My name is Serene. I want to share a testimony of how God healed and comforted me through the grief of losing my younger brother.

We were only kids when our father left us, and since then, I have always taken up the role of my siblings’ keeper. I have two younger brothers whom I love like my sons. My middle brother (Munmun) was 2 years younger than me and he was a special needs person. We were very close despite the physical distance. He also loves my son deeply.

I had bought him a smartphone so we could interact through video calls, but I have only ever been able to reach him through my mother’s phone – rather than with his own phone. One evening, however, my 5-year-old son requested to video call his uncle to show him a new toy. So I did, and to my amazement, Munmun picked up the phone by himself. We chatted for a while. But little did I know, that first time would also be our last, as he passed away that very night.

His passing was so sudden and unexpected. Yet, I am grateful that he passed away peacefully and painlessly in his sleep; as a result of a neuro blood vessel burst following a stroke. His passing happened in April at a time when COVID-19 hit hard all over the world. There was no way for me to travel in time for his funeral, or be there to grieve with my family. I was very sad and heartbroken.

Guilt and doubt kicked in during my weeks of grieving. I prayed to God for comfort and felt His presence strongly. I had so many questions in my heart such as: “Does he [Munmun] know I love him?”. One by one, God answered my intimate questions through people, verses and songs despite having these questions undisclosed to anyone. Those divine moments, as well as the last video call I miraculously had with my brother, assured me that his passing was part of God’s good plan. My heart was able to be at peace fairly quickly. I do not know if my brother ever accepted Jesus into his heart. But I know his life was enriched and touched by my close Christian friends in Singapore who hired him as an employee in the last six months of his life. I have no doubt my brother has been touched by God’s grace and love. My mum was also touched by my church community and Christian friends who came forward to help with the funeral and relevant costs.

There has been so much death and heartbrokenness around us since COVID-19, as we are separated from our loved ones. Therefore, I would like to encourage with these verses:
Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Psalm 147:3, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

Serene Leong
Childcare Educator
Family 2A, Hope Church Willawong