Last night, I dreamed my brother was still alive. He told me that he had gotten better and that he would be okay. We were on a ship together. It was Mom, my kids, him, and me. In beginning of the dream, I was taking care of him as if he was a baby. Mom wasn’t taking care of him. She was watching from a distance. There also wasn’t an age difference – he was the same ago in the dream that he was when he died. It was just this feeling that he was a baby and I was taking care of him like he was. Then, it was like he had grown up (again, just a feeling) and he told me that he could take care of himself now that he was better. Then, he started to walk away, not looking back and he was gone. I looked for him but I couldn’t find him.
Maybe this is his way of telling me that he is in a better place and that he understood that we did everything we could for him. At some level, I kept trying to reassure myself that we did but deep inside, I always wondered if we did. I guess this was his way of telling me we did. I also wanted to protect him and I couldn’t and I wished to God that I could have.
Sometimes, I ask him to help me find a way to help Mom. My mom doesn’t know how to move forward. It is like she denies that he is gone and she says she feels like he is going to walk in the door any moment. She still cannot go in his room or move any of his things. I want her to move forward but I know that if she takes even one thing out of his room, the reality that he is gone forever will hit her and she won’t be able to come back from that.
The thing about my family is that we all grieve privately. When Dad died, it was like we all went into our rooms and shut the door. When my brother died, we promised each other that we wouldn’t do that but we have. Sometimes, we remember and talk about the good times but we don’t talk about his illness, his death, or life without him. For Mom, she can’t even say aloud that he is gone. I know we will all heal in time but I wish that grieving could be just a little easier. Because it is really hard, it is hard for us to lean on one another.
I miss him and everyday is a reminder that he is gone. Sometimes, I cry for no reason and then, I remember that he is gone and I know why I am crying. I feel like I have lost something that was a part of me. It is like something has been taken from me right out of my heart and I can’t get it back. There are times where I forget that he is gone but little things are a reminder.
If Heaven were only closer, goodbyes wouldn’t be so hard.