Have you ever been so desperate? So hopeless that you have no other choice but to accept the truth and give up? Have you ever felt so heart-rending? So broken that you don’t even know how you’re supposed to feel anymore? All you felt was a fire burning all over, being consumed by a lot of “what-ifs” and “whys” only to realize that these were all useless thoughts.
That’s exactly how I felt when I lost my one and only sibling – my brother who is 3 years younger than me.
Some people say I look like my father and my brother resembles my mother, and some say vice versa. I can’t exactly tell which is more true but a lot of people say I and my brother look very much alike even though we are of different gender. One of my friends said, “Take your brother’s moustache and put it on you. You will become your brother.” May be. I didn’t try obviously.
A lot of distant relatives and friends would think that I’m the younger one because he looked much bigger than me and tougher in appearance. Probably also because of his crazy tattoos inked all over his body.
We spent most of our time away from each other. He had to leave the family when he was 11 to study abroad. By the time I went abroad to attend uni, he came back home. At some point later, he went abroad again to study but we weren’t staying at the same place. Time passed and we were apart for 11 years altogether.
By the time he left this world, it had only been five months that the entire 4 members of the family started living under the same roof. I came back home for good after staying in Singapore for 8 years. My brother also finished his diploma and decided to come back. We had great fun; we even went for a really rare family trip to a beach. Little had I known it would be the last time I’d be travelling with him. He was a happy jolly.
“Your tummy is getting bigger. It looks like that of a pregnant lady,” was the last thing I spoke to him. He turned back and smiled. For some reason, I noticed how he looked very amused upon hearing my comment. I’ll never forget that. “Take care, have a safe flight,” was the last thing I heard from him over the phone.
It’s obviously too late to say things like, “how i wish……” because these are only wishes now that I know will never come true. The more I think about it, the more unbearable it gets. Only when he’s gone, I realized how much I’ve taken him for granted. I thought I’d still have him calling me when I’m out and about late at night. I thought I’d still have someone who would make me supper or accompany me to some drinks. Only if…and only if only echoes regret and sorrow now.
It all happened so suddenly. It was a tough week but I quickly moved on. Soon after, I continued going for work, met up with friends and resumed my activities. My days seemed “just as usual”. Nothing changed. I used to stay independently most of the time anyway.
But no, not really. Everything has changed. Reality strikes once in awhile. Tears fall randomly. My heart aches at the permanent loss of one of the very few people I hold dear and truly care about. It is now only 3 of us, instead of 4. When I meet new people, I’ll have to tell them, “I used to have a brother.” “Used to” is a very heartbreaking word for me now that I doubt any amount of time can heal.
Death is unavoidable. Dear brother, I guess you are pretty lucky that you skipped all the cheap useless dramas in life and went straight to a better, more peaceful place. You are missed and you will stay in my heart forever. Forgive me for all the fights we got into.