A few years ago, when I worked at The Other Hospital, I had a friend named Matt.  He was a nurse on my unit.  He was funny, friendly, and incredibly nice.  Shortly after he started, I made a comment about being cold (it's a hospital, I was always cold) and he offered me his jacket.  We were both married, and he wasn't flirting; just a simple but sweet gesture that I still remember years later.

A few months before I left The Other Hospital, Matt received tragic news.  His brother had died in a car accident.  Matt is young, in his late twenties; his brother was around the same age.  Matt was out of work for a short time and when he came back, he was very quiet - understandably.  He stayed in his nursing alcove and had very little interaction with anyone except for his patients.  We all understood and gave him his space.

But the old Matt never returned.  He would occasionally smile again, but it was the kind of smile that didn't make it to his eyes.  He never cracked jokes, and rarely reacted when someone else did.  His grief was palpable; it sort of hung in the air around him.  It was heartbreaking.

Today, I saw Matt for the first time since I left The Other Hospital.  He was at "My" Hospital, visiting someone who was a patient there.  And he smiled when he saw me, and stopped and chatted with me for several minutes.  He was pleasant and kind.  But still, over two years later, that haunted look is still in his eyes.  I don't think Matt will ever recover from the loss of his brother.

There's no other love like the love for a brother.  
There's no other love like the love from a brother.  
~Terri Guillemets


And now my mother is facing the loss of a sibling - again.  My mother is one of five children.  She is the youngest girl, and second to youngest child.  But there are only three children left.  My mother's baby brother died several years ago, as did one of her sisters.  The three sisters left were very close.  For many years, they went to gospel singings together at least twice a year; sharing a hotel room and enjoying sister time.

The oldest sister has been sick for several years; emphysema/COPD, chronic bronchitis, etc. (a lifelong smoker).  She is also one of the sweetest, kindest people you could ever want to meet.

And now, at the age of 78, my aunt has taken a dramatic turn for the worse.  She's in an ICU, being kept alive until all of her children can gather to say goodbye.  My mother will head up to see her tomorrow (she's in another town about four hours away).

My mother has already lost two siblings; and now, barring some miracle, she will lose a third.

Another loss that one just never fully recovers from.

Our brothers and sisters are there with us 
from the dawn of our personal stories 
to the inevitable dusk.  
~Susan Scarf Merrell


angel shrout said...

my mom passed last year. But not before enduring the loss of her 2 younger siblings, and 2 older siblings. The only ones left out of the 7 now are the one who is 10 years older than my mom was and the next one down. She held her baby sister as she took her last breath from cancer, having been there for all of it it was only expected that she would be there then. I cannot imagine. But then again I never thought my mom would go as quickly as she did and the way she did. Sending love and prayers to your mom hun.

ChiTown Girl said...

Oh, Cyndy. I'm so very sorry about your aunt. My heart is breaking for you mom. I will be praying for your family.


Amy said...

God be with your family during this time of loss.


Kimberly said...

This is so so sad. Know that I'm thinking of all of you. I'm so sorry that this happened. xo

Shell said...

I cannot even imagine going through that! Sending prayers for your family. xo

Kat said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. My prayers for your mother and your whole family.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I am so sorry. ((HUGS)) I will keep your mother and the whole family in my prayers. I don't understand why life has to be so hard. Breaks my heart.

Aleta said...

Ohhh, don't make me cry, please. Sending hugs and prayers to your friends and family.

Midwest Mama said...

*hugs* to you all. The holidays are especially hard remember lost loved ones. But when they pass at this time, it's even tougher. Hold your family and friends close this holiday season.

anymommy said...

Yes, I think you said it all. This lives with you always.

Unknown Mami said...

Dang it, life and loving is not easy.

Tami said...

I'm sorry for Matt's loss. So sad! No matter what the age, I'm sure it will affect your Mom the same. :(