I lost my beloved brother in a very tragic way. It seems like yesterday, but it was almost 20 years ago. Gone too soon. He was intelligent, loving and compassionate. When he died, I worked my way through the most unbearable pain I ever imagined. I vividly remember sleepless nights, cries of pain, long hours at the office and working through weekends. I’ve always managed difficult times by (the distraction) of working hard and keeping busy.

During this period of hardship, I moved from the apartment I shared with my brother. I formed a special friendship with my new neighbor. A very kind, elderly lady who lived alone in her two bedroom apartment. She had the most beautiful curly gray hair with a smile that could make your heart sing. We connected with each other in a miraculous way. I called her Grandma and she treated me as if I was her biological grand daughter. However, my new Grandma was very ill. She gave me a key to her apartment so I could check-in on her. Although she had children and grandchildren living in the same city, she was by herself most of the time. I didn’t know then that my beautiful Grandma was an Angel showing up in my life to ease my pain, the loss of my only brother.

One day I felt an overwhelming urge to go home at 5 pm instead of working overtime. When I entered the hallway of my apartment building, I smelled a strong burning odor. I remember being nervous and opening Grandma’s door with shaky hands. I found her on the kitchen floor. She had turned on the hot plate but fainted shortly thereafter. I called the paramedics and followed her to the ER. She was sent back home the same night. I remember, I didn’t work much overtime after that. I would rather come home and spend my evenings and weekends with Grandma. This special lady with her witty nature enhanced my life profoundly. She would always thank me. My answer would be: “Grandma, I’m sure I will never be able to express my gratitude for how much you helped me to become a stronger and better person.”

Ironically, I never would have met her if not for my brother’s sudden passing.

Years later, I was deeply affected by the loss of my Grandma. I’m grateful for knowing her. We shared so many things. I feel Grandma is my Guardian Angel. I love her with all my heart and I always will.

Your heart tells you who your true “family” is.

The love within us is the source of all good.
The act of giving fulfills a fundamental need.
It’s our spiritual fuel.

If we don’t love ourselves, how can we offer a loving act? My “best friend” could not bear to spend time with me after the tragic loss of my brother. She was not strong enough (emotionally and spiritually). That’s when I began (practicing) being nonjudgmental and compassionate towards others.

When we lend our hand to someone who needs it, the universe rewards us. Even when we don’t, the universe does not judge us. The universe is compassionate. The universe loves us unconditionally. When each of us act the same way as the universe, we form a loving circle. Giving gives back, becoming a “good” habit. A joyful experience enhancing our lives.

                                                PHOTO CREDIT: SHI