Exactly a year ago, I received the most heart-wrenching news of my life. My phone rang as an unknown contact was calling and I didn’t hesitate to answer it right away. Honestly, I’m not the type of person who ignores calls from unregistered numbers, mainly because there might be an emergency or important matter I need to address to. After all, I can hang up if it’s a prank call or something.
“Hello,” I answered. Then I heard my mother’s voice on the other side of the line. She was very calm, not even a hint that a life-changing event had occurred in our family. All I thought was she’s just checking up on my older sister and I, like the typical routine since we live separately from them.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t as simple as that. She wouldn’t tell us exactly what happened and insisted we need to go home as soon as possible. Of course, a lot of things were running on my mind at that time already. But I never expected that it was the worst, by far.
“Why? What happened?” These are the questions my sister and I kept on asking. I began to feel nervous, palms were getting cold, and my heart was beating really fast. Right then and there, my mother had to tell us the tragic fate, a vehicular accident, that brought an end to my older brother’s life.
I can’t fully describe how my mother was able to break the news about my brother’s passing without crying and being hysterical. Yes, it wasn’t easy telling us about it. Nonetheless, I am proud of how she managed to spill it out with such calmness. At the end of the day, she knows that she has to be strong for all of us.
A lot of things happened in just a snap. I remember the time when I finally arrived home and saw my parents. Tears fell from our eyes as we hugged each other very tight. We weren’t prepared for this; nobody is. We actually don’t know what to do. “Why did this happen? How can we survive this? What’s going to happen to our family?” I have asked tons of questions to God and luckily I am getting all the right answers to these over time.
Cliché as it may sound, everything really happens for a reason. There’s a purpose why my brother has to die at a young age of 30 and leave us physically forever. Though it is hard to move forward from this traumatic experience, my family is surviving every single day. We visit his grave each day, bring him flowers, light some candles, and pray. It’s the least we can do for him and for us not to miss him terribly.
Maybe my life has paused for a while because of his death. I had to stay with my parents and be with them these trying times. My presence would really mean so much to them, for losing a child is devastating. I witnessed how down and depressed they were, and still are today. The only thing I could do to help them cope with the loss is to be by their side.
As the youngest of the three siblings, I realized that I have to be tough as well. We are getting through this difficult phase in our lives because we still have each other. I know for a fact that my brother is in a better place right now and he wants us to be happy for him. So, no matter how shattering each day gets, we have to let go and move on.
Grief & Loss of a Brother
A year has passed by quickly, yet I can’t still believe that my brother’s gone. It seems like it just happened yesterday. A vivid memory from the moment I knew about his passing to his funeral to the realization that I won’t see him ever again lingers each day. I’m not really sure how my family’s getting through this painful experience, but one thing is certain, it made us stronger than ever.
For 24 years, I was used to having a brother around. And in just a blink of an eye, everything has changed. Truth be told, I was never a perfect sister to him. We had our own fights, misunderstandings, and arguments, just the same as the typical brother-sister relationship. Regardless of it all, I love him dearly. I may not be able to tell him this often when he’s still alive, but I always assure him that I pour my love to his daughter, Ysabelle.
It’s hard to imagine that I will never have the chance to see him, talk to him, hear his voice, and be with him again. My brother’s death is a loss of a lifetime and he will remain with me all my life, as my guardian angel, perhaps. I’m sure he always watches over us, guides us, and protects us.
Indeed, life has its own ways of showing how experiences, struggles, and failures can transform us into someone we never expect we could be. All the things that happen to us are simply a test of patience, strength, and faith. God won’t give us trials that we can’t handle, thus, we must put our trust on him. This experience might have totally changed my life, but it taught me to keep moving on and slowly accept the things I can’t control. The entire grieving process can be daunting. Nevertheless, it will be worth it, as my family and I will be healed in God’s perfect time.