Whether we like it or not, we know that death is just part of this physical life phenomenon. Its an inevitable phenomenon we all will go through. We KNOW this in our heart of hearts. We really do. But, that doesn’t make the loss of a loved one any less painful or traumatic.
In the past few weeks, I have been receiving emails and messages to write about this very topic: Coping with loss of a loved one.
I have to admit, its not going to be easy to write this, cause it hits home for me. Over the last year or so since I started writing on this blog, I have been thinking about writing about this, but just haven’t. I guess revisiting those feelings of loss is not a very comfortable feeling.
A few years ago, prior to getting married, I lost my younger brother in a car accident. He was driving. Its was a range rover, with eight friends. Not a scratch on any of them, but my brother didn’t make it. He was only 23. When I got the news, I went literally numb. I couldn’t feel my hands holding the phone. Shock is mildly stating it. Being the eldest daughter, having lost my dad to natural circumstances just two years prior to this accident, I had to take care of my mum and my little brother. By take care, I mean emotionally. I literally immersed myself in that very act. I put up a brave front, took care of everything…funeral, relatives, mum, little brother…
Thats what my role had become. And I still remember some people whispering while I took care of it all, “She isnt crying. She mustn’t be close to her brother.” Then there were those who kind of understood, “So brave, She’s taking care of everything.” None of them knew that whenever I went to the rest room what I was doing. And they didn’t know he was my best friend too.
In time, while my focus was to take care of my mum, cause it was her baby after all…my other focus was to make her not feel this loss. But, no amount of distractions, would make her forget. Thats when I realized it wasn’t right to forget, rather to remember the good. So we started by celebrating his favorite foods, his favorite jokes, his signature mannerisms, basically we started celebrating his life, like he was still with us.
Miraculously, that was the turning point in our mourning process. As a family, we were now accepting his absence, while acknowledging him. It was at this time he started appearing in my dreams in a happy glowy state. Never talking, just smiling back. Then sometimes, he would just whisper things in my ear while I was dosing off. Never a negative feeling. This always left me with a sense of peace and calm. After a long time, he appeared in mums dreams too. She actually jumped with joy when it happened. Like as if to say- He is fine! He is happy! And the best part Dad was with him…. according to mum, they were having a blast.
Today, we collectively pray for him. Think of his positives and celebrate his life. Sometimes when I make a meal he loved we say a small prayer for him.
Its been 8 years to his passing now. During these 8 years the feelings have changed from calling his demise “a loss” to it becoming “a passing”. With all the tears we have shed and the amount we have missed him and still miss him, there is still a sense of calm. But this calming acceptance has taken time.
Its not that his gap has been filled or can be replaced, but the acceptance that he is in a better place, makes it easier. There were times, during the grieving process when we asked, why? ..a lot of whys? And that’s normal. Its part of the process of acceptance….In time the questions have faded, being replaced by love. Love for him and what he taught us, what his presence gave us. What a beautiful gift his presence was and still is.
He will be missed always, but now he is celebrated! He has become our little angel…looking at us from the heavens. How would he feel if we were sad?
We still celebrate his birthday with a huge chocolate cake and playing video games. His favorite stuff.
Since my little one was born she has been seeing his pictures. She knows who is, and sometimes she can sit for hours with his picture and have conversations with it. I was amazed when I saw her do it the first time. But, I never stopped her. Isn’t it amazing that even though he has passed away, he still remains Alive in all of us.
Each of us cope differently. You might not have the same experience as me when someone close to you “passed away”. But, that doesn’t mean they are not in a better place. It does not mean that they are not at peace.
Who knows, while I share this with you, all our loving friends and relatives who have passed away are having a lovely party up there?
I like to think that they are happier and more at peace. Our angels are putting in a good word for us to God….
Now its your turn….Have you been through this? How did you or are you coping with it? Do you have any suggestions for others through your own experience. Share your thoughts, your stories here in the comments and let this article be a safe place to explore your feelings and get support. If you would like to leave your comment anonymously, that is fine too. You sharing your burden will help you and the other readers of this article.
With Immense Love and Gratitude,