A Decade Without My Brother

Ten years ago, around this time, I was at work in Myers’ classroom and my phone rang. It was Tom. He was mad and started yelling at me that he was going to kill himself. Less than twenty minutes later he did. My life has never been the same.

In the past ten years, I have been consumed by the traumatic and tragic loss of my brother. It ate away at the light inside me. With many friends and family and finding my own way, I have come out of that darkness. Maybe some of that darkness was the same that consumed my brother.

Over the past ten years, I mourned deeply and get very emotional days and even weeks before the day of his death and birthday. This year his birthday went well. I didn’t feel out of sorts. I felt good at remembering him. I always take steps in remembering him for his birthday.

Yesterday, I felt a bit of dread with anticipation for today, but now that today is here, I don’t feel the deep, dark, unending grief I once felt. Yes, I cried today. I may still be crying as I write this on and off.

Writing my book, I faced a few traumas. Writing about my brother and talking about him openly was a trauma I needed to face. I love my brother but he is a trigger for me emotionally. He breaks my dam of emotions. I am emotional anyway, but he is a trigger.

Death brings about a heavy energy. Tom died with a heavy heart. Today just feels a bit heavy. But there is light too. With darkness, there is light. A shadow cannot exist without the light to cast it. It is sunny today. The birds are chirping. The day may be heavy but I can move through it even if it feels like there are weights on my feet.

The picture at the top. I remember so differently. I even describe it differently in my book. Mandela effect. I had this perfect image in my brain. In my mind my hair was drifting behind him. Patrick or Jesse took that picture.

That was a good day. Today I will remember the good days. Our trip to the Grand Canyon with the boys. The day Tom and I snuck off to watch Shrek without the kids and stayed to watch it again because it was so good. The day I ditched work so we could get pedicures and lunch. Our midnight chats at the bar over chicken wings and drinks. I will remember my brother’s light.

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