The past 2 weeks were the most difficult weeks of my life. Losing a family member at a young age was something I never imagined especially that he was only a year older than me. Everything happened quickly; from hearing the news, booking a ticket home, sorting out the death expenses to feeling the unfairness of it all.
This experience taught me a lot of things about life. It reminded me that life is really short. Our lives are only borrowed and can easily be taken away following God’s plan. Therefore, we shouldn’t just take our life for granted. We should be thankful for waking up every day, having that opportunity to live and enjoy what we have.
It was harder for us knowing that my older brother didn’t have the time to work on his dreams or goals in his life. That was just depressing. In the contrary, that gives me the encouragement to really pursue my dreams however big it is, it’s still better to have those small steps taken reaching your goals. From then, you’ll have that satisfaction that at least you have tried rather than just waiting.
It wasn’t purely sadness all throughout though. The irony of death is that it also becomes the time of meeting for the first time relatives you haven’t met before and to see your friends and relatives for years. In celebration of my brother’s life, I also have the opportunity to spend time with those people who are dear to me.
The day of the funeral was the hardest. It was the time of letting go of his physical body and accepting the idea that we will not be seeing him again, that we will not laugh out how we turn when we’re old and aging, that probably we will forget the sound of his voice and his laughter. =(
Oh! Let me correct myself. It was actually after the burial that I felt more sorrowful. It was after when all who stayed with us went to their own homes and when the endless noise at night turned to complete silence. The night I went to bed after the day of Kuya’s burial, though exhausted from all those sleepless nights, I couldn’t sleep right away. I was thinking of how everything will change now.
Yep, everything will change after a death. In my case, losing Kuya changed my role to be the big Ate now to my younger siblings and to my parents. This role entitles big responsibilities as well. Can I really do it? Am I willing to sacrifice for them? Of course, I do! but again, BIG changes. (Maybe I’m a little scared.)
Financially, death means huge expenses especially if unprepared. How can you prepare for a person so young? I always say that we have to be prepared. Personally, I am prepared but my family isn’t at all. That was a mistake I made. Grateful for all the support from relatives and friends, we gave Kuya a burial that he deserves.
Someone told us that it will be until later that we’ll feel the ramifications of Kuya’s death. We’ll surely miss him on his birthday, during Christmas, during his son’s birthday and other special occasions. I am not sure if we’ll ever be ready for it. It sucks that it will still hurt every time I think of him. Time will heal all of us for sure knowing that he is now at peace.
We will have no photos of a complete family or a sibling’s photo in the future but his presence will always be in our hearts.
Before ending this, I would like to acknowledge my mother’s strength and love to Kuya. She was the constant for him that I can’t imagine how she is hurting now. Losing a child, your eldest, in your life as a parent is unthinkable to me.
This post is dedicated to my mama and papa whose love remains strong for Kuya and for all of us.