Recently, I lost my brother to Covid-19. Somewhat, I’ve been trying to recover from the trauma. Certainly, I’m not alone in this. A thousand of Namibians can relate – and unfortunately, a million in the world have been robbed once, twice or even more by this merciless pandemic.
Just like a thousand of families in Namibia, Covid-19 has a way of targeting the grandeur, bread winners and the most respected in the society – and my story is no different. My brother, whom I’m still in awe and in great disbelief about his passing, was a school principal, family man, and a man with so many dreams.
He succumbed to the virus after battling with it for three weeks. The virus started attacking him on his 48th birthday on the 30th June, and he died on 18th July. He became the first of my parent’s nine children to die. So, basically, the first cut is the deepest.
Prior to his death, he was ironically at the forefront of encouraging members of the family to protect themselves from the virus. Despite noticing the symptoms early, and reaching out to his doctor, the virus attacked him severely and extremely fast.
He went from complaining of flu, headache, loss of taste and body weakness in next to no time.
Then, before we knew it, he was hit by hypoxemia, which ultimately killed him.
The oximeter placed on him became our best friend as we prayed for it to pick up. It did at some point – and we were so hopeful of his recovery, then it dropped drastically when we least expected it.
As a family, we were hurt. We were too busy praying for a miracle while missing a chance of saying bye to him.
The period was so gloomy, and then we had to numb the pain to prepare for his sending off.
Everything was unusual. The memorial service was shorter than usual; the attendance was fewer than usual, and the virtual memorial service is something we are not necessarily used to.
We went through the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining (‘What if’ questions), depression and acceptance (acceptance doesn’t mean that it’s okay or that we have completely healed from it. It only means that we have rationalised what has happened).
Death is such a great robber. Despite the sun setting in the morning hours of his life, we are content that it’s the Lord who gives and takes away.
If more than anything, his death has taught us that tomorrow isn’t promised.
Be kind to one another; take care of yourself and your beloved ones from this cruel virus.
Though days are dark, and every day is like another storm, I promise you that better days are coming!