Today marked one month of my brother’s death, Ko Mang

Today marked one month of my brother’s death, Ko Mang. After suffering unbearable burden of depression and abandonment from loved ones, he ended his own life on Jan 26. In his department, he was the first to do civil disobedience. He opposed the military and the coup vehemently and proved his opposition with actions. Since the mid-April last year, when the first armed clash between CDF and SAC broke out, he was not longer at home. He became one of the supplier for CDF. He went to the battle front on foot and provided supplies to his comrades in CDF. I remembered the day vividly when he returned home; he was feverishly exciting. He went back and forth like a mad man. We learned from him that the soldiers shot him but fortunately the bullet missed him. He was lucky to live. He was so nervous and soon disappeared again. In retrospect, I think that was the day I lost him as a brother, forever. Later, he sought donors and supplied CDF with much-needed boots, power banks, bags, clothing, gasoline, rice, food, and many other things. Due to his urge, I happened to write an article, as part of his awareness campaign. I also partook in an English talk show called Mindat Talk , organized by him. There were so many things he has done and he wanted us to do for Mindat. As his revolutionary zeal was too strong and his aim too great, we were soon unable to follow his thoughts and actions. For many months, he rarely slept, ate or took a rest. He no longer knew what is day; what is night; what is eating; what is sleeping. All he thought about is how he can save Mindat from its present calamity.

Few and few people understood him and slowly abandoned him. His mental health began to decline slowly. His judgement became false, and he took fight against everyone on his way, including myself. As time passed; few and few people donated to him. No matter what it took, he continued to support Mindat-CDF in many ways he can. He finally borrowed from his friends and acquaintances. With borrowed money; he bought goods and resold them to members of CDF and the public at half the price. In one instance, he sold motorcycles at 5 lakhs which he bought at around 11 lakhs. Gradually, he began to lose money and unable to repay debt. His closesest associates and friends departed him until he was left alone. That was the state in which he began to realize his situations and stopped all he was doing. But, his mental strength began to weaken quickly. He began to apologize everyone. Everyone forgave him. But with the thought of being owed many debts and of being a burden on the family, he could not bring himself to forgive himself. He came to think of himself as the most useleess being on earth. He thought his state was unsalvageable. His friends, relatives, family members and I have gave him emotional support and advice many times but to no avail. What he needed was not really us. He needed the counselling of a professional psychiatrist.

In this declining mental state, when he was back home and when he lived with MOM whom he loved so much, he ended his life. It was an unbelievable, shocking event for us. Losing him was a big loss for us and for the town and the country. He was educated as a man could be under repressive life conditions of Myanmar. He hold a master degree in physics from University of Yangon. That is, he is one of the educated few in Mindat. For us, he was a loving, kind and caring brother. I still remembered in my university days, whatever problems I countered , I would go to him and he would resolve them somehow. He led independent and carefree life. That is what I admired most in him. That he lived his life to its fullest. Losing him is the hardest thing to accept. But, the reality have to sink in, slowly. Even though he is dead , he will long live in our memories. As Ed Sheeran’s lyrics in one of his songs, he is“Memories of a life that’s been loved.” We will always live with those memories, memories of growing up together, sharing, and comforting each other, arguing, fighting, reuniting and loving again. And those memories will never die.