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.

happy_birthday_lee-120068

(Image courtesy of liveluvcreate.com)

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

I’m Okay

It’s Monday, I’m back at work, technically.  My boss called a bit ago and I told him that yes, I was working; however, I probably wouldn’t make it 8 hours each day.  Fortunately, he’s super cool.  He and his wife attended the memorial service Saturday, and I know it was hard on him, it’s only about the 3rd or 4th funeral he’s ever attended.

Image

I know that I’m grieving, but you wouldn’t know it to look at me (except for the fact that I’m sure there are bags under my eyes from the lack of sleep!).  I’m not crying, I’m not prostrate with grief.  I’m going on with my life.  I’m doing laundry.  As if the fact that my entire bathtub was full of dirty clothes wasn’t enough to tell me that I needed to do it, today I pulled out my last clean pair of underwear! I’ve also spent time cleaning the house, rearranging plants to make room for the ones that my friends and co-workers so generously sent and then more laundry.

How do my friends help me? They all want to, and I feel badly that I can’t give them something to help me with.  They’ve done a great job in making sure that I haven’t felt alone, and when I’ve needed help, I have reached out.  I think it would be easier on them if I was prostrate with grief and then there would be something tangible for them to see and help with.  But, there just isn’t.

ImageI have laundry to do.  I have a son to take care of and I have parents that I have to help as they go through this process.  I feel badly that I’m not struggling more with this, based on what society tells us, I should be more upset, I should need more help.  I’m not sure how to tell my friends, family or even you guys that I am okay.

I am okay with living my life from here on out.  I fully believe that my brother would want that for me.  I’m okay with the changes that have to be made in my life and I am okay that things will never, ever be the same.  Don’t get me wrong, it completely and totally sucks, but, I am okay with that.