Feeling the Loss of her Brothers

On February 18, my brother George was having a procedure done. A stent was being put in his heart. I could feel my anxiety stirring.
Just two years earlier, we said goodbye to our brother Gus. Pancreatic cancer came and robbed him of his health. It was painful. I remember when he leaned forward one day and told us, “I’m so glad I won’t have to go through this with one of you guys.”

With George in the hospital, I became nervous. I didn’t think I could go through something like that again. I knew I didn’t want to.

By Thursday, my anxiety level had risen. I felt a pressure in my chest. “Mike, I think you should take me to the ER.”

And in moments we were there. The nurse explained what would be happening as soon as I entered that room. It was just as she said. People came at me from all directions. There was no room for modesty as strangers began attaching wires to my chest.

A Familiar Looking Nurse

I was told my blood pressure was off the charts. My stomach hurt, so a nurse came in with a drink for me. “This will eventually numb your mouth, but it will also take care of your stomachache,” he said.

I had to tell him, “You look like my brother Steve.” Brown eyes, like all of us in my family, and dark hair. Yes, he looked like a younger version of Steve.

I asked Mike, “Don’t you think he looks like Steve?”

Mike mumbled, “A little.”

When the doctor left the room, Mike followed him. I was to stay overnight in the hospital. They were waiting for test results.
I said goodbye to Mike and was wheeled upstairs. Maybe I could get some rest. God knew I’d need it.

A Shocking Loss

In the morning, I met my roommate and a room full of her family members. It wasn’t long before Mike arrived with Jessica to take me home.

After I introduced him to my roommate, Mike rose to his feet, all tensed up.

Immediately he blurted out words that still shake me to the core: “Something terrible happened. Your brother Steve had a heart attack and died.”

I heard myself screaming, “No! No!”

Instantly my husband and daughter were by my side. The curtain was pulled to give us a false sense of privacy. No, Steve couldn’t be dead; I just talked to him a few days ago. Steve was fifty-two. No.

But I couldn’t deny it. It was my terrible reality. So two days later, we traveled to Chicago. We stood at the gravesite full of other family members. And once again, I said goodbye to a loved one.

This is excerpted from Broken: A story of abuse, survival and hope.

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Read more from Anne on Open to Hope: Wishing Doesn’t Change Things – Open to Hope

Anne Peterson

Anne Peterson is a Christ follower, a poet, speaker and published author of 16 books. Through the many losses Anne has experienced in her life, she has felt God’s wonderful comfort. Her desire is to share words that will give hope to those who are hurting. Anne's tagline is: Life is hard, I write words to make it softer. Anne has also authored 42 published Bible Studies and about a hundred articles with christianbiblestudies.com/Today’s Christian Woman. 
 Many of her articles have been seen on Crosswalk.com For the past 28 years, Anne’s poetry has been available in gift stores throughout the U.S. as well as in 23 countries.

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