My brother died this month, many years back. Cancer wracked his body and he died.
Its so strange that around this month and this time I start thinking not about my anniversary that is coming up in February, but of the family that I have lost.
An 18 year old brother in the Spring, an Uncle in the late summer, another brother in the winter, a best friend in the fall.
To name a few.
It seems every time that I say that I am becoming more comfortable with death, it tests me another time.
This year one of my good friends killed himself and I hadn't even seen him for months. I'd been sick and even hospitalized because of costochondritis. I'd seen him perhaps once in the three months of being sick and we'd promised we'd go out for lunch.
I had thought we had time to make up for me not being able to see him.
When he killed himself I thought; "I should be ok, this hah happened to me before with my brother, with my friends, this has happened three times, I should be ok with this."
It has been 6 months and I am still not ok with it.
I still feel like I should have known he was depressed.
I still feel like sick or not I should have forced myself from the hospital to the funeral.
I still wish I had the courage to call his family and ask where he was buried.
But I am ashamed because I don't want to say goodbye.
Not just to my friend. I am angry with all the people who left me and made it so I had to learn to be OK with death.
I still feel like I should feel guilty for feeling like that.
That is just how I feel. When something happens during the day and you think "Oh this person would love this!" and then you remember they are dead and that pain stabs you?
I hate that, and I still feel that about each person who I loved who has died.
So what have I learned that can help you? How can I go on? Well I can tell you it never goes away. That stabbing feeling. That bittersweet memory of you and that person and wishing you could just know that they knew that you still loved them and you missed them and thought about them.
What I can tell you is that stabbing feeling lets you know that you ARE still alive. And being alive is good. I can let you know that the people who are dead do know that you love them and that they are warm and safe and secure and far better off than we are.
I an tell you that even though having someone you love die is never easy, it doesn't change and the pain always gets better.
So maybe from all this death there was something I learned. Death University of sorts. I won't ever be jaded or untouched by the loss of life no matter how stone faced I may appear.
But maybe with all the things I have overcome, and all the things I have learned about death and grief, if you are saddened by loss and feeling alone, you can stand by me.
Maybe I can fix you.