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This Is What Happens When Your Brother Dies.

Happy April Raptors- I know I’ve been a bit missing in action lately, but I wanted to share a few lessons I’ve learned in the past few weeks.

On February 27th, 2019, my older brother died.

I had never had someone close to me die before. I come from a pretty large family, but my brother was always the quiet one. He was very shy yet gentle, and was the most kind hearted person I’ve known. It wasn’t until he got caught up in the wrong crowd that things started to change. For years he dabbled in drugs and partying, until one day he up and disappeared. When we got the news he died, my whole heart sank.

I’ll spare you the specifics, but what followed was a whirlwind of emotions. I was angry, sad, confused, and scared – all at the same time. Not only did the whole family have to drop everything and head to the Philippines to plan for his funeral, but it felt like a part of us was missing. I hadn’t heard from my brother in quite some time, and although he did have his problems, the news of his death put everything in perspective.

Be grateful for those around you. This goes for your family, friends, professors, etc. Things can happen, and it’s important to value the people in your life.

Memories are important. Hold on to the small moments you have with those close to you. Once they’re gone, those are all you’ll have left.

Be present. The past is in the past, and the future is the future – what’s happening right now, is the now. Only this moment contains life.

Death is inevitable. It’s okay to accept this and live your life as before.

Life goes on. It may seem empty and meaningless for a while, but in reality, the world keeps spinning and life keeps going.

There are so many things I wish I could say to him one last time. I wish he would’ve just come to me instead of finding other means of comfort. There are so many meaningful memories with him that I will now never get twice. To Raf, my brother, I’ll always love you.

There’s a lot of world to see out there, MC. Don’t wait until the last moment to live it, and don’t take anyone or anything for granted. As we near the end of the school year, let’s appreciate all that we’ve been through.

Annika La Vina

My name is Annika La Vina (pronounced like Monica without the M). I am 20 years old, and I am currently a new student at MC. I love all kinds of sports and am super into fitness - catch me running on the side of Rockville Pike on a sunny day! In addition, I love reading and writing and have been an avid writer since elementary school. I dabble in all kinds of major writing forms - fictional, academic and now, blogging!
After high school, I traveled and worked around the world for two years. It was terrifying and exhilarating at the same time, but most of all, it was rewarding. Not only did I experience new cultures and meet tons of people, I also realized several things about myself - the most important being that I needed to go back to school.
It’s frightening - super frightening actually - to embark on a new stage in life. However, you’re not alone. Join me in my newest, weirdest, scariest, most exciting adventure yet - college!

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Annika, I am very sorry for your loss. There isn’t enough one can say, but I hope you hold on to the memories of the good times you had with him.

  2. Annika, this is absolutely heartbreaking, and I’m so sorry. I really can’t imagine what you must have felt and are feeling. I’m glad you have learned and grown though, and thank you for sharing.

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