Remembering Joe

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Three years ago today….my brother died. Alone.

I had just talked to him the day before. Sent him a pizza for dinner. Planned to get together over the weekend.

He was doing well in his recovery. I thought.

My dad got a call October 4th, a call my parents had been praying never to get.

We don’t know the details, because people living in the house with him didn’t call the police right away. They took his phone and erased things that could implicate them. The let him lie there.

I hate thinking about what his final moments may have been like. I hate knowing his life ended in such a sad and lonely way.

I know he didn’t want to die. I hate that hope died with him.

I think of my brother often. I talk to him at night before I sleep, hoping we can meet somehow in my dreams so I can hug him and know he’s ok.

This week the memories from three years ago demand to be relived. And so today, on October 3rd…. the day Joe died…. I spend the day wondering what was he doing at this time? And now at this time? Was he still alive right now, at 8pm? When did it happen, when did he die? Did he know he was dying? Did he feel alone?

And tomorrow. The 4th… I get the call from my dad. And I go crazy with grief all over again.

And every day, up to the 10th, when we lay him to rest. It’s still so clear.

My poor mom.

My poor dad.

We have gotten to the point of being able to remember him without always crying. We often laugh in memory of things he’s said and done. We discuss things he would have liked. We remember him with love. We miss him.

But still, this week is hard. I guess I didn’t expect to feel so raw, like it just happened all over again.

The need for one of his hugs, for his one-dimpled smile, for HIM to comfort ME is great.

So I wait. And have faith.

I have to believe that he is waiting for all of us that love and miss him…. and one day my mom will have all of her kids together again.

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