My Sister’s Death May She Rest In Peace

 

To My Dearest Sister Brenda, Rest In Peace. Be with God.

Many people think the act of suicide to be a cowardly act, but if we stop and think about it for even just a moment, we will realize it as a moment of desperation, followed by extreme bravery.

I say this because if we were in our right mind at the time, we could not think out of fear to do something that would harm ourselves, but when all else fails us and there is absolutely no hope, no other way, when even prayer seems to have failed us, what is left.

Oh my dear,sweet sister Brenda! Finally your suffering is ended. Thanks be to God! I feel in my heart that Jesus, knowing your suffering has forgiven you this last act of desperation. Be happy with Our Lord sis, I’ll see you when He calls me.

This past August 4, at about 1:00 p.m., I received a phone call from my younger sister’s son, my nephew Stewart or Robin as he likes to be called, who lives about 10 minutes away from our apartment.

Knowing my sister’s medical problems, suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure, hearing failure, kidney and liver deterioration, asthma, lack of mobility, not to mention the various female problems she faced with menopause, her body was attacking her constantly and the medical profession was not able to get any of this under control. It was even difficult for them to help manage her pain because of all the various medications she had to take to try and stabilize things.

I knew as well of her emotional and mental problems, her mood swings, depression bouts, and the likes, beginning with her husband abandoning her and her two sons 14 years ago, something she never really got over.

I thought Stewart was again seeking my help or advice with dealing with some situation with his mom. Something that he sometimes sought from me, as I am more than his eldest and closest uncle, but also a Christian, contact who has a deep and close relationship with God, someone he sometimes reaches out to.

I was thinking that he was going to tell me that Brenda, my sister was back in the hospital again, and that I could visit her. I was not even remotely prepared for what Stewart was about to relate to me.

Apparently, he had just gotten home from work, and was greeted by the superintendant of the building where he and my sister live. The super informed him that my sister had either fallen or  jumped from their 16th. floor balcony and was dead. The super also informed my nephew that some police detective from 43 Division had attended, ruled it a suicide and had just left.

Stewart immediately went up to the apartment and called me, not knowing if this was some practical joke or not, and not even knowing if it were infact true. After chatting for several minutes, we agreed that I would contact the police department to ascertain whether or not this was infact true and then, I would assist him, and his brother if they desired, to try and understand and deal with this situation.

Immediately, I phoned the police department, and after a bit of a run around, I was put in touch with this detective. I explained who I was, what I was calling about, and what it was I was trying to ascertain from the police.

All I wanted to know, was whether or not infact my sister had indeed jumped from her balcony and was dead. I don’t know if the detective was trying to trace my call, or what, but I had to go through my total explanation 4 times, before the detective finally said to me that the sort of information I was asking for, he was reluctant to give out through a phone call, so I finally said to him, “It’s true right?” and hesitantly he said, “Yes” He then informed me he was not going to do it personally, but he was dispatching a uniformed officer to my nephew to inform him personally.

I immediately contacted Stewart to tell him, and I advised him to contact his brother and have him come over to the apartment, that a police officer was on his way to break the news to them and I will join them, to be there to help deal with the situation in my spiritual way.

As soon as we finished taking on the phone, I turned to prayer. I had a very long and deeply personal talk with Our Father God, and Jesus. Even knowing that they already knew, I explained about Brenda, how she’d carried her cross of physical and emotional and mental illnesses for many many years now and how instead of getting better, she was deteriorating to the point that there was nothing more that medicine could do for her. I explained how loving and caring and considerate and compassionate Brenda was towards her children her family and others. Of course Jesus knew all of this already, but if I didn’t repeat it, How would Jesus receive my Plea.

I asked Jesus, my redeemer and my brother for a very special favor because I knew that He knew that Brenda had ended her own life, I asked Jesus for Brenda to please, if it was His will, to forgive Brenda for this act and ask Our Father to welcome her Home to Heaven.

I sat there in quiet as I always do, after talking with God awaiting patiently His answer. No answer came. I decided to call back my nephew, to see if he needed me to come over, but instead of my going over, we had a family meeting over the phone as the two brothers and I talked about what had happened.

Still the terrible truth, had not as yet fully set in with either of them, and they still didn’t see the finality of what had happened, but after praying with them, I got them to discuss what had to be done next anyway.

Being Christians, with a Catholic background, we agreed that there would be no sense in asking a Catholic Priest to officiate over any Catholic burial, as they would not do so, Suicide being a big No No to the Catholic church. We then decided that as soon as the coroner’s office would release my sister’s corpse, that a funeral home should collect her, and quickly cremate her remains. There would be no viewing, no funeral service and no burial, clean and simple. If the family members wished to hold any wake or rememberance that could be held at a later time.

My point for all of this is that as strong as I am spiritually, mentally and emotionally, I was not prepared, to be hit with something like this, but Holy Spirit immediately jumped in and went to work to keep me calm cool and collected, in order to help my nephews deal with such a situation.

But, if I were not a religious man, if I were not spiritually very close to Our Father God, and Jesus, would I have been able to handle this? If I did not fully know and understand that we are spiritual beings created by God and that our human existance is finite and we will eventually return to being spirit again, could I have handled this mess? Could I have remained calm and cool and collected, to be able to help my nephews in their time of need? My answer is I don’t know. Thank God I am close to God everyday.

The thing is, is anyone really prepared for something like this? When you get slapped in the face with a situation like this is your Faith, if you even have Faith, strong enough to carry you through something like this? Is your prayer life with God, strong enough to turn to Him and Jesus in a time of crisis, and know that He hears and will answer your prayers?

By the way, God answered my prayer, but it took one more day. All day Thursday I chatted with God and Jesus, nervously wondering if Jesus heard me and would do as I asked. This morning the answer came. I felt totally relaxed and at peace and Holy Spirit whispered one word to me “Yes” Then He instructed me to write this article for the other readers to know, so here it is.