The day after my prior post my brother died.
The importance of family. You don't realize the importance and strength a family affords until you are in a place of weakness. This week my older brother Hector was laid to rest after a battle with cancer. It was a long battle but he bore it with dignity and strength. In fact some people doubted he was really ill because it wasn't until the last few months of his illness that he really required help. We owe so many people for their kind and generous hearts. Though I wasn't close by to help him, from all the stories I couldn't help but hear how valiantly he struggled to survive yet with clarity prepared for his death.
Fortunately, last week I was here, in PR, to visit with him and spend a little time with him. I am so grateful to God that I was able to come and do this. It still amazes me that the Lord allowed me to say goodbye and other things I really needed to say. When I got the news of his passing, it had only been four days since I had last seen him. Words can't express how thankful I am that God gave me this gift of being able to see him.
I need to say something about funerals. Funerals are not for the dead. They are for the living. How can I say such a thing you might add? I had been able to say good bye to my brother, just a couple of days before. Why did I need to come home again so quickly a pragmatist might ask? Simply put, we need to grieve and receive the love, hugs, and condolences and go through the process of letting that loved person go. We need to share our life stories and remember that that person was and is a valuable person in our lives. When we do not grieve appropriately and in community, we suffer for it. Believe me, I know.