Remembering Joe

blogspot.com

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.

One year down, almost

Image may contain: 2 people, including Kim May, people smiling, beard, hat and indoor

 

Today is October first.

It was almost a year ago that my brother died, on the fourth.

As the days have crept closer and closer, I find myself wishing I could somehow sneak away from this week, and just hide until it’s over. This countdown won’t stop, I can hear the clock ticking.

Is it normal that I find myself trying to fill in what he was probably doing in those last days?? For example, tomorrow will be a year from the last time we ever spoke. I remember the conversation well, because I was so hopeful for him. I want to hear it again, painful as it would be.

I want to fill in every moment, every second.  That last week, we didn’t know. We just didn’t know it was the last week.

Thinking about what he was doing up until that moment that he….. wasn’t.

I’m trying to keep him close. I’m trying to STILL find a way to stop what happened, maybe some space time continuum will activate and I can find a way to tell him STOP!!!

Please stop.

Is there some magic thing that happens after that first year, that makes it easier?  Sure, I don’t cry every day anymore. But I think of him every day. And I still want to make it all go away, and have my little brother back.

 

 

Cardboard Joe

Image may contain: 2 people

My brother has been gone for 6 months.

I still try to pretend it’s not true, but sometimes reality just smacks you in the face.

Like at Easter.

Joe made the punch for holidays at moms house. It was his thing, none of us knew how he did it, but somehow he mixed an awesome pink concoction with floating islands of sherbet just perfect for toasting over croissants and cheesy potatoes.

So, we made the punch because we feel maybe that not having punch would make us feel worse and miss Joe more. Having it gives us a chance to remember the good times with him, although the punch this year was definitely not on par with what he could have made for us.

And it makes us miss him anyway.

I used to say I wanted to get a life sized cardboard cutout of my brother. Just to have around. I really miss his smile, his personality, just him in general.

I think maybe sometimes it would be cool to have “him” in our holiday photos, posing with a cup of punch…. it would feel like he was still there a bit.

It wouldn’t replace him though. It wouldn’t talk or laugh back…. and I think the worst thing would be that it wouldn’t age as the rest of us aged. And I could never throw it away, it would feel like I was throwing my brother away.

So maybe no cardboard cutout.