Healing Through Writing

Traumatic and grievous experiences can come into our lives unexpectedly. Healing takes time and, through writing, a person can shape and explore the difficulty.  Taking time to write of our own life experience provides a way to respect, hone and understand the trauma or loss.  We dignify our lives by taking seriously, in writing, the unwanted experience.  We can make meaning of tragedy.

The same goes for our students and often opportunities for exploring loss, trauma or difficult life experiences arise within our daily class activities. Just such an opportunity offered one of our Secondary students a place to explore and reflect on loss experienced within her own family. Read Sharon Frisby's beautiful tribute to her brother, Brian, and thank you to Sharon for so willingly sharing your story.

This is in memory of Brian.

Wednesday 13th of November 2013. I still remember this day like it was yesterday. This was the day I lost a very important person - my brother, Brian.

It was a normal school day; I dressed up in my school uniform and had a seat at the dining table, waiting for the school bus to arrive. As I was waiting I heard my father’s phone ring and he answered it. I overheard him mentioning Brian’s name and later on in the call also mentioning that he would arrive in Nairobi that afternoon. After my dad was done talking on the
phone, he came to the dining table and told us about what happened. He told us that Brian had been in hospital after a car accident he had gone through the other night and he told us that he must go to Nairobi with both my older brothers, Jason and George, as soon as possible. He didn’t say much, but he told us not to worry and that everything would be fine. I was in
shock and fear. I didn’t know what to say or do but pray to God that my brother was fine.

It was now 7:30am and the school bus had finally arrived. We went to school and I had a very bad, stressful day. All I could think about was my brother, Brian. I remember at some point after lunch I started crying and everyone was asking me what was wrong, but all I could say was I’m having family problems because I didn’t really want to talk about it otherwise I might feel even worse.

After school I got home and as the bus drove through the gate I saw men and women dressed in black. At that moment I knew that Brian was gone. So we all walked in the house and my grandfather was there sitting in the kitchen, also dressed in black. Patricia asked him if Brian had passed away and he replied yes. Patricia and Tania both dropped down on the floor in tears and pain. I couldn’t believe it. My grandfather took my hand and told me that Brian had really passed away. I was now pouring in tears; my heart was burning in pain. How could this have happened?? My grandfather talked to us to try calm us down, but still we couldn’t take it in.

After some time we all settled down a bit. We sat down together as siblings and started to talk about all the good memories we had with Brian. We each said what we liked best about Brian and today I still remember what I said. I love the fact that he would always have a smile on his face and be so chilled about everything. He was always there for me as a good brother and cared so much about me. He was so playful and made everything so fun. I remember playing ‘catch and catch’ with him when I was really young, my favorite childhood game. He would catch me and shout out “It” and then
carry me up, throw me in the air then catch me again. Those were the good old days.

I will never go a day without thinking about my brother Brian, forever in my heart. I miss him so much and as the days go by I miss him even more. I believe he is in a better place now.

Written by Sharon Frisby.