Over the course of a few years, I’ve lost most of my family, including my parents, grandparents, my sister’s only two children (who were really close to me), several aunts and uncles, my only two brothers, and even a few acquaintances. My 52-year-old brother died in the ICU a few months ago, and the hospital never informed me of how he died. He had an alcohol problem, and all I know is that one minute he was cognizant and aware in the ICU, and the next he was gone.
Our mother had died of cancer eight months previously. I stayed with her at her home so she could receive hospice care. I did hold my mother’s hand as she breathed her final breath that July early morning about 2 a.m., and I feel like I made it to the most important engagement of my life (to be there for my mother when she died away and not allow her pass away alone), and I’m grateful that I was able to do so. However, life changed for me at that time and has remained the same ever since. After Mom was brought out of the house, I remember looking up at the sunny sky, and even the sky appeared strange. The trees, the routes I’d driven for years, all appeared to be different.