It is almost four years since my brother Conway took his own life. Four years since my sibling was ripped apart from me by a premature death. If you know somebody who has experienced the death of a loved one this way, please silently understand that they have undergone a serious trauma, they may not know this consciously themselves as the initial pain and agony of separation is too much for their system to bear. This blog is about my brother and our mother Connie, who too has since passed, leaving me somewhat bereft of relatives.
I had been caring for my severely and chronically depressed brother since 2006. I returned to our family at my mother’s request, because as an elderly woman she could no longer cope with his depression and alcoholism. My brother was a bonafide and fully qualified alcoholic. It killed him. It killed my mother and it killed me too, metaphorically.
I have grieved their loss in my body, my mind and my soul, it gripped and grabbed me unconsensually. It consumed me. Insanity overtook my mind. I despaired at all the ways I failed them and myself. It filled me with sadness and it dampened my senses cutting off my connection to the sensory world . It left me empty and overwhelmed with a void of inadequacy. How could he leave me this way? My sibling. My brother. How could you leave me this way?
To survive my brother’s alcoholism I had to shut parts of my system down, I too became depressed, it was a coping mechanism. To survive my brother’s suicide I did the same. System shut down, because feeling, the agony of my loss was excruciating. It felt like being underwater in a dormant state. The weight of my sorrow keeping me submerged.
It’s been nearly four years, but gradually I lost the weight that grief imposes, gradually I floated back to the surface, raised my head above the water line and took some gasping breaths of life.
There comes a time when the loved ones passed also need to be set free. My brother and mother stayed very close after their deaths. They stayed close to comfort me, protect me, they stayed close because their separation from me initially was for them also too much to bear.
This Sunday, 2nd February, (my late dad’s birthday), while attending a self development course I got a strong sense of their presence, a strong sense of them saying it’s time now, time for us to leave you, time for us to say goodbye, because now we know you will be ok without us and we too have to move on in our spiritual journey in the afterlife. We must go to another level of Spirit and Peace, we are needed elsewhere now and as you Joanne have your journey on earth to complete, we too have our journey in Spirit to complete.
Tears rolled down my face, puddles of tears collected on my face and in that moment when all of us agreed there was a gentle separation. A promise of eternal love. A promise that all is well and we are complete. A promise that in love we shall always be together and that if I were to call on them, or them upon me, then we would return to each other with the light shining upon us and with God’s blessing on our lips and a secure knowledge that we are One.