to my brother.
Today you would have turned 42. I still sometimes can't wrap my head around the fact that someone so young, so healthy, and so loved died so suddenly. To say that life is unfair would be a spectacular understatement.
I can't believe that you've been gone for six weeks now. I guess I find it hard to believe that life has gone on. A month ago, I would have never believed it. I don't cry every day anymore, it's more like every other day at this point, but some days are harder than others. Yesterday was hard. Today will be harder.
I think it's bittersweet that my son identifies you in photos now. He also says your name when he sees your necklace pendant. I can't bring myself to put mine on yet, but I think it comforts Mom and she wears hers everyday. I'm still sad that you were never able to meet my little boy. He is truly my own heart walking outside of my body. He's so handsome and smart. I know you would have just loved him to bits.
I was lucky to grow up as your little sister. Not that it was all awesome. . .with three children in the family, there were always alliances being formed to gang up on the odd man out. But I knew I was loved and, when I wasn't the odd man out, it was great. I loved having siblings so much that I long to conceive and bring forth another child. Maybe sometime next year. . .
I believed you were going to make it. I believed it strongly enough to not rearrange my plans for the day. I knew the odds were shockingly bleak and I knew it was possible that you might die, but you were so young. It didn't make sense that you might die. I willed you to live. If only it were so easy.
I sometimes still recall that phone conversation with Dad. . .the one where it was clear that you were dying. As if it were a poisonous snake, I threw my phone at my husband. I couldn't hear anymore, what I had already heard was too horrible to believe. I ran to the bathroom and began puking and wailing. My body totally rejected what my brain knew was going to happen.
My husband walked in the bathroom. I shouted, "Don't touch me! Get away from me!" I don't know why I took it out on him, I just couldn't stand to feel comforted. Sometimes I still can't; this grief is such a dark and ugly thing. I continued to alternately sob and puke until there was nothing left.
Like a zombie, I walked out of the bathroom. My tears were gone, I think. My husband said we should go to Mom & Dad. I didn't want to. I just wanted to be alone, but he insisted that we all needed to be together right then and so we went.
For some reason, my husband heard a different conversation than I did. He thought that, while you still weren't out of the woods, that you certainly weren't dying. A tiny part of me clung to that sliver of hope, thinking that perhaps I had heard wrong, but I think I knew. I know I knew.
We walked in Mom & Dad's house and they were holding each other, crying. You died while we were on the way to their house. Oh God, how I wish that I never had to see our parents look so sad, so utterly heartbroken. I hate to sound so selfish, but I hope and pray to never know their pain. . .
"Oh no!" I cried out and Mom held me while I held her. And Dad held me while I held him. All of our tears intermingled as the family sobbed for your loss.
As I've written once before, a piece is now missing in the puzzle that is our family. And, again, pieces will continue to disappear as time relentlessly marches forward. That makes me sad to realize.
You know, this post did not start out as a tear-jerker, but it sure has turned into one for me. I guess I just wanted to say that I'm glad you were my brother and I miss you. I always forgot the birthdays of my nieces and nephews, of course there are a ton, but I never forgot the birthdays of my parents or my siblings. And, while you may be gone, you aren't forgotten.