Saying Goodbye is Painful

Albert in blechers

I keep this picture of my twin brother, Albert, up on my website, because on June 4, 2018, he had his first anniversary of his death from lung cancer. He was addicted to cigarettes and couldn’t give them up.

He was cremated in Boynton Beach, Florida where he lived. Our modern world has turned a lot of people to cremation. My husband and I are signed up at a funeral home for the same instructions. Why? Paying $2,000-$3,000 is more comfortable than $14,000 at least, for a wake, funeral, and Mass. 

The sad part of cremation is not having a closure with saying goodbye. Since he died in Florida with no services, my heart still wants to believe he is still alive. 

He was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1990 and was told to have his voice box taken out. A Japanese doctor from Mass General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts tried a new radiation treatment on him. He was the first person to use this.  He was cured completely and doctors from Japan came over to the USA to see the treatment and examine my brother.

How many people fighting cancer would love this gift from God of being healed? He could eat or do anything he wanted but stay away from cigarettes. No, he started right up after he was cured. Probably thinking he had new lungs. Like an alcoholic being blessed with getting a new liver. Some pick up where they left off because the liver was clean with no disease and figure they have years to drink again.

Albert lived another 27 years, but let me say, his last 5-10 were not healthy. His voice went deep, raspy, and was extremely hard to understand his speech. Family begged him to stop, but he saw no problem. He claimed his faded voice was from the radiation treatment, not the past cancer. 

Like parents and family members of substance abusers, we had to sit back and watch my brother’s life slowly leaving him, while he continued his addiction, in-between him feeling like we were picking on him.

We, who have no addictions ask, “Why can’t they stop?” We can’t understand what they are mentally and physically going through. That’s why people start their addictions because they feel they can stop anytime, or the substance will not kill them. 

I wanted so badly to know when Albert was passing so I could of held his hand leaving this world as we came into it together. 

Be at peace. We miss you.


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Alberta Sequeira
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