I spent the last week fixing my truck, and yesterday I put new tires on it. Yesterday was my birthday. When I woke up this morning I was so excited, I was going to go tell my brother what I had done. I was feeling very proud of myself.
So I got out of bed, and was headed for the door, and then I remembered. My brother had died on February 6th.
I’ve always been a lights on lights off kind of person when it comes to sleeping. Never the kind of person who wakes up a little at a time. And yet somehow, for a few brief minutes at a time, I keep forgetting that my sister, my mom and my brother have all died with the last 2 years. I keep catching myself thinking, “Oh, mom is going to want that, I grab it for her and surprise her”, or or I run across a movie online that looks like something Cliff would enjoy and I find myself halfway out of my chair before I remember that he and I will never watch another corny ass B rated movie together again.
My sisters birthday is Valentines Day, the day before yesterday I found myself reaching for my phone to call her and wish her a happy birthday. The phone was in my hand and my hand started trembling uncontrollably as I remembered that she had died 2 years ago. She was two weeks older than I turned yesterday.
I keep wanting to talk to my sister, my mom and my brother. The problem is, that they are all dead now. A very kind hearted friend told me to go ahead and talk to them.
I come from a family of seven, five kids and two parents(well, technically three parents if you count my birth father, I was 5 when they got divorced). There are now two of us left among the living. My step father was the first to go, he died in 1996, my birth father died in 2001, my middle brother Guy, in 2006. Then my sister in 2015, mom in 2016 and Cliff this year. All that is left is me and my youngest brother.
I guess that we all know that having a loved one pass away is anything but easy. A lot of people have anniversaries where they visit the graves of their loved ones. We do this because we do not forget our loved ones. As much as it aches,(and right now my heart really aches) we remember their lives and what they meant to us.
What is coming as a surprise to me is not the heart ache of remembering them and knowing that they are gone. Of not being certain on a spiritual level what comes next. But of forgetting that they have died. I guess that I am not unique in this respect. I think perhaps this is why so many people visit the graves of their loved ones, of why they talk to them as if their loved ones can somehow hear them.
I do not believe that my family can hear me. Its not that I believe that they have ceased to exist. Its more of a case where, if your brother lives in New York City, and you live in Los Angles, and you walk out back without a phone or radio, and start talking to him, well, he isn’t going to hear you because he is so far away.
I do not know where my loved ones are right now. I believe with all of my heart that they have not ceased to exist, they are somewhere, of that I am certain. Where, I do not know, I am after all, not God or any divine creature, but I am also certain that the gulf between them and me is far to great for them to hear me talking to them.
If you believe differently, then you have both my envy, and my blessings. It must be wonderful to believe that even if they can’t answer, at least they can hear you.
I miss my family, I really miss them a lot. I wish there were some way for me to tell them how much I miss them, how much I love them. While it may seem a while for me, I guess in reality, I will be joining them soon enough. While we are yet alive, life seems to be so very long. Yet in reality, measured against the universe itself, its less than a blink of the eye.
The only thing certain in the future, is that like the rest of my family, I too will one day shuffle off this mortal coil. Perhaps then I will quit forgetting that they have passed this veil of morality and moved on to whatever awaits us.