My brother is gone

Last week, I received a shocking phone call.  My little brother had died.  He was 33 and was killed instantly in an accident on the job.

My first reaction was to cry out, fall to my knees, and will it not to be true.

After that shock had run its course, a deep despair and emptiness settled in.  It remained throughout the long road trip to his funeral 500 miles away.  

The kind of silence that held me reminded me of the few other times in my life when I had born witness to someone's passing.  This pain was more acute and took my breath away.

During his visitation and funeral I had the pleasure of meeting people that interacted with him on a daily basis.  They shared stories of how he made them laugh, of the kind of person he was apart from the little boy I remembered best.

Those stories are precious to me.

I was finally able to put words to my feelings after the funeral had ended.  We were driving to bury my baby brother in the dry, dusty earth of East Texas.  His body would rest there.  His grave would mark him as a beloved father, son and husband.

The days around his death were punctuated by so many conflicting emotions.  It's true what they say:  Every time you think you are done grieving a new wave of sadness will wash over you.

Tears and Laughing

Togetherness and Solitude

Pain and Healing

Confusion and Love

Old Family and New Family

Fresh Hurts and New Forgiveness

Darkness and Light

Sorrow and Remembrance

The other thing that stood out to me after I had returned home to my own little family, was that we should never let important words be unsaid.  We should never miss the opportunity to speak our hearts and give hugs.  

My brother's death and all the people who gathered to send him home in a beautiful and peaceful ceremony was life-affirming.

Another apparent conflict, but not really.

This is the description of my blog that appears on the homepage:

I believe in the ability of stories to teach, amuse, widen our perspective, and heal. I seek the divine in people and want them to see it in themselves and others, in turn. This is a place to help remind people of the lightness and beauty that life can hold even through chaos, depression, and loneliness. 

I believe this even more strongly now.  I am going to hang on to the happy stories that my brother's friends shared about how he lived his life.

Even though it ended too soon, I choose to learn from his stories because in doing so I find truth and peace.


  1. I think this is a most touching post. Thanks for sharing. It helps me as I prepare to join my brother and sisters at a ceremony in Missouri to bury my beloved mother's ashes next to my father's.

    1. I'm happy that it brought you comfort, Lizbeth. After I wrote this, I felt like I could go on living. Not the same as I had before, but it was my chance to tell my little brother I loved him one more time. Wishing you peace and love.


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