Posted in Personal, Relationships, Sorrow

Happy Birthday, Brother

Time heals all wounds, they say. 

October is always kind of difficult for me now, although some years are worse than others.  It took me a bit to figure out why this one seemed a little more difficult than years past, and then I remembered, this year is the 25th year. 

Ah.  Yes.  A “milestone.”  That explains why it’s so much more on my mind than … normal. 

But really, it’s not normal to remember your brother is dead.   None of us should have dead brothers, or sisters …

Death is a part of life only because we can’t escape it, but if we could, we sure as hell would.  Grief sucks.  And as a believer, I know death was never part of God’s plan. 

The whole month is draped in its own mourning cloth that has nothing to do with Halloween.  I got the news on the 1st – although he’d been dead several days by that point but he’d only just then been discovered.  His birthday was the 25th, and the memorial service was on the 30th, but I couldn’t go.  I couldn’t afford plane tickets and my ex … well.  Let’s just say my ex’s behavior regarding my brother’s death is part of the reason he’s an ex, and leave it at that.

I don’t write this looking for sympathy, because I’m not.  I’m not comfortable with that.  I’ve come to a place where I don’t share too many personal things on the blog anymore.  A sort of contracting, I suppose, a pulling-in, circling the wagons.  I’m not even exactly sure why I am sharing this now, although I do feel this sense that I need to honor my brother.  I need to wish him a Happy Birthday, even if God is the only One Who can pass the message along. 

He was so much older than me, starting high school when I was born, and embarrassed about his mother having a baby at his age.  He moved out when I was three, then eventually married and became a father himself.  We weren’t close – how could we be?  I figured he was just waiting for me to acquire some adult life under my belt so we could have more things in common.  I was so happy when he started calling me, and we spent quite a bit of time on the phone during that last year. 

Finally!  I thought we were finally saying “hello” to a great sibling relationship and that we would go forward as friends.

I didn’t realize he was saying goodbye.  Not until later.  Not until after.  He knew he was saying goodbye, he’d been planning it all along, and I confess, that makes me angry.  I am so kicking his ass when I see him again in Heaven.  After I hug him of course. 

I no longer believe that time heals all wounds.  I believe our grief muscles get stronger from use and so grief becomes a little easier to carry, but it never really goes away.  It’s always there.  Lurking.  Behind a picture, behind a memory, a smell, behind a certain date.  Sometimes you know it’s there, just waiting for you.  Other days it pulls a “scare cam” and then you can only cry out. 

Next year I’ll be ready.  Next year will be one of his milestone birthdays.  He didn’t have enough of those. 

Some days, I really miss my brother.

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