Today is my brother’s birthday. He would have been 45.
Although the day of his funeral is a fragmented blur of following the crowd and going through the motions (at the church, the graveyard, the restaurant where we gathered afterward), there are two things that I remember very well: the pain in my soul and the fear of forgetting.
For some reason I believed that I couldn’t hold onto my brother’s memory without the grief.
Since then I’ve come to realize that there’s a lot of truth behind the “life goes on” cliché. Almost six years of tomorrows later and the sun is relentless in its conformity to follow its morning schedule.
The pain has faded to a state of sadness, engraved in my essence but at least bearable. And I’m relieved to report that I remember my brother well; even now.
His boisterous laugh rings in my ears upon demand. As does the memory of his on-the-verge-of-arrogance attitude and the way he rolled his eyes when I said or did certain things . . . things he deemed impractical and silly.
Not a day goes by that I don’t wonder where he is. If he’s aware of us. What his existence is like on the other side. If he could possibly be among us, reincarnated or on some incomprehensible plane of continuation.
Meanwhile, my mother swears he listens to her. And Debbie and my father hold him in their hearts as well as their thoughts. In so many ways my brother is still a part of our lives. Every day brings cause for remembering him or wondering how he would have handled a situation.
Happy Birthday, Jayson. You may be behind me, reading over my shoulder. You may even be hearing my thoughts as I write this.
I can only hope that somehow the love I feel for you is making its way to wherever you are – every day but especially on this day, as I choose to honour your LIFE and not the emptiness that your passing left behind.
Death is uncertain, I know this. But life is as tangible as my memories of you.