First, I am aware that everyones situation will be different than mine. I am not here to tell you that you aren’t justified in your actions or lack of actions after losing a loved one. Everyone deals and copes differently with death. I am here to tell you what I have done after losing my brother and my father. Both deaths were tragic. My brother was murdered at the age of 31. My dad died in a fire and was found by the door trying to escape.
These events could haunt me for the rest of my life. I could have laid in my bed and said, “I AM DONE!!” and I have thought that before, for like 2 seconds and then I remembered. God is running this show and for whatever reason, it was time for them both to go home. It’s plain and simple. It’s not easy to swallow sometimes but that’s too bad. Not your call and you should be glad that it is not your call. Can you imagine having to make that decision? We mourn our loved ones we keep them alive in our hearts and memories. I 100% believe that our loved ones are all around us. Our ancestors, our unborn children, grandchildren, friends who have passed are all around us cheering us on. Wanting us to succeed and live life to it’s fullest! I am sure they don’t want us depressed, sulking around asking, why me? What does that even mean? Why me? Why you what? God had a plan for your loved one and that plan was to help that person reach their highest potential here on earth and then return home to Him. Who are we to question God? We have no right to even ask. I know, hard.
I am going to go deeper into what I feel was God’s plan for my brother. Obviously just a teeny tiny part of it. I mean I don’t want to know the whole plan because I may just spontaneously explode.
My brother was depressed. He didn’t feel like any of his efforts made a difference. When something slightly good happened to him it was countered with something bad. For example, if he got a job that he finally liked, a month later the company had to lay people off and last one hired is first one fired. Stuff like that seemed to happen a lot and I honestly feel like it was the energy he was putting off into the universe and how he felt about himself. You can only rise as high as you let yourself. (thats a whole other post for a later time) He drank heavily and started abusing pain pills. He was miserable and cursed God. He was mad at God for his situation. He had given up on life. Then something happened to him that helped him want to live again. He was pushed over a second story guard rail and hit his head on the hand railing, severing his brain stem and killing him. Paramedics arrived and brought him back to life.
I am not going to lie that during this hellish time of him being on life support, I didn’t have the thought, “why didn’t they just let him stay dead?” He was put on life support and put into an induced coma to let his brain recover from swelling.
This post would be too long if I gave every detail but I need to give you some so you can see the miracle that happens at the end.
The doctors told us that he would never, walk, talk, move, breath, clear his throat, eat, or live on his own. They told us he is paralyzed. His brain stem was no longer attached and his whole body was now shutting down.
His body started reacting to the loss of his brain stem. He would spike these incredibly high temperatures and the nurses said we are now just treating the symptoms. To bring his temp down they put ice packs directly on his body. I am not talking about a homemade ice pack you made for your kid who smashed their finger. I am saying GRAND ice packs. Directly on his body. When they were doing this I thought, “ouch” I said something to the nurse about the ice packs maybe burning his skin and she said , “remember he’s paralyzed?” “Oh yea I forgot.”
When the doctors felt like he was able to withstand this exploratory brain surgery they went in and found some horrifying results.
First, he could feel everything! The poking, the ice packs, the movement, the prodding everything they did to him without pain medication.
Second, he is fully aware of whats going on and has full brain activity. His condition was called being locked in. He could hear us, see us, put thoughts together in his head but couldn’t do anything about it. He stared at us. Thats it.
When the nurses realized he could feel pain they put him on a machine that alerted them when he needed more pain meds. I wasn’t aware that they hooked him up to this machine, so when I asked why this machine kept beeping every minute they told me, “that’s how we know he needs more pain meds.” He went without pain meds for at least 3 days. The whole week was full of regrets and guilt.
My mom was losing her baby and was understandably a mess. The doctors would give me the information and then I would have to slowly and gently tell my mom.
“Mom, he’s not going to make it. We need to take him off life support. He is in pain and suffering he will die within 3 months and it will be a long and painful death. We have to let him go.” When they asked my brother what he wanted to do, (blink once for no, blink twice for yes) he didn’t want to be hooked up to that machine anymore enduring this personal torture that he had no control over.
In the movies when people are taken off life support, they seem to pass pretty quickly. Due to my brother being 31 and healthy, his organs were running strong and keeping him alive. Drawing out the process. When they took him off life support the “realness” of it set in. He struggled to breath. That sound will forever haunt me. He was scared and you could see it in his face. All we could do is watch and be there.
I prayed, please don’t let him die. Please let this be a miracle. Please don’t take him. Then a voice came to me clear as day. “This is the wrong thing to pray for. You need to pray to get through this, you need to pray for your mother.” So that’s what I did. I prayed to get through this. I prayed my mother would survive losing a child.
Then something miraculous happened while I had my head down in prayer.
A powerful feeling came over me that I can’t even describe. I could feel what seemed like heavenly beings in the room. It wasn’t the feeling of a person it was much more miraculous, overwhelming even. I felt like I needed to keep my head down. I don’t know why, but I felt like I needed to respect this intimate meeting with my brother. I remember whispering to my mom, “do you feel this?”
She was too distraught to even hear me.
Then I heard, “We are here for him.” The brother that cursed God and hated him. God was there for him. He was there for me. I then I heard this message that has gotten me through the loss of my brother. In the time of limbo my brother was asking for forgiveness. Praying his heart out. God was the only one who could hear his cries. He turned to God in his last days of torture. He repented and completely turned his heart to God. It took him two days to pass away after removing life support and in those two days he became a disciple of Christ. He went with God.
That week was hell, tiring, traumatizing, uplifting, hopeful, life-changing and I would never ever take that away from my brother or me.
That horrid event that took his life ultimately gave him his life back.
Why would we want to rob anyone of maybe turning closer to God? We really don’t, we are just selfish by nature. We want the loved ones to stay forever with us.
We can all die at the same time and no one will be here to mourn us. We won’t know joy because we won’t know pain. We will cease to grow.
There is a plan. We aren’t always going to agree with that plan, but you have a choice to tell yourself, this isn’t up to me. I am not all knowing. Put your faith in a solid foundation and know that God loves you and knows what you are going through. My dad and brother dying was a learning and growing experience that I would never have gotten without these tragic occurrences. My urge to help others maybe wouldn’t be as strong as it is. I can now connect with people on a whole other level that most people cannot. Use your stories for good, helping others go through their nightmares. Help them get through a trial with your wisdom and experience. God will deliver you out of sorrow if you let Him.