I had his number in my phone even though we hadn't spoken in two years. I texted him a few times over those two years: A Happy Birthday, a catching up, a note to see how Mom and Dad were when I couldn't get a hold of them. I never got a response from that number though.
My brother and I weren't speaking for two years before he passed away, however I don't regret that. It was the way of the relationship he and I had, it is what it is and neither of us were willing to change in the end.
When he died, I sent a message to that number and got his widow, she text
This past month I dropped my phone and shattered the screen. I lost all the numbers in my phone because of it. Two of them belong to people that passed away and I never deleted their numbers, I suppose it's a forced way to clean my emotional house.
It was a hard realization when I looked in my phone and didn't see his name. He was my brother for 38 years, he's been gone for over one. I have three beautiful nieces that need me to focus on the future and being there for them during their next 38 years... sometimes life has a way of forcing us to let go of the past and accept loss in all forms.