An innocent birthday reminder. An all too relevant quote for the week it lands on. As I soak in the presence of the two on the same page, I feel nothing and everything at once.
To be honest, forgiveness isn’t on my agenda. Some not close enough to even say such things have tried to tell me its my duty to forgive. I find it strange how it’s always the holy people without the personal connection trying to tell you what Jesus wants out of you. I must admit, I almost exclusively have bad words for these holy crusaders, which is rather counter-productive. Strangely enough, Jesus and I have our own growing relationship and I’ve yet to see anyone else added to the Trinity. **kermit sipping tea** and yes, I do fall back on humor at the worst times.
I find it impossible to forgive that which I don’t fully understand yet. How do I forgive the hundreds of things yet to come that I still have yet to grieve, all stemming from the loss of the person I held the most dear? The children one day you’ll never be uncle to. The graduation cap you’ll never wear. The boot camp you’ll never graduate from. The Marine Corps photo frame and ornaments I bought you’ll never use. The empty place at the table that should be yours.
I’m not bitter, at least not yet. I’ve allowed my heart-holes to breathe fresh air and have even allowed love to continue to seep through them. My focus is not on that which took, but instead on that which was taken. That which was loved. Even still, I look forward to justice, as slow as it may be. It’s hard being the “hero with a badge” and not being able to save the day when it mattered most. It’s hard to wait on the justice system from the outside. But it gives me perspective.
That perspective has tilted. Hell my identity, too, sometimes. Life is divided into two sections, pre- and post-. The days of being a sister who had a brother and the days of whatever I am now. Some days, I’m fueled to take on the day. To use that which hurts to heal. Other days, I feel like I’m right back at the beginning, hurt as hell and overwhelmed by my loss.
This week has been especially hard. You would be 18 Saturday. An “Adult.” I should be buying your first legal can of Skoal dip instead of buying one for your grave. I should be picking out embarrassing pictures of you and framing them for a party, instead of searching for some type of closure. I should be awake with anticipation of how to surprise you, instead of tossing and turning with the reminder you’re gone.
It’s weird, you know? You’re easy to talk about and hard at the same time. Everyone wants me to sit down and discuss your death, but all I want right now is to be able to bring up that one time I put you in the dryer without a sympathetic look. I want to be allowed to still bring you up, because you’re a part of me and you matter. Or to spend your birthday doing something fun, because that’s what you would have done. I want to be able to cry, because it’s okay to still miss you 10 months later. You just don’t fit in a neat box, broski. You can’t be compartmentalized and I can’t be “healed” from losing you in one quick swoop. You’re simply too much a part of me for that and you were simply too loved for that. Grief is just all that love with nowhere to go, anyway.
I’m bawling tears I’ve probably held back all week writing this. I just want you to still be here. For this to just be some terrible dream. Sometimes its easier to write to the whole world than it is to reach out to try to explain yourself to someone. Of course, you still need those people to talk to. And the right people understand that and are ready when needed. They even understand when that moment isn’t yet, or when you need to just cry and be held without the talking. Those are the important people.
There is a certain courage that has come with your loss. The courage (maybe even out of necessity) to be vulnerable. I still have eons to go, but these heart holes don’t afford me to luxury to live without exposing parts of myself. I’ve never felt I had to act like a badass and the “tough” girl for people to think I’m strong (who cares, right? When it actually matters, they will find out either way), but even still, admitting I’m hurting doesn’t come easy. I’ve cried in front of people. I’ve even let certain people hold me as I bawled, which never would have happened before. Ive accepted comfort after tough days and embraced that strange feeling that comes with depending on and accepting comfort from someone you care about and trust. I’ve stayed up with friends till 3am drinking beer and discussing life, things we love, things we lost, and things that affect us. I have this stronger courage to stand up for the right thing and for people I care about. And I’ve felt a new courage to talk to others who seem to be having a hard time or even send a message or bring them a coffee to let them know I’m thinking of them. It’s scary, being more vulnerable. But, strangely enough, it’s actually okay. In all the weakness I feel, surrounded by the right people, I still feel strong.
So, to end my ramblings, all I’m really trying to say is I miss you. I wish life was just like it was when I penciled your birthday (first) into my new planner and we were about to celebrate. But, no matter what, I love you so very much and will still celebrate you for the wonderful person you were to me for 17 years and the blast you’re having up there. Love you a bushel and a peck.