On September the 12th, my sweet, dear brother died at the age of 58 from cancer. His death follows about 5 weeks after my father died which followed 3 weeks after all of the family worried sick about me.
My family is brokenhearted. There is an under current of sadness always moving just beneath the surface while we get along with day-to-day chores. My mother is strong and at the same time devastated from having lost her son so soon after losing her husband of almost 62 years.
Losing both my father and brother close together has been really difficult for me as well…but at the same time I am thankful that I have had my family intact because most of the people with whom we work have not had that luxury.
I am 61 years old and am fortunate, blessed. Until seven weeks ago I had both parents and my two brothers. My husband and all the children are alive and healthy.
This is not true for most Nicaraguans. Here are a few examples:
Doña Conchita has lost children, her husband, and a grandchild.
Rogelio in his early 50s, just a few weeks ago buried his mother. Last Christmas he buried his father. Since we have known him, he has also buried four of his brothers.
Also in the last month, Pedro at a similar age buried his brother. Two years ago he buried his son.
People comfort Mama by saying “No parent should out-live their children.” I agree. I cannot imagine burying one of ours, yet, parents do outlive their children all over the world.
Almost 10 million children worldwide die before age 5 die each year from preventable and treatable diseases. This number does not include children who die from accidents, abuse, wars, armed conflicts, guns, or non-treatable diseases like cancer.
All these children had mamas and daddies who had to bury their little ones.
Watching my brother waste away at such a rapid rate, I realized once again that life is precarious for all of us…especially the world’s poor. I also reclaimed that life is precious…extremely precious…and with that knowledge comes the responsibility to treasure life and, as much as possible, try to prevent more parents having to bury their children.