Rhoda Fajardo 3D Rhoda Fajardo 3D: My Brother's Death Shaped The Way I Perceived The World

Jun 18, 2015

My Brother's Death Shaped The Way I Perceived The World

My Brothers Death Shaped The Way I Perceived The World

Life is a crazy ass roller coaster ride with ups and downs. One minute you're on top, and then . . . the sudden drop. Sometimes it’s slow and sometimes it’s fast, but it is never anticipated.

I really can't put my finger on what I'm feeling right now.

Sometimes I'd cry a lot, other times, I couldn’t cry at all. Losing a family member to suicide is probably one of the hardest experiences we will ever have to endure in this life. Even though it's been 5 years, it still hurts. Because my brother was stolen from us. Suicide is a thief.

What a fucking bitch life is.

But there are some things that we just can't change. I'm sure my brother doesn't want me to feel sad every damn day of my life. I have to remember that I still have my 3 daughters, my 2 younger sisters, and my parents. Tomorrow, June 19th, marks the 5th anniversary of my brother's death. And I wanna share what I did that helped me with my healing process.

Recovering from the Loss of a Sibling

#1: Face the new reality.

The people around you will tell you to “Move on” or “Everything is going to be alright” or “I understand what you feel” even if they really don’t. Losing a sibling is different from losing a grandparent or a parent. You may think that the people around you are insensitive for even saying those things. Understand that they are only trying to help you get through this even if they don’t know how.

#2: Expect the people around you to pity you.

You may want to talk about this to someone outside of the family because you want to get it out of your chest. Chances are, they will pity you. If you don’t want other people to pity you but instead to just shut up and listen to you and lend their shoulder for you to cry on, tell them right away what you need from them before you bring up the topic. This way they can avoid doing or saying something to displease you.

#3: Give yourself a lot of time for grieving.

You may need a lot of time alone because of #2. Find time to cry it all out and feel the pain. It’s harder to just keep it all in. We all have different ways of grieving. In my case, I’m writing down these things hoping someone just like me 5 years ago, going through the same thing, can read this. Writing can really help you process your thoughts and feelings, and get things straight in your mind.

#4: Treat your family’s emotions with the same respect you want yours to be treated.

You may find the people around you, even your own parents, ignoring your feelings about your brother or sister’s death. You may also find your parents, especially your mother, very possessive with your lost sibling like they don’t want to share him/her with you.

To the parents of dead children, including my own parents, respect your other children’s feelings and let them grieve on their own way. Don’t give the bullshit excuse that you should be more hurt just because you’re the parents. We love our brother/sister too.

#5: Distract yourself from sadness.

Join a support group, pursue a hobby, go back to school, develop a new skill, or start a business . . . whatever it is that will keep your mind off that painful feeling. This doesn’t mean that you’re forgetting about your lost sibling, but instead you’re trying to improve your own life for the family members left behind.

Find ways to help other people just like you to cope with tragedies like these. Support a cause or campaign you really care about. Me? I support suicide prevention, fighting depression and anti-illegal drugs campaigns.

#6: Immortalize your lost sibling.

Memories of our lost loved ones will keep them alive forever. So I created this photoshopped image of my brother on Iron Man’s body. Why Iron Man? Well, because he loves Iron Man and also because Iron Man designs weapons to save the world. I also believe if the technology in Marvel exists here in the real world, it could’ve saved my brother’s life. You know, that shiny thingy on Tony Stark’s heart?

Louie Roy Fajardo

I may never get over my brother's death for as long as I live.

And I will always be sad that he's gone. However, the tips above helped me with my own recovery and that’s why I’m paying it forward to you.

If you are, or know somebody, coping with loss or any situation you can't do anything about anymore, here's a prayer for you even if I'm not really a religious fanatic. This prayer has helped recover from all the trials in my life and I hope it helps you too.

The Serenity Prayer

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Do you know someone who might be going through something like this?

Save a life today and share these links to the people you care about:

The Compassionate Friends
Natasha Goulbourne Foundation

Rhoda Fajardo 3D


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