Losing a loved one is one of the most traumatic events that someone can experience. It is inevitable, as we will all die at one point or another, that you will at some time in your life lose someone that you care about. You never know when that time will come that will unavoidable change your life. For me, I was 16 years old.
It was a week before my junior year spring break was scheduled to begin. It was late. I was at home, asleep. I kept having dreams of bells ringing. Not like a doorbell, or a phone ring, or anything like that. It was the ringing of church bells, over and over. Suddenly, I awoke to a light in the stairway that I could see from my bedroom door. My mom appeared in my doorway seconds later, sobbing. She was trying to talk to me, but I could not make out what she was saying. Maybe it was because I had been woken up suddenly, or because my mother's sobs would not allow for the words to come out. I was immediately wide awake, confused, heart racing, and already hurting before even knowing what was to come.
She could not say it. She could not tell me, or say for the first time that her son had died. My brother, my only sibling, had died. She told me that my dad was on the phone and that I needed to talk to him. As I listened to my father start, "There was an accident …" I instantly asked in a frantic, "Is he ok? Is he ok? Where is he? Is he ok?" I knew that it was bad. I knew that it was my brother, and I knew that it was bad. Then, the life altering words left my father's mouth. "Paul died."
For me, living in a world without my older brother had been unknown for me. How would I survive without him? What would I do without my protector? He was my family, what would I do without my family? I was so empty and disoriented; I did not know what to do next. I had to begin to rebuild my life without my older brother. For the longest time, my memories belonged in one of two categories: before he died, and after. People always say that time heals all wounds. It does not. You learn to live with the loss, and eventually you become good at it. As days pass, and the rebuilding begins, life will get easier.