The Death of a Family Member

My heart is heavy. I had intended to publish another fun, thought-provoking film analysis today, but something happened this week that made me change my mind. Right now would not be an appropriate time for levity.

Alan Blood and his young son react to discovering Alan's breast cancer had returned.My brother-in-law, Alan Blood, died on the morning of Saturday, October 15, 2016. He was only 43 years old. He leaves behind his wife (my sister) of 20 years, as well as his three daughters and one son, aged 8, 12, 14, and 17.

It happened suddenly. He had been fighting breast cancer for the past few years. Yes, men can get breast cancer, too. He suffered through numerous hospital visits, chemotherapy, full-brain radiation treatments, and more. It looked like he had finally hit a breakthrough and gotten past a serious rough patch just two weeks ago. He was on the mend and back on his feet.

It had been hard seeing Alan so weak. He was always such a muscular, energetic man, filled with boundless energy and creativity. He welcomed me into his home at pivotal moments in my life when I needed his help. And he was always a friend to me through my awkward adolescent years.

On Friday, he went to the hospital unable to eat or drink anything, and doctors found he was suffering from total liver failure. His body could not digest anything. My sister was with him during his final moments the following morning. His heart rate raced as high as 180 beats per minute before he was given medicine to slow it down. Unfortunately, his heart rate kept falling until it ceased entirely.

I got to visit my sister and her children at their home on Sunday. Tears flowed freely at unexpected moments. A familiar word, a handkerchief in his sweat jacket’s pocket, or his favorite hymn had the power to open deep wounds and trigger crying spells. They clearly miss their husband/father.

It’s been a long time since I’ve had to face the death of a loved one. The last time this happened I was 8, and it was my maternal grandmother who died. I didn’t understand the concept of death, but I knew that I missed her because she had always been kind and funny. She had been in the twilight of her life, so it felt okay for her to die. But Alan’s death leaves a void that will be difficult to fill.

I believe Alan is happy now in the afterlife, free from pain and suffering. He endured so much in the span of his brief life. I won’t say he was perfect or anything melodramatic like that. Everyone has their flaws. But he was probably the meekest man I have ever known. He recognized his weaknesses, admitted them openly, and refused to hide from his mistakes. He owned up to them and spent his time trying to be better.

A good man has died and gone to his reward. May we all be so blessed to have the same said of each of us when the time comes for us to shake off this mortal coil and return home.

This is the Deja Reviewer bidding my brother-in-law farewell until we meet again.

About Robert Lockard, the Deja Reviewer

Robert Lockard has been a lover of writing since he was very young. He studied public relations in college, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in 2006. His skills and knowledge have helped him to become a sought-after copywriter in the business world. He has written blogs, articles, and Web content on subjects such as real estate, online marketing and inventory management. His talent for making even boring topics interesting to read about has come in handy. But what he really loves to write about is movies. His favorite movies include: Fiddler on the Roof, Superman: The Movie, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Back to the Future, Beauty and the Beast, The Fugitive, The Incredibles, and The Dark Knight. Check out his website: Deja Reviewer. Robert lives in Utah with his wife and four children. He loves running, biking, reading, and watching movies with his family.
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8 Responses to The Death of a Family Member

  1. Neel Woodall says:

    .He will be remembered, and wait for us on the far side of the River Jordan, till we meet again.


  2. Dave says:

    My condolences, brother, on your loss. During this time, may you and your family, especially the children, be comforted by the Lord who holds you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Don BroJo says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Katie Marie says:

    I’m very sorry for your, your sister’s and his children’s loss.


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