Four months today – That is how long it has been since we lost my brother. That empty, numb, and sad feeling doesn’t really go away. It follows you everywhere you go. My mom and my brother are going overseas to visit my sister in early May. They are going to be gone for at least a month. I am pretty sad about that. Since my brother died, I cannot imagine going more than a few days without seeing Mom and my siblings. It is my way of knowing that everyone’s okay.
I have never really been an emotional person. For a long time, I remained tough and emotionless when I came across tough issues. Now, it just seems like his death gave me permission to cry, to feel sadness and to mourn to my losses. I find myself crying daily and even the smallest things bring out the waterworks.
Sometimes, I also find myself angry and this is a side of me that I never really had. This anger is new and I know, even though I say that I accept that losses I faced, I am dealing with a lot of anger. I am angry at my brother’s death (at the loss itself, not at God – I know better), my failed marriage, trying to make ends meet for my kids and me, at how tough life can be, how no one really understands, and even how I can’t seem to get things right when it comes to relationships. I am smart, I am tough, and I am confident when it comes to my career and my kids, but when it comes to romantic love, I have no idea.
I feel like each of us, my siblings, Mom, nephews and nieces, and my kids, is lost and trying to find a way out since my brother’s death. I am sure how we all managed to be so scattered as we are dealing with this big emptiness, this huge heartache, and this really lost feeling like we are lost in a maze and can’t find our way out. For me, losing a sibling feels like I have lost a limb. It is a part of you will never get back and every time you look, you see that that part of you is still gone. I am not sure how we can stop hurting or fill the emptiness – all we can do is keep going. All we have to hold on to is his memory.
People always say it is a good thing that he did not have to leave a wife and children behind. For us, it is something we wish he had left behind. A child would mean that my brother was actually here but pictures, memories and material things, they fade with time. The hardest part is knowing that if he had not passed on, I would be able to handle the most recent challenges in my life with strength and confidence. Most days, it feels like I am just dragging along with very little strength and no confidence.
As I was preparing this post, my mom called to tell me she received a letter telling her that my brother’s gravestone was put down last Friday. How funny it is that until this moment, his death seemed so surreal. Mom didn’t say they put “your brother’s” gravestone down, she said “the” gravestone has been put down. It will not seem real for anyone of us until we see the stone. The cemetery is a bit of a drive and with my schedule; she and I won’t be able to head out there until Friday. The stone being put down is a moment of sadness for all of us. It is a reminder that he is really gone.