One year down, almost

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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.

 

 

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Bad Good Days

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I went to my parents house today for a little family get together and early Fathers Day celebration.

After eating the requisite grilled meat and other cookout fare, we started a game of corn hole. It started out slow, with me showing off my excellent skills of throwing past the board. My 8 year old was my partner, and together we managed to end the game at 11 – 0. We did not win.

My parents then joined, my mom partnered with my brother in law, and my dad with my sister.

Since the parents were standing at the same board, they didn’t realize they were on different teams until about halfway through their game. Thanks to skills of their partners, that game lasted much longer than my 10 minute warm up session.

At one point I decided to go inside and start cleaning up so we could bring out the cake.

I watched my family from the kitchen window as I worked.  I saw my parents laughing, really laughing. It was the kind of laughing we took for granted before Joe died. That completely happy in the moment laughing that is so hard to chase down since he left us.

Of course, when I feel happiness, I feel Joe’s loss right along with it. I saw my family, and I especially noticed that I DIDN’T see my brother. He wasn’t laughing with us as we teased Dad about how he used to mix all the old cereal together when we were growing up. He wasn’t making fun of the parents with us as they learned how to navigate the game of corn hole. He wasn’t there. But his loss was there with us, always with us.

I probably imagined what Joe would say or do about something at least 10 times today. Him being there, and being healthy with us would have been so wonderful. And it hurts to laugh without him.

As I left them, my mom walked me to the door. As we said our goodbyes, she put my thoughts into words. She had felt his loss today, like every day. And because of that, every day is a bad day automatically. Today was a bad day and a good day, and we have to get used to this.