It has been more than 30 years now, but I can still vividly remember watching my mother cry over my baby brother’s lifeless body. He looked so peaceful that the ruckus of people coming over to our house did not bother me. It was my first brush with death and it left me open – open to pain and hopelessness. For a 6-year-old, I was left with questions that drove me to seek for peace and assurance. As I lived with the grief and the uncertainty after losing my little brother, it is in the eternal truths of life that I found comfort and hope after death.
Strength as a Family
I grew up watching my parents grieve. I heard their “could-have-beens” – how if they had been better parents or if they could have done things better, then they would not have lost their little boy. It pained me seeing them go through that, but those times became opportunities for me to comfort them. My siblings and I try our hardest to reassure them that they are good parents. We try to make every moment as a family a happy one. We used to talk about our loss as bleak and sad but as the years rolled along, we have learned to remember the joy we felt at having been given the chance to be the family of that very special child. We have recommitted ourselves time and time again to be good people and to work as a family so we can be worthy to be with him someday.
A Better Knowledge of the Afterlife
Losing my little brother made me ponder more often about death and what happens after. I have even read a lot of literature about the afterlife. However, the most comforting and reliable information does not come from scholastic studies. I have come to understand more about death from the sacred scriptures. Learning from the Word of God gave me comfort and staying power. I have learned that truly, death is not the end of life. It is but a door all of us needs to go through so we can go on to the next chapter of a much grander, continuing of life. My brother is not lost or forgotten. He is just in another state and is waiting for me and my whole family. We can all be together someday through the goodness and mercy of God. Knowing these truths fortified my resolve to go on with life purposefully. All the good that we do here on Earth will not be wasted then, because life goes on. It will go on even after all the pain and sorrow of mortality.
The Will to Improve Daily
With the knowledge that I can be with my brother again, I am inspired to do all I can to make his life with us worth remembering. There is something inside of me that tells me that I need to be worthy to be with him someday. He died innocent and pure. Because of that, I know I need to live a life that will merit being allowed to be where he is now. I do not have a manual that gives specific steps on how to do this, but in the every day decisions that I make, I know I make the steps that either bring me closer to him or take me farther away. I am grateful for commandments that serve as a guide to base our life choices on. Every time I am faced with situations where I have to choose between right or wrong, I remember my little brother and that he is waiting for me. Losing my little brother left an imprint in my being that helps me make better choices.
A loving Heavenly Father created the family structure. It is the best way to bring children into this world. This is something very special and very sacred. I know He would not allow death to destroy the sacred connections between family members. He wants us to live as families – secured and bonded – throughout life, and even after death. He made a way. He devised a plan for this to happen. Knowing this Plan has provided great comfort and hope after our loss. We feel our baby brother close to us and God has given us an assurance that we will see him again.
You, too, can know of His beautiful plan… Talk to us or visit lds.org to know more.