I’ve seen a lot of stories recently of people losing their loved ones, so I thought I’d share my story.
When I was 14 I was a typical teenager, moody who liked to stay locked in the bedroom until dinner. It was a sunday and I’d been reading that afternoon. My brother had been called into work that morning and I heard my mum on the phone to him at 6 and heard he was about 5 minutes away. I kept reading and eventually I got sick of waiting to be called to dinner so went out to the kitchen. It was now 6:30 and my brother still wasn’t home. My parents had heard sirens so dad decided to go for a drive to find out where they were going. About ten minutes later he came home with my brother’s hat, wallet and phone and said he’s been in an accident and he’s on the way to hospital.
I’d never been religious but I prayed to anyone that would listen on the way to the hospital, that if my brother was okay I promised I would be a better daughter and sister. I wouldn’t fight, I wouldn’t complain, I’d be happy.
We went to emergency and were ushered into a room and a minute later a doctor (I assume) came in and said “I’m sorry”. That was it. My parents wanted to see his body so we were taken in and I can still picture it clear as day. I don’t know how long we stayed there. The rest of the night was a blur but I remember sitting outside with his best friend in silence, neither of us knowing what to do. My best friend at the time came to the hospital and hugged me. Lying in bed staring blankly at the wall trying to figure out what the hell had just happened, wondering how I could turn back time.
I cried throughout the week and then at the funeral where I tried to avoid everyone’s staring eyes. And then..nothing. I saw how ripped apart my parents were so I figured if I cried it would just make it worse. But, as it does, life went on. On his birthday and the anniversary of his death my mother would buy 18 (his age) balloons and we’d let them off at sunset while listening to Powderfinger – “Sunset”. She still does it every year.
There was so much anger and hate in me in regards to the circumstances surrounding his death. Why had the person who’d seen him not stopped sooner or swerved around him? Why had my family cancelled the christmas party that was meant to be on that day? Why had he been called into work? Was it my fault somehow?
Then I met my now husband when I was 19. He changed everything for me. He taught me how to deal with my emotions and my grief that I’d never previously dealt with. He helped me over the anger and hate. I came to realise that I didn’t need to put flowers on his grave every Sunday like my mum still does or let off balloons on those days to remember him and to honour his memory. I’ll use a cliche here, but I realised that all I truly had to do was to live and love and be the best person I could be. How better to remember such an outgoing, loved, smart and funny boy than to be the best I could be.
It’s been 10 years this year and I have an amazing, loving husband, two beautiful little girls and a life I would not change for anything. I still think about him sometimes and wonder what could have been and I still struggle with my emotions sometimes. But he’ll always be there. That’s something I’m still trying to teach my parents who continue to grieve every day for him.
I suppose the point to this story is to let people know that even though right now it seems like the world is collapsing and it’ll never be the same, it will get better. Surround yourself with people you can talk to and who will support you and eventually, it will get better.
Posted by amandaks, 8th May 2014