My Life Began When My Brother Took His

My brother took his life five years ago. I’d been ignorant to the pain of losing someone I deeply love until this happened. His death ransacked my soul and left me feeling defeated.

Death has been around me — a grandparent or childhood friend, a co-worker’s family member. But it was always at a safe distance. I knew death existed, but was immune until it hit home.

How had I not realized death is absolute?

I scoured the Internet for answers to my grief. I explored all the ways I could sneak into the cemetery, exhume my brother from his grave and bring him home. I was desperate for him to come back. I was angry I couldn’t change the devastating reality that my brother was in so much agony and pain that his only answer was to end his life. At the time, I understood the science behind chemical imbalances in the brain, lack of serotonin, how sleep deprivation can alter one’s thoughts and body deprivations, but I was furious that the mind could literally take over and my brother had no sense of control.

Credit: Yolanda Lopez-Vega

At his funeral, a voice spoke to me which had no face and no direction and only said, “You’re going to be angry, and that’s okay.”

In an effort to organize my thoughts vomit feelings, I turned to writing a blog. The task was simple: be raw, be honest, be compassionate and share my grief. I hoped that I could turn back the page someday and understand myself and the person I was during the darkest days if my life. In fact, the darkest days turned into weeks, which turned into months, which turned into well over a year. I recorded every thought I had and every whim I felt. I cared only to free my heart of excruciating grief while freeing the beautiful soul that is my brother.

Credit: Yolanda Lopez-Vega

What I never expected was that my pain would carry the pain of others and cradle their hearts in my own hands. I never knew that my blog would be read by thousands of folks who looked to me for solace and comfort. I had no idea I would capture their emotions and thoughts in my words. And I certainly wouldn’t imagine that losing my brother — and losing him to suicide — would inspire others to share their own stories of loss and love with me since I could “understand” them.

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I don’t know whether it’s because I write what I feel or because loss and grief are universal experiences, but I had a reader message me: “When I read your blog, I feel like I’m reading my own feelings.” Another thanked me for helping “understand why I feel the way I do” and another wrote to me saying: “I’m so happy I can turn to your blog and find someone who feels the way I do”.

Credit: Yolanda Lopez-Vega

When my brother died five years ago, I died with him. My soul joined his and I lost who I was. My soul was crushed for both losing my best friend to a pain I couldn’t take away for him and for gaining a new life without him. I hate living without my brother, but I simultaneously love living the life he always wanted for me. And for living the life he would live himself.

Check out Yolanda’s blog at lossandspirituallove.blogspot.com and don’t forget to click the share button below. 

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