Happy Birthday to my Brother

I’ve debated all morning long about writing this post.  There are several reasons not to:  I don’t want to upset my mom, I don’t know if I want to drag out my emotions and stomp all over them again and maybe others are tired of the subject matter.

So, mom, you probably should just stop now.  I’m not sure what I’m going to write, but if you must continue, probably should wait until you are off work.

These are my thoughts and emotions and I’ve shared everything else, I think that I want to share this with you, too.  And, if you are tired of the subject matter, I’ve decided that I’m actually okay with that!  It is okay if I write something that doesn’t connect with you because while I’d love to have a connection with every single person that reads this, it isn’t humanly possible.  Maybe I’ll connect with those that need to read this post today, and that is all that matters.

This morning in my prayers I said an extra one for my family today, and then I told my brother Happy Birthday and that I really missed him.  And I cried a little.  Lee would have been 29 today and after five months, it’s still hard that he is gone.  I deal really well with it on most days, most days I can see that I am getting stronger and able to handle his absence in my life, but I knew that today I wouldn’t be able to, that today I would struggle and today I will allow myself time to grieve.

It helps to have great family and friends in my life.  I’ve got a friend who is staying with me and willing to do anything, another friend that is coming over later to see me and another that told me if I needed, she would load up the kids and make the hour plus drive to be with me.  What blessings I have in my friends!  I am so very fortunate to have those around me that love and support me.

I’m very blessed, but they can’t fill the hole inside me.  They can comfort me when I cry, but they can’t stop the tears.  They can say the right thing and offer up the appropriate platitudes; however, the words aren’t a band-aid that immediately works on my heart.

Having said all of that – let me say this to anyone who has a friend that is grieving – don’t give up.  Keep showing your support, hold your friends when they can’t do anything but cry and keep talking.  While you can’t ease my pain, you make it tolerable.  You let me know that it is okay to have days where I struggle (and just as importantly it’s okay to have days when I don’t) and that there is no time limit on grief.  Whether it’s via text, phone, email or in person, the efforts that we all make towards each other shows our love.  The compassion and connection that we make with each other is what matters most in this life.  I probably won’t remember half of what you have told me, but I will remember the feelings you left me with.  I will remember that you were there when I needed you and in turn, I will be there for you.

And today I will allow myself to grieve just a bit that my brother isn’t here to celebrate his birthday and then I will celebrate that I had as many birthdays with him as I did.  I’ll play a little ZZ Top as he got me that CD for one of my birthdays and I will be okay.


(Image courtesy of liveluvcreate.com)

If you don’t know the story, click here to read Then He Kissed the Back of my Hand.

34 thoughts on “Happy Birthday to my Brother

  1. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I know those feelings well and always tell my other friends dealing with loss to just feel whatever it is that you need to feel and express yourself however you need to because no one is in your shoes, because only you and your brother know all the wonderful times and moments that you spent together ❤

  2. Your brother no doubt is thinking of you just as much as you are thinking about him and must be thinking how lucky he is to have sister like you.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  3. What a lovely post. You never cease to amaze me, Miss Kate. And if I weren’t a whole country away I’d hold your hand and try to say something stupid just to make you smile a little. 🙂

      • It’s amazing what can happen when you give yourself permission to feel what you need to feel. I’ve been doing that a lot lately.

      • That’s great! I’m so proud of you for doing that! I know how easily we tend to bury our emotions, like it’s wrong to feel them! I’ve never agreed with that. I did have a friend tell me congrats for the few tears cause I’m such a non-emotional person. Took me a minute before I realized he wasn’t insulting me, but that he was proud since I’m not the type of girl to cry at the drop of a hat and tend to hold in my emotions (except sappy ones!)
        So – you go girl! Give yourself permission! Process those feelings!

  4. I’m do sorry I missed this Friday!!! I would have come taken you to dinner or something… It’s absolutely ok for you to still have bad days with it. No one should expect anything less. I love you and you know I’m here if you ever need me. Lord knows you’ve been a patient listener for me!!

  5. I’m so sorry for your loss. My family has experienced loss this year, as well. Grief is a uniquely painful process and seems to take some unexpected twists and turns. Mostly because it twists your heart and soul along the way. Sending loving thoughts of healing to you and your family.

  6. Happy Birthday to your brother. From the way you wrote this post, it tells how much he was loved and I bet he knew it too. You’re doing it right, grieving is important as much as celebrating his life today. My thoughts are with you and your family (even though I’m a new reader). All the best, Dean.

  7. Happy Birthday to Lee in Heaven today! This is still so new for you Kate. It’s only been a few months, it is ok to be sad and good to let out all your emotions. Did you ever think about maybe planting a tree in his memory – A tree for Lee – you could watch it bloom each year. I have been thinking about doing this for my aunt who passed a few months ago suddenly. I still think she is going to pick up the phone and call me. It is a very weird feeling and it has not fully sunk in that she is not here on Earth with us anymore. I am going to try to do this and will have to research the best time of year to plant as I am not a very good Gardner 🙂 Hugs to you today my blogger friend.

    • Thank you so much, and this is awful, but so funny, too: a few months before he started going downhill we were all out at dinner and I was telling everyone that I found this tree urn. You order the tree urn and add the loved ones ashes to it and then plant it and a tree would grow. I was like “I want to be a tree!” Lee was okay with being a tree and I teased him that we’d put him in mom and dads backyard and I’d go out and decorate him every year. Put some bats up at Halloween and then some big shiny ornaments at Christmas!
      Lee drew the line! Lol. He was okay being a tree but he forbid me from decorating it!
      I may have to plant a tree. And I think you should do one for your aunt, or maybe a rose bush. How sweet would it be to be able to talk to her while you are pruning and gathering the blooms?
      Thanks for your note and hugs! And I’m sending them right back to you!

  8. Hi Kate I am new to your blog so I don’t know the story of your brother but I am so sorry for your loss. Sending you big hugs for today on his birthday. I agree with Kerry as hard as it may seem I am sure he would want you to celebrate the wonder of him and the joys he brought you. Happy birthday Lee x

  9. Happy birthday Lee! Today we said a special prayer for those you left behind, but I know your right there smiling down on them wishing them joy over tears. We love and remember you always! I’ll never think of finding out about Landon without thinking of you. Even on one of the bad days you were all smiles. I’ll always remember you smiling.

    Hugs Kate! I love you!!

  10. Happy Birthday Lee! Today is wonderful day to appreciate the awesome life he had and the joy he brought to you…a celebration of him! Why don’t you go out and celebrate his life tonight? What was his favorite food and drink? I’ll toast to him too 🙂 xoxo Much love to you today, Kate.

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