This life we live is so frail. What I mean by that is that even though we live our lives having fun, loving each other, and enjoying life, there are times when that fragility becomes all too real.
Twelve years ago, my brother was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident. His name was Brian. He was 19. To be quite honest I was finally getting to know him better as a friend and not just as his annoying little brother. He was much bigger than I was, being 6’10 and around 300 or so pounds. He always picked on me, laughed with me, played video games with me, borrowed money from me, ate my food “you gonna eat that.” To say I miss him is an understatement. We were finally hitting it off as friends. When I see brothers who have close relationships I picture my brother and I doing the same stuff and being best friends.
To say that his death did not affect me would be vastly misleading. It changed who I was as a person. I became someone who was bitter and angry. I did not care about other people or their deaths. I became nothing but a husk of my former self. It has taken me years to become myself again.
Before, during, and, (for a short time) after the memorial people are present and it keeps your mind busy. But it’s after the phone calls stop, after people stop coming by, after the nights of staying up so long you pass out from exhaustion: That precisely when you feel void. There is no getting over it. There never will be. There is only coping. You have to rebuild yourself all over again. It took years but I finally was able to cope. Am I still that person before my brother passed? No. I never will be. My life fundamentally was changed that day. It is okay as long as you do NOT lose yourself.
Losing my brother was like losing a limb. You think that limb is still there. You go to call them about a joke, or just to say “hey”, but they are not there. It’s extremely painful and it tears you up. You will one day come to grips and say “they are not here”. I truly understand that concept. I have to adapt.” But you will appreciate that person and the great deal they meant to you. You will slowly rebuild who you were. That is what I did. That is why I love writing, nature, silence, and poetry. It allows me to think and reflect and to let flow any pain that is resting inside me. That’s why reflecting on who my brother was allows me to appreciate his qualities and appreciate the life I currently have.
The quote below belonged to an old pseudonym I have since shelved. I was thinking about not only WHO I have lost, but also THOSE who have had to go through such a sobering experience.
“For it is the memories we can no longer make with our loved ones which overwhelms us. Yet, it is the memories we have with them that consoles”
-The Eighth Orchid