This doesn’t happen in real life. I guess, in the real life of people I know, in the real life of friends, of family. I’d never have thought that this would happen in my real life; in my life. This is the thing I live for, the types of stories that I watch, my favourite shows: Fatal Vow, True Crime Scene Stories, The First 48, Mysteries from the Morgue; and I could go on and on. What I never dreamt was that my life would take on the makings of a movie, or perhaps even, a CSI episode.
In the span of 1 month – my dad died, my older brother on my mom’s side died suddenly, and then, we found out that my younger brother on my mom’s side, who disappeared 2 years ago, was murdered.
In my reality, I had thought that I had made peace with the fact that he disappeared without a trace and perhaps some nefarious character had somehow crept up in the dark of night and swept him away.
Throughout the two years he was missing, I had always assumed that he was dead; and in my heart of hearts, I think that he was set up by someone whom he loved. She knows herself – and because of that guilt, happiness will elude her like the illusive dreams which I had that someday, he’d walk up to us and say “PASS IT!” For that was the phrase he used to announce his presence.
Deep down, I feared the worse, but some how, I hung unto the little glimpse of hope that I’d been fed in passing, like a stray dog hungry for food, that he was alive – he was in jail. But he was alive. Then I’d suffer the roller coaster of emotions and feelings.
Overtime I’d get told that he is dead. That he was anchored and tossed into the ocean like some piece of garbage. Then I’d hear that his love had set him up, that he was kidnapped, that he was beaten and was no more.
That was my reality for the past two years. That was the personal hell that I struggled to climb out of. And there were times when I became superficially happy. When I’d block out all these rollercoaster lows, where I’d triumph on the joys of being a free spirit but in the end, my reality was that – I never forgot my brother. I thought about him everyday, and his ominous words to me “if you ever hear I disappear, just know that I’m rottening (rotting) somewhere!”
We had this weird bond where we were the rebels of my mom’s kids. There were three of us, yet us two, felt like the outsiders looking in, like Heathcliff and Catherine staring through the window of Thrushcrush Grange looking at the Lintons.
And so, today, 1 month to the date that our older sibling breathed his last breath, I find myself here, trying to detox myself of the negative thoughts and feelings which have tried to consume me in my free thinking moments. It’s almost 1 week to the day where I visited a crime scene. Almost 1 week to the day where I walked up to this hole in the ground, this make shift grave. It’s almost 1 week to the day where I was forced to think, to wonder, to feel something, that which I do not know, but I was forced to look down at this pile of rubble, that which was clothing and bones. And I was forced to look at it. I was forced to think things, I was forced to acknowledge. I was forced into thinking “OMG – this can’t be real. This is like a movie!” But it wasn’t.
It wasn’t. It wasn’t.
This was my reality. This was my life. This was my world.
This may have been my brother.
Murdered. Murdered. Murdered.
So, when I say, that 2016 became the year that my entire universe shifted, I mean it. I thought that walking away from my previous life was a sign of strength and growth, however, this year, I learnt what it really meant to be strong, to be powerful, to be conscious, to be aware, to be present, to be alive, to be dead, to be happy, to be sad, and many other emotions which are too numerous to mention.
2016 – will forever be the year where if I was weaker, I’d have lost my sense of self. I became stronger in my spirituality. I spoke to God. I won’t say I prayed – but I had many conversations with God, and in the interim, he has led me to the conclusion that: I can’t wish the nefarious characters who wished harm and who breathed harm on my brother any sort of mortal punishment. That I can’t let that anger, that feeling of revenge which I feel engross me. That all I can do is Pray. Pray. Pray. And Pray.
And I learnt to pray. And alI that I pray for is that the guilty conscience will be the ultimate downfall, for no man and woman will ever find peace and happiness knowing that they murdered my brother.
And no, I’m not altruistic, for if I had my way…….
And in the end, all I am forced to be is strong. I am forced to once again take on that role of protector.
I lost two brothers; but my mom lost two sons, my nieces and nephews lost their dads. So in the end, of the people that matter – my lost is “small” for lack thereof a better word. Theirs is way greater than mine can ever be.
And so, don’t judge me if I don’t know how to react to this. No one knows the outward strength which I need to portray. No one knows my struggles, mental anguish – my fear, my sorrows, my moments of self doubting, of questions. No one knows how I choose to grieve.
So, to judge me, you’ll have to walk in my shoes – and that, I won’t wish on anyone else.
And 1 month after my older brother died suddenly, and 5 days after viewing the skeletal remains of someone’s son; don’t foolishly expect me to be alright, to be sane, and to be normal, to be me.
I’ve learnt that there is no right way and wrong way to feel . I’ve learnt to find comfort and support in those whom I love and in those who love me.
And although I am forever changed; I did learn that the light is stronger than the darkness and that love can save, even in times of grief.
REMEMBER THAT: it is said, that the evil men do live after them…. and I know that it will manifest in their offsprings.
And in my book of wishes, I wish that they never find peace until they meet their ultimate demise.
To my brothers whom I’ve lost, I’ll forever treasure our memories and hold you close to my heart.
LOVE SAVES IN THE TIMES OF GRIEF