There are a lot of emotions and feelings that happen after you lose your brother that nobody talks about.
In my case, my only sibling was my brother. There is this brand new fear of death. I was never scared of death much before he passed away. Maybe it’s not so much a fear of death and more like pressure to live.
Pressure to live, to not have my Mum go through something like that pain again. Pressure to live and to continue doing the things my brother loved. So he knows that every day I think of him. Everyday. I still have a hard time not crying, at least fight back tears at the mention of his name. Sometimes it only takes a thought of him and I’m triggered.
Lately my emotions get confused and shuffle themselves and buddy up. This new hybrid-emotion I’ve started feeling is something like a frustration-rage. I have no idea how it happens, but I’m sure it falls somewhere within the grieving process.
It doesn’t last too long, thankfully and if I’m fortunate enough for it to happen while I’m driving I can usually balance my self out with the help of some music.
Recently this showed up at our place. I had purchased a subscription for my brother last Christmas, 2018.
I kind of forgot about it actually. I was so proud that after all these years I finally found him the perfect gift. He was so excited when he got the first one. I think he only enjoyed the first magazine before he had his heart attack in March.
He used to spend all of his money on the same things growing up- fireworks, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, and candy. And any left over money went to more candy.
It breaks my heart that he didn’t even get to enjoy his whole subscription. Just another reason that his death wasn’t fair. Every day I find at least one more reason.
This past weekend we moved my brothers family into their new home. It’s the end of a chapter and the beginning of a new one. It was truly wonderful to see all the help from his friends. The original crew mostly. Fort McMurray old school came to help out. It’s amazing to see how many people he touched that are here for our family.
It was an empty feeling standing in his bedroom where he had his heart attack. Such a sad feeling. I often wonder if he knew what was happening that morning. Did he feel it coming on? Was he scared? Or did it happen so fast his body was unaware? I have so many questions that will go unanswered.
I just hope he knows the amount of love and prayers that surrounded him in his final days. At times, I would have guessed there were close to 50 people in the hospital waiting area. Out pouring of such strong love. From miles away. Old friends, new friends.
At his memorial service we had close to 300 signatures in his guest book. It was a very overwhelming day. However sad it was, it was filled with so much joy and love for one person. I don’t think my mum realized just how special he was to so many people. I know I had to take a second to take it all in before my speech. As short as it was, it felt like forever, I think because it was the largest crowd I had ever spoken in front of. I also knew if I went into too much detail about Michael it would have been extremely hard to make it through the whole thing.
Most endings are usually followed by a new beginning. In this case we hope it is a happy beginning.
Another question I’ll never know the answer to. I never imagined my brother would suddenly die in my early forties.
This was never the way it was supposed to go. We were going to be old and funny. Go to the mall for lunch, A&W For breakfast, rent mobility aid scooters, get discounted deals everywhere. Simply because we were old, and lived life. Celebrating being old.
I imagine Scot and I will still do these things, but it won’t be the same. I won’t have my big brother. The guy who always had the answers to all my questions. Every single one.
I’ve had so many questions buzzing in my head since he died. I’ve missed him so much and so many times. I’ve done so many things that I would have shared with him. He truly brought the best out in everyone.
Personally, the hardest part of each day is waking up. After minimal sleep most nights, each day begins with the thought that maybe it was all a dream. But then you remember it is real. You live each day with this emptiness. It still doesn’t feel real, and it’s been over 4 months. It’s real-not real over and again. Every day. I miss so many things about my brother. He was such an enormous part of my life. He had the answer for everything. Truly had a way of making such a huge impression on anyone who had ever met him.
This weekend we celebrate his life with the first annual Mike Lowe Memorial Golf Tournament. All proceeds to benefit The Royal Alex Cardiac Care Unit. They really did take such care of him there. Really great people.
There is always a lesson to learn. This time that lesson is to Be Like Mike. He took priority on making everyone him feel so special and included. Be Kool, Be Like Mike.
I am Kathryn Lowe. Born in Wales, Raised in Fort McMurray
This is my journey. When you lose your big brother you lose your oldest friend. It is the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. I am looking to share this story with you. I still have a very hard time opening up about it but I find writing helps.
Please feel free to share your personal experiences and feelings, as I know I am not the only child. Not the only child in my family and not the only child who has been tossed this same hand n this game we call life.
My phone rang just after 7 am. It was Melissa, Michael’s fiancé. I don’t exactly recall all the words, only Michael*heart attack*ambulance*hospital.
I gathered my thoughts and fears, got dressed and headed to the hospital in a daze. My brother remained in a coma and was pronounced dead 5 days later.
March 31, 2019. The day everything changed. We suffered such a tremendous loss in this world when Michael passed away. He created this gigantic impact on our tiny planet during his 44 years with us.
It has been 128 days since I have seen or talked to my brother. Trying to grasp this has been extremely hard. This is a journey I wish I could never have taken. However life throws us a ball and we try our best to move our arms and swing.
Please join this journey with me and feel free to share your special journey as well.