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Sudden Death and Loss of a Loved One to Gun Violence: Poem About My Brother

Updated on September 27, 2017
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Janis is a licensed professional counselor in Washington, DC. Areas of specialty include grief, loss, life transition, and trauma recovery.

Emotions Hit Hard With the News of Sudden Death

When the news of the death of a loved one finally hits, it hits hard like a ton of bricks.
When the news of the death of a loved one finally hits, it hits hard like a ton of bricks. | Source

Traumatic Death of a Loved One Jolts Us Without Warning

A terrorist attack. A natural disaster. A heart attack. A fatal car crash. A murder. These are tragedies that come without warning, unexpectedly, and . . . suddenly. The end result is that someone loses a loved one. Lives are turned upside down never to be the same again, without any preparation.

There are no words, no understanding, no explanation that makes sense of it. The occurrence of sudden death is probably the most devastating type of loss one can experience with no comparison to any other traumatic event. The following poem addresses this type of loss.

Sudden Death Loss

To what type of sudden death did you lose a family member?

See results

The Unexpected News is a Surreal Nightmare

It's like a surreal nightmare, leaving you with a light-headed and faint feeling.
It's like a surreal nightmare, leaving you with a light-headed and faint feeling. | Source

A Poem About Losing Someone Suddenly and Tragically


"Sudden Death"


I still cannot believe it,

That shocking Friday night,

A ringing phone, the piercing tone,

Something wasn't right.


My sister called to tell me,

A tale that wasn't true,

With crazy plot that Earl's been shot,

She must have misconstrued.


Within the passing seconds,

The tale begins to form,

Earl is dead, just like she said,

Erupting like a storm.

The Loss Hits with the Force of Thunder and Lightning

The news literally feels like thunder and lightning ripping through your body.
The news literally feels like thunder and lightning ripping through your body. | Source

The thunder and the lightning,

Winds blew ferociously,

No warnings or predictions,

It all came suddenly.


In the a.m. hours,

Pouncing like a thief,

Taking life and causing strife,

To resolve a petty beef.


Who would want to kill him?

My brother I adore,

Thirty-nine and out of time,

With whom was he at war?


They didn't really know him,

A precious soul was he,

There is no way that they would slay,

A man of such degree.


The loss is unbelievable,

Creating a huge space,

In my heart that's ripped apart,

Resides a small dark space.


Our lives are void of sameness,

My family and me,

A day at a time, we attempt to find,

Answers to the mystery.


As we continue the struggle,

Recalling his smiling face,

We remember the days, as we pray,

For Your healing grace.


As grief and pain live on for us,

We find relief in You,

When life and death meet, the journey's complete,

We know Earl knew it, too.


We hurt because we're human,

We accept our loss as true,

We are relieved that Earl believed,

In salvation, he knew You.

The Shock Brings on Disbelief

Believing what you've just heard takes time to sink in and comprehend when it's the death of someone close to you.
Believing what you've just heard takes time to sink in and comprehend when it's the death of someone close to you. | Source

Healing From the Tragedy

It takes time to process, accept, and eventually live with the loss of a loved one. The healing time can be unpredictable as the reality of the event sets in and becomes a part of your daily existence.

Sudden death is even more difficult to process as it comes with many levels of complications.

The hardest hurdle to face and conquer is the fact that you never had a chance to say good-bye to your friend or loved one. So many loose ends and personal matters will go unresolved forever.

These realities make healing from a sudden death tragedy a task requiring a lot of patience and support.

See the self-help resources below on the effects of trauma. Also consider the assistance of a grief counselor or grief support group for more structured support to help you and your family members cope with the death of your loved one.

The Dark Clouds of Grief Pass After a Time of Mourning

Peace eventually does come through the darkest clouds of grief and loss.
Peace eventually does come through the darkest clouds of grief and loss. | Source

Tributes Often Include the Lighting of Candles at Vigils

Traumatic loss can elevate faith and help the bereaved find solace. Candles are used often as symbols of hope as loved ones keep memories alive in their hearts and minds.
Traumatic loss can elevate faith and help the bereaved find solace. Candles are used often as symbols of hope as loved ones keep memories alive in their hearts and minds. | Source

© 2012 Janis Leslie Evans

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    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 7 weeks ago from Washington, DC

      Oh, Shyron, very sweet of you. Thank you for reading it, glad it touched you. I appreciate the hugs and the visit.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 7 weeks ago from Texas

      Janis, your poem is exceptional, my heart aches for you.

      I can relate to all that you are feeling.

      Blessings and hugs my friend.

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 7 weeks ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you so much for the understanding and for the hugs. It still hits me as if it was yesterday sometimes, especially because it is an unsolved cold case in Buffalo, NY. Many readers relate as so many families have been touched by the murder of a loved one. Bless you, Paula, for stopping by.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 7 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Janis......Although this was some time ago, I know all too well of the pain and emptiness that remains throughout our lifetime. Please know I relate and truly understand how such a loss can change us forever. Sending you hugs & hope for your continuing strength. Paula

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 23 months ago from Washington, DC

      Hi Inez! Good to hear from you, sis. So glad you found me online. We all miss Earl so much. I know this poem holds a lot of meaning for you, as it does for all of us. Blessings to you and your hubby, too. Thanks for stopping by to read my articles.

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      Inez Edwards 23 months ago

      Janis, What a beautiful poem about Earl. He was a bright and shining star. I am happy to stumble across your hub and articles. You're so gifted my friend. God bless you and Hubby. =)

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 3 years ago from Washington, DC

      Hi lissamasters, thank you very much. I appreciate your visit and lovely comments.

    • lissamasters profile image

      Melissa S Masters 3 years ago from Massachussetts

      Beautiful and beautifully written. Thank you for sharing something so deeply personal and sensitive... thank you for the "voice in the darkness" ... the dark abyss of sudden loss. Love this work.

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you for those comments, Jackie Lynnley. It's good to connect as like-minded poets. It is still painful. I appreciate your visit and kind words.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Your poetry style is a lot like mine which of course appeals to me but I have spilled many tragedies in poetry too, such as this. It is a cleansing feeling to be able to do that I think although painful at times in the writing. Very beautiful; if sad.

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Wow, Poetic Fool, glowing critique! I really appreciate that, so glad you it appealed to you. It took a year and a half for me to sit down and put those feelings on paper. It just wouldn't come until it came, as I sat in a dealership waiting for my car in the shop. Thanks so much for the votes and for sharing.

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      Poetic Fool 4 years ago

      Such a wonderful poem on such a tragic topic. You've expressed the shock and anguish well. Your poem is well-crafted, the rhythm and rhyme are exquisite. Voted up and sharing!

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      I appreciate that tillsontitan. Thank you for reading and voting.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Time can never erase the pain of losing someone the way you lost your brother. This beautiful poem is certainy a tribute to him filled with love and shared emotions. God bless.

      Voted up, useful, and beautiful.

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      You're welcome. I appreciate your help, too. I do remember we did talk about the loss of our brothers so you were there. Yours was very recent while mine was in 2004.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Thanks for sharing this Jan. I have been very selfish with my grief. I haven't been very supportive of others as I sometimes feel overwhelmed by my own pain not realizing how many others out there have gone through and are still going through it.

      I am really sorry about your loss. You have been so supportive of me since you joined Hubpages and I really appreciate you.

      Hugs

      Cardisa

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 4 years ago from Jamaica

      I'll come back and comment later......

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you very much, ExoticHippieQueen, for you kind condolence. I'm glad you liked the poem.

    • profile image

      ExoticHippieQueen 4 years ago

      I'm so very sorry for the loss of your brother. The sudden shock seems to make it all so much worse. It's a beautiful poem that conveys all of these feelings.......

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you so much, Vicki, for your comments. So true that no one could ever understand 'the thunder and the lightning' unless they've been there. Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image

      Vickiw 4 years ago

      Your poem and observations are lovely. Sudden death of a loved one is in a league of its own. Unless you have suffered it, it is impossible to imagine the trauma of it. Thanks for writing this

    • janshares profile image
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      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you very much, Rob. I appreciate your comment and your taking the time to stop by.

    • Rob Winters profile image

      Rob Winters 4 years ago

      I was truly moved by this Janis.Up & Beautiful :-)

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you, rajan. I appreciate your prayers. Although it's been a few years now, the shock lingers. It all comes when there is senseless murder like in Newtown.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      I'm sorry to learn about your personal loss and indeed a life cut short so abruptly is shocking to the core. I pray for strength to you and your family to bear this huge loss.

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you so much, Break of Dawn, for your kind words. It is still tough at times, particularly with all of the tragic loss going on right now. It just brings it all back. I'm glad you stopped by to read it and comment. This one is very special to me.

    • Break of Dawn profile image

      Break of Dawn 4 years ago

      What a terrible tragedy to lose your brother in this senseless way. Your beautiful poem made me so sad and brought tears to my eyes. My prayers are with you and your family.

      God Bless!

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 5 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you for your love and prayers, FaithReaper. Im so glad you got a chance to read this very personal poem and appreciate the ordeal my family and I endured. God bless the new life of your grandchild. Beautiful pic :-)

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 5 years ago from southern USA

      God bless you dear one. What a living nightmare to endure, the sudden death of a loved one! So senseless indeed! Your poetry vividly describes the shock of it all and the horror to its core. I am so very sorry for your loss dear one. As you say, there are no words here to comfort. It is, as you have stated at the end of your poem, a relief and comfort to know of his salvation and you will see him again. God bless you for your strength in sharing this with us all here. I am praying for you and your family.

      God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 5 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you, Phyllis. Yes, endless sorrow but we learn to incoporate it into our lives. Thank you for reading and for your sincere comment.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 5 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Jan, such a tragic thing it is to lose a loved one to an unexpected and sudden death. Losing my eldest brother was devastating, the tears and sorrow seemed to never stop -- it was the love and faith that pulled the family through a tragic time of loss.

      Blessings and healing light to you and your loved ones.

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 5 years ago from Kentucky

      Janis -

      What a terrible tragedy. Your poem says it so well, but I wish you didn't have a topic like this to write. Thank God you and your family have survived the event with faith! God Bless!

    • janshares profile image
      Author

      Janis Leslie Evans 5 years ago from Washington, DC

      Thank you so much for your comments and your well wishes. I appreciate it.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      A beautiful, heartfelt poem for your brother. Bless you both, and I wish you strength. Up, interesting and beautiful