Love, Life Stories, Advice

My brother died three years ago. So why do people want me to forget him?

My brother died and we buried him, but that does not mean that he never existed.

Three years ago I lost my brother to cancer. Three years later and it still hurts. Sometimes it hurts like it was a fresh blow, other times it hurts like a healed spot that still remained tender. I wonder, is there really such a thing as getting over it? Some things are so profound that they change us. They impact us in such a way that they forever stay with us.

[bctt tweet=”Some things are so profound that they change us. They impact us in such a way that they forever stay with us. ” username=”wearethetempest”]

My brother died and we buried him, but that does not mean that he never existed. He is part of the fabric that makes up my memories and I don’t want to forget him. When he died, I promised myself that I’d never let his death be for nothing, that I would find a way to make his death meaningful. Whatever small way his death helped me grow would be a testament to his life.

[bctt tweet=”My brother died and we buried him but that does not mean that he never existed. He is part of the fabric that makes up my memories and I don’t want to forget him.” username=”wearethetempest”]

Watching him battle a disease as perverse as cancer was not easy. Watching my parents’ hearts break a million times over everyday was worse. There are no words to describe the feeling of impotency that comes with seeing some one you love suffer and not being able to do a damn thing about it.

[bctt tweet=”There are no words to describe the feeling of impotency that comes with seeing some one you love suffer and not being able to do a damn thing about it.” username=”wearethetempest”]

As more time passes, it becomes clearer that talking about him makes people uncomfortable. After some time, society expects you to move on, and by this they mean never mention the dead ever again. Like they never existed except in your mind.

[bctt tweet=”It is clear that talking about the dead makes people uncomfortable. Society expects you to move on: and by this they mean never mention the dead ever again. Like they never existed except in your mind” username=”wearethetempest”]

Not only is this hypocritical because we all know we never forget the ones we love, but it is also harmful.

Talking about things is healing. It helps us process emotions and categorize events. Conversations matter… so why the different attitude when it comes to death? Or deep down are we just little kids terrified of ghosts?

[bctt tweet=” Are we just little kids terrified of ghosts? ” username=”wearethetempest”]

Talking about our dead loved ones helps us get closure and a sense of community. It helps us feel less alone in our grief and make peace with the reality of our own mortality. Perhaps even prompting us to live better lives and better prepare for the inevitable.

Going about life never talking of or thinking about death is simply burying our heads in the proverbial sand. It offers no solace to our bleeding hearts and makes us terrible at comforting the bereaved. It is the reason we don’t know how to react in the face of death. It is the sole reason for all the awkward and totally non-helpful things ever said to the bereaved. We barely have a clue how to respond to death and all the ways it shutters our comfort zones.

[bctt tweet=” It is the sole reason of the awkward and totally non-helpful things ever said to the bereaved.” username=”wearethetempest”]

This has to change in order for society to function optimally and for us to be more engaged with and empathetic to the reality around us. Death is as much a part of our existence as life is… there is no escape to that.