Time and Death
Nothing freezes time like the death of a loved one. From the minute you get that dreadful call everything literally stops.
My brother (in black culture, your aunt’s child is still your brother) has been sick since November last year. When we initially found out we couldn’t stop the tears from falling. My mind was going in circles. I immediately thought of my father who passed away from Cancer 12 years ago. This beautiful mind brought everything back. How I was living in a cloud and everything was foggy. The first time we received his diagnosis and how scared we were. How were told we have 6 months but in contrast passed on in 2. You never, ever, forget death. The pain might be submerged for a while but consequently new loss awakens all those feelings.
I’m one of those who are blessed with a big beautiful close family. I was raised by my mother’s sister, from birth. My mom was a single parent and my aunt took over. I’m surrounded by so much love and wouldn’t have it any other way. After my brother’s diagnosis, we all called each other to meet. Books, good food, plenty of love. We took shifts when visiting the hospital therefore to make sure he is never alone. We where there and wanted him to feel our love. Similarly he felt the same way. So much so that he looked better and was discharged early in the New Year. We were optimistic that the worst was behind us. He was recovering. We spent whatever time we could with him, sharing laughs and grateful for every moment he stayed alive.
The dreaded call
Overnight, things took a turn for the worst. One day he was talking and the next he wouldn’t even eat. Our mother was going through so many emotions as his caretaker. In two days we prayed, cried, drove up and down to see him. I remember how frail and tired he looked. The nurses made sure he was not in pain. The Doctor gave us a week or two to say our goodbyes. We drove home. That night I arrived in Johannesburg at 1am, at 2am I received a call that he was gone. I didn’t sleep a wink that night. That is when everything froze. Furthermore, time stopped.