It’s been 62 days and 20 hours since my brother, Tom, died. I was there. It was 8:54 p.m. in a New York hospital room and my mom, dad, and his partner and I cried, held his hand, stroked his hair, and embraced him as his labored breathing stopped forever.
It was shocking in some ways. Although we knew his cancer had returned, this round it took less than two weeks for him to ask us to come to New York. He knew he wasn’t going to make it this time, and he had to admit it despite rationalizing days before that we should wait until he returned home from the hospital before we visited.
But we made it. We got to see him, talk to him, tell him we loved him, cry, plan, say goodbye. It was awful and it was heartbreaking. Yet, I know how fortunate I am to have had the opportunity to be there with him.
I’m grateful I was able to tell him, face to face, that we were lucky to have been close – not all siblings are – and that I was blessed to have had him for my brother.