and anxiety after a cancer diagnosis, that have helped people in the SurvivorNet community in the past, include:
1. Let your family and close friends know – and let them help. So many cancer survivors tell us they want and need support but are often too preoccupied to make specific requests. Urge those close to you to jump in with whatever practical help they can offer.
2. Keep a journal. It can be extremely cathartic to let those feelings loose on paper. Grab a pen and a nice journal and chronical your different thoughts throughout the day.
3. Join a cancer support group. There are groups in nearly every community offering opportunities to connect with others going through a similar journey. You’ll learn incredibly helpful insight from others who can tell you about what to expect and how to stay strong on tough days.
4. Consider seeing a therapist. Ask your doctor to refer you to a therapist so you can discuss your fears and concerns in a safe space. Often, vocalizing your thoughts and feelings rather than internalizing them can provide relief.