Is There Life After Death? This is a question that has not been directly answered but has been described by some of the people who had near-death experiences. This has been the question in my mind since my second to the eldest brother, Rommel (known as “Ame”), passed away last October 22, 2007.
He passed away, 5 days after his daughter celebrated her 7th birthday (Oct.17) and a day after our sister got married (Oct 21).
Until this very moment, I am still struggling to survive the grief of losing a brother. It’s not really easy to accept that one day in your life, you’ll wake up and you no longer have one of the members of your family.
My Kuya Ame died at the age of 29. He has an only child, a daughter named Raine. She was his life.
He was diagnosed with Schizophrenia in the year 1998 and suffered with that mental illness for a decade; this was because of over dosage of prohibited drugs. I have seen him fight for his illness because he cared a lot for her daughter. He wanted to give Raine a good life. He wanted to take care of his child and the mother of his child. I have seen him suffered. I have seen the pain and the burden on his shoulders. I have seen all of that. He was a fighter and I admired him for that.
When I saw his remains inside the casket, I have looked into his face and saw the sadness on it. He was not ready to die; he believed that he will be well because his daughter needs him. I know what my brother’s main concern in life was, it was Raine. So when he was about to be taken into the church for the mass, I told him to rest and not to worry about her daughter because we’ll be here to take care of her. After saying those words, I have smelled a fragrant of a flower. I knew he heard what I have said and by saying those words I knew he can rest already.
There was a time when I felt really sad and worried about him because I don’t know where he is. I know nobody can answer me. I wanted to know what he’s doing and what’s going on with him. But there’s really no way for me to know the answers to these things. One night, I have dreamt of him. As far as I can remember, it was sometime in January 2008. In my dream, our family received a letter from him stating that he was okay; that he went to a very far away place. We were happy because at long last we received news from him. Then I passed by his room and saw him sleeping. He woke up, went out of the room and had small chat with the family. He said that he was tired and he needed rest because he’ll be going back to that place and that we should not worry because he’ll be fine, he’ll be okay. When I woke up, I was relieved. After a long time of wondering, I have got an answer. I considered it as a miracle because God allowed my brother to somehow communicate with one of us telling us not to worry and wonder about him.
Tomorrow, May 11th, if he didn’t pass away, he’ll be celebrating his 30th birthday. It hurts because this will be the first 11th of May that he won’t be here to celebrate his birthday. It hurts still but we all have to move on. I remember one friend told me that if we keep on crying, we are just giving our brother a hard time to move on; we are just holding him back. I have accepted the fact that he’s gone but of course, I feel sad once in a while because we won’t be able to see him and be with him anymore. Good thing, his daughter Raine really looks like him. Wherever he is right now, I know he’s watching over our family. Some people misunderstood him and judged him, he was just like that because he’s sick; but he was a good person with a big heart.
Letter to Kuya Ame:
Kung nasaan ka man ngayon, alam kong okay ka na. Huwag ka ng mag-alala kay Raine kasi inaalaggan siya ng parents natin at ni Kuya Rene. Ok lang kami. Tol, un picture mo sa bahay, andun pa din. Ayokong tanggalin kasi 4 tayo eh..si Kuya Rene, ikaw, si Ate Ruth at ako. You’ll be in our hearts forever. Yung mga compositions mo, nasa Samar. Sabi ko sa Kuya itago nya kasi gusto ko na paglaki ni Raine, Makita nya penmanship mo at mabasa nya mga compositions mo. Yung mga pictures mo nasa Samar din para Makita ka rin ni Raine paglaki nya kahit wala ka na. Mahal na mahal ka namin. Masakit but we all have to move on. I won’t promise but I’ll try not cry every time I remember you. You were taken so young and God has a reason why it happened. O cia sige..happy birthday and we’ll visit your grave by Oct this year, that’s a promise. I love you tol.