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STORIES -'The Story of Shared Pain' 
-Evan's Story as told by Wendy - PART1

"You don't believe my words now,But you'll come to it yourself...Suffering is a great thing." -Fyodor Dostoevsky

As another anniversary marked the 8th year of Evan's passing, I reflected on the deep sense of loss that has enveloped me since his passing... On 29th May 2007 he would have been 49.

On February 4th 1999 at 4:00pm I received a call that would change my life for ever... a call that most people dread, one that would throw the average person into a hysterical frenzy.

It was my mother and all she said was, "Wens, Evan is dead". My response equally composed was okay... Then there I sat frozen for what seemed like hours in time. Then I asked her where she was and she said, "I am at his flat, I came to visit him and found he had just died". The police had been called when she rang the bell repeatedly and got no response, especially as his elderly neighbour said she had heard him moving around a few hours ago and was convinced he was at home. The police suggested that the ambulance be called and then proceeded to force their entry into his flat.

They heard the water running in the kitchen and went there to find Evan "relaxed" on the floor ankles crossed one hand on his heart and the other raised as if swearing an oath of allegiance. My mother rushed to his side and cradled his head in her arms... The paramedics pronounced him dead even though his body was still warm. He must have died just a few hours before and had my mother got there earlier she might have seen her son alive. But here he lay, with no obvious sign of a struggle, relaxed, comfortable and peaceful... in death and at rest eternally.

For days before he passed, my mother had this strong urge to visit him but something else always came up and she postponed seeing him for another day until that fateful day and it then it was too late... The days that followed were a blur; all I remember was the steady flow of visitors. Family, friends, well wishers, all wanting to pay their respects and offer words of advice and comfort, encouragement and support. Evan was dead and all these people were comforting me.

I found myself looking into their eyes and realizing that every person carries some pain in their life, some difficulty, some loss. And this can bring you together; it can connect and unite you and free you from self-circling. For weeks on end afterwards, I would visit his grave and cry... Passing the street where he lived brought back all sorts of memories in a way I hadn't expected it to, and I found myself struggling to accept my brother’s death like never before.


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