“Nothing new is ever created without one thing colliding into another. And something new is created when the person you love dies. Because they are not the only ones who die: you die too. The person you were when you were with them is gone just surely as they are. This is what you should know about losing somebody you love. They do not travel alone. You go with them.
I stayed up until 12:12 am this morning, went to the window, looked up to the sky and told my brother how much I still missed him and how much I will always love him. 24 years ago today he said goodbye to this world and moved on to the journey that follows. I still remember that day like it was yesterday. A young girl of 15 losing her hero, her only sibling, and the rock of her life. It was devastating then and it still is today. I have often found myself just sitting and thinking about how it would be today if he was still here. I’m sure he would be married with a houseful of kids. He loved them so much and he would have made an excellent dad. He had that “gift” for being an all around people person. He had tons of love in that 5ft. 4in body. I still get tickled thinking about how he cracked jokes at himself for being so short. He was a firecracker though…the little package would fool you. Grief as I have learned is something that doesn’t go away. Once you experience a loss through death you will carry that hole inside you forever. It is just a part of the life cycle. Learning to live with grief is the not so easy part. I know over the years I have felt like something was literally wrong with me because I just couldn’t “heal” myself of the grief. It ate away at me day by day….tear by tear. Grief led me into depression at the mere age of 15 and I have fought it ever since. Believe me it has been one hard battle and I have fought my heart out only to realize I can’t beat it. What I have learned is that it is okay to have it. It is normal to have bad days and sad days. It is okay to cry until our eyes are swollen. I mean why do we have tears and tear ducts if it wasn’t meant to be? I feel it is the body’s way of cleansing itself and recharging itself. I went to therapy for a few years myself and I was made to think that grief would pass over the years and I had to let go. Then when I started going to therapy with my daughter who has had mental disabilities all of her life I heard a different version of how to “handle” life’s issues. Although she spoke to Sarah about releasing her emotions I realized it was okay for me too. I remember her telling Sarah emotions are normal. If she was angry or felt rage to go out into the back yard and scream as loudly as she could or to bury her face into a pillow and cry out as loudly as she could. .I realized she was right on target but I didn’t follow through with it. I felt as if I was weak and couldn’t move on. I was wrong. It has taken me all these years of listening to not so good advice and feeling wrong for my emotions to realize that is what life is. It is about emotions. Not only the good ones either. We are taught to love and to be happy but what about those days we just don’t feel like smiling. I learned to paint a smile on and pretend. Well, I’m tired of pretending. I won’t have some therapist or book tell me that I have to be a robot who feels no emotions. I won’t wallow in my self-pity or dwell on the grief because it is unhealthy but on those days when I hurt or I see something that makes me remember those I have lost I am going to let the tears flow. I am going to let my body and soul experience the sadness I have for having lost them. I am also going to remember the happiness that they filled my life with. I will remember the hugs, the kisses, the “I love You’s”. I will travel this journey they way I need to for myself. Everyone will grieve in their own way but the one thing that is true is that it may get easier but it will never go away. Don’t expect it to. Learn to live with it….learn to express those emotions. Today I celebrate my brother’s life. I a grateful for the 15 years I knew him and for all the things he taught me. I also learned from him that life is short…so you better love those near and dear because you may wake up one day to find out they are no longer here.