As I drove into work this morning, I thought about my brother and I smiled. I didn’t cry – I smiled. I still miss him and I still hate that he is gone but his memory doesn’t hurt as much as it used to. As a matter of fact, his memory gives me a sense of peace and security that I have been looking for quite some time. I know that my brother would want me to feel this kind of peace considering everything that my family has been through in the past two years. If anything, I am finally healing.
A year ago, about this time, we were going on four months since we lost my brother. At this time last year, my brother’s grave stone was ready to be put down and April 20 (four months after we lost him), we received confirmation that it was. So a year and four months later, I still miss him and I know the feelings of losing him can rush through me at any minute and any time but right now, I am okay because I know I am finally at the point where I can say I am healing.
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. April 20, 2011.
Looking back at those words, I remember exactly how I felt last year but those words don’t hurt as much as they did then. I have been able to heal because I have been able to share my brother’s story. However, one of the things I have not been able to do is be active on the war to ban asbestos in the United States. I want to help but I am still dealing with the loss that asbestos brought to my life. In time, I hope. The more time I have to heal, the easier working for a great cause will be. Because, as many of you know, one I stand up for something, I don’t back down but for today, I will continue to share my brother’s story, here on my blog and at other places on the World Wide Web and hopefully through other media forms.
I know all too well that grieving has no timeline. It is not usual for grief to go on for several years and in the beginning, that grief is strong. However, as time goes by, we learn to manage our grief and I think I am at that point now. The only thing I was looking for is for life to have meaning and it finally does again. I still take the time to see how precious life is and I remind myself not to take things so seriously because I don’t want to have missed out on anything. I want to enjoy time with my loved ones and I want to make the best of the time that I have with them. After, life is shorter than we think. We can tell ourselves we have all the time in the world but that is not always true. I know that none of us have any control of our destinies and our time here on Earth so I want to treasure that and the people that I love. I am glad to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel – it is so beautiful and so warm.