My brother passed away four years ago today.
It is strange how the pain of losing a loved one does eventually fade away, but it leaves a scar, and the scar stays no matter how much time has passed. We know that something has been lost, something sacred that can never be regained. But we have to live with that emptiness. More importantly, we have to grow with it, around and about it, through it, and even be grateful that we have learned from it, that we have become deeper and more profound because of it.
We are all of us forged in pain.
It is our suffering that makes us human, for it is only through suffering that we learn to empathize with the pain of others. We see in the pain of others our own pain, and it is because of this that we are able to feel what they feel, and to hurt when they hurt. Were we to live our lives safe and secure from all suffering, we would never know what it was to be connected to another soul; we would forever be totally isolated from our fellow human beings. And so in a very real sense, it is by suffering and suffering alone that we are made truly human.
Suffering is sacred.
I am a better man today than when I lost my brother four years ago, and in no small part because of that loss. It made me realize how entangled I was in my own self, how ensnared and entrenched I really was in me, my, and mine. I hope I am a better son, brother, and friend than I was this time four years ago today. And so today I will say a prayer, not only because I am grateful for the brother I knew, however short those years may seem, but also because in some way his death was a sacrifice, a steep and sudden price that had to be paid in order to make the world a better place through the lives of those whose hearts he touched.
We human beings do not learn easily; our lessons cost so much...but that is the way of the world. Life is short, and only precious because it is short. We should be grateful for every breath we take, and that is a lesson we only learn through loss- and we must learn it. For if we do not learn that lesson, we shame the sacrifice of those who pass before us; we disgrace their memory by not becoming better having lost them.
My brother passed away four years ago today, and I love him still.
~ Joshua van Asakinda
27 May, 2018