Tomorrow, it will be three weeks since my older brother died at the age of 54, from Pancreatic cancer-by the time they caught it, it was everywhere- stomach, kidneys, liver…everywhere. He was 18 months older than I and was a very quiet person- mainly because after I came along, I rarely shut up! He had a great sense of humor, a sharp wit and a good heart. He was thoughtful and kind; always remembering birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions. He was very dear that way. He was a wonderful Father to two precious children- one is 12 and the other 14. He was always involved in their school activities and sports activities- as so many Dads are these days. He was a coach, volunteered at their church and was also a ham-radio operator. He also leaves behind a sweet wife of 15 years, who loved him deeply and is suffering his loss horribly. My folks are doing the best they can along with my younger brother. We are all handling our grief in our own way.
I am writing because I miss him. When we were young, we had all sorts of photos together because my Mother loved to take photos, and let’s be honest, we were adorable. As we grew older and our lives grew busy, we lived in different states, and we didn’t have the opportunity to take photos as before unless my Mother took them. I was too busy talking and laughing and soaking it all in to stop and take a photo- mostly because the smart phone hadn’t come out yet (I am old) and then afterwards, because it seemed wrong for me in the end because we just never had done that. I just wanted to burn his image into my brain- his voice, his blue eyes that came from our Pop, his determined attitude in the face of this horrible cancer. He was so brave- to the very end he handled things his way. He wanted to be at home and he was. He used the minimum of painkillers, choosing instead to deal with incredible pain, rather than be “out of it” the remainder of his days. He didn’t want to miss his last months with his children and wife.
I am sending this out to the void that is the internet -just because I can. Writing is cathartic and it is how I am working through things. I am a Christian so I pray through the sadness, but I am not trying to avoid it or down play or be ashamed of it or medicate it away -for some that is necessary- I am not judging here. I miss my brother. It is right that I should feel sad, that I grieve his loss and feel this rock that is sitting on my heart. I am just going to wade through it and know that, in time, this ache will decrease a little- but until then, I will write.