My elder brother passed away on Monday 13th February 2012 at the age of fifty-three.
Apart from occasional headaches, he had no known heart condition, high blood pressure or diabetes.
He just arrived at his workplace and complained of tiredness to his colleagues who advised him to take a rest. He sat down and passed out. His colleagues rushed him to a clinic nearby and the doctor pronounced him to be dead.
He was far away from home.
My mother called in confusion. Took me few minutes to sort it out, thanks to the technology. That was about 11 am.
I took leave from work bracing myself for the task ahead.
This was my first experience handling the death of an immediate family member.
First, locate the wife and her children. Next, deciding the burial site. Had to consider the wife's and the children' wish and the parents'. Apparently both parties had different places in mind.
Villagers started paying visits to my parents.
The time seemed to drag slowly. There was no news about the arrival of the body [about six hours journey away] and the grave site was not decided yet.
Somehow, my youngest brother managed to convince the wife and children to agree with the parents' wish.
The villagers started digging the grave.
The body arrived home about 9.30 pm. All taken care of.
Family members were allowed to take a last look at his face and say goodbye.
I was able to hold the tears until I stooped to kiss his cold cheek.
I was overcame by grief which I thought I didn't have.
About 10.00 pm he was laid to rest in a grave near the parents' home.
As I left the grave after the 'talkin' I was once again overcame by emotion.
Lay in peace my brother. Your tired bones and all your worries and concerns will trouble you no more.
Rest in peace.