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Tribute paid to Sr Maria, the ‘flying nun’
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Death of a son

Vivian, Vandell (deceased) and Alicia Birch

Vandell Birch died October 21, 2014. His mother Alicia shares on the impact of his death.

My son was my life.
He was everything I had dreamed of when I found out that I was having a son—brave, healthy, energetic, God-fearing, athletic, intelligent and the life of the party. As parents, my husband Vivian and I did all that we could for 22 years to raise a well-rounded, productive citizen called Vandell Birch.

You always hear that a parent is not supposed to bury their child. I was never prepared for his death. I consider myself a very strong person and could have handled anything else, but not this. I doubted that it had really happened and questioned God when I had come to terms with the fact that it was indeed true.

My husband and I always made sure to help him with his problem or when he got into a sticky situation but this definitely was one that we could not get him out of. Death is the point of no return.

God had given me only one child. Why would he call him back so soon? With each passing day after his death, I felt waves and waves of emotions. One day I would feel alone, another day I would feel angry, then cheated, then weak, then stupid and sometimes I would feel them all at once.

What was I to do now? He was my entire world and in a split second, it was shattered. Imagine speaking to your child before he leaves the house one morning and by the afternoon he is no longer in the land of the living. How does one process that?

I have tried to embrace the old adage that time heals all wounds but four years later, the wound is still fresh. Each day is different as I attempt to process everything, developing coping mechanisms to face daily life.

Losing my son has certainly taught me the value of life, that every moment is precious, we are not in control of our lives and only God knows the future.

What has helped a great deal is my faith. I would not be able to endure this ordeal without God, my husband, my sister, family and close friends. They have bolstered me and held me up to continue living.

The tears still flow daily but I know Vandell would not want to see me that way. In his nice way, he would probably say “What happen to you Alicia? Remember you’re a soldier girl.”

Perhaps he accomplished his purpose in the short time that he was here on earth. The outpouring of love and support after his passing definitely allowed us to know how far his reach was. My husband and I continue to trust God that we will see our precious son again one day as he rests in perfect peace.