Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Dear Jesse,

Carly posted this picture on my Facebook wall the other day.
This was seven years ago. 
Jesse, what have you done?
What have you fucking done?
My kids worshiped you.
They love you so much, and we talk about you all the time.
Every single they night they ask for "Uncle Jesse stories" before bed.
Jess, I'm running out of stories.
 I'm running out of memories to share.
I've told them everything I can remember about you.
And that kills me.
I think I'm in a bit of the anger stage of my grief.
Because I hate you for not being here.
I hate that my kids will never make a new memory with you.
I hate that if I have another baby I'll never have another picture like this.
I hate that, when I first saw this picture my first thought is of what a great dad you'd be, and now you'll never have that chance. 
You would have been an incredible dad.
Your kids would have been freaking hilarious, and amazing, and the world needs your kids! 
I secretly hope that some day, some kid will show up on Mom's door step and claim to be her grandson.
Because honestly, I can only imagine what your kid would be like. 
And it's hilarious, and charming, and amazing, and all the wonderful things you were, that you couldn't see anymore.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Almost 7 months...

The past few weeks I've found myself overcome with grief, almost as much as I was in the beginning. In a flash I'll see my brother laying in that casket and I'm almost brought to my knees, the pain in my chest is so tangible and just so painful. Something, almost everything will remind me of him. And it all feels so unfair that he's gone. The world will never hear his laugh or see his smile again, and that thought crushes me.

But it's been 7 months... why is this grief resurfacing so strongly now?

As I pondered this, I came to a few conclusions. One, is that I've probably gone about 6 months without seeing my brother. We've lived the last 10 years on opposite sides of the country, but I still think the longest I've ever gone without seeing him at all is about 6 months. I think that, without really comprehending it fully, on some level my brain processed this. That this is the longest I've ever gone without seeing my brother. And that makes things sink in more, seem more permanent, more real... I don't know. But I think it's something.

I also think that when Jesse first died, I was so shocked, and it was so much to process that I couldn't wrap my mind around the drugs. I didn't realize my brother's problem was "that bad". And for the past six months my thoughts have been more about how he died. I've spent so much time on opiate websites, and researching drug overdose advocacy groups, that I haven't given myself time to think past that. It's taken my mental energy to just wrap my mind around the fact that my brother was using heroin. Now, seven months later I've finally processed that, I think my brain is allowing me to process the fact that he's really gone.

Another thing is that I keep myself pretty well distracted. Well four of those are unintentional... living with 4 young children is a great distraction. Any time I'm sad they're immediately there trying to cheer me up. Especially my 3 year old little boy. He hates to me sad, and I can see the concern in his eyes. He'll ask me, "Does that make you happy, Mama?" after he does something sweet. Which I can totally picture my brother doing to my mom, and that breaks me heart all the more, but I just smile and nod and hug him, and try to blink back the tears that threaten to pour from my eyes at any moment. Then there are distractions that I form myself, like social media, and reading... I think as long as I give myself time once in a while this is okay.

Part of my grief now is also for my family in NJ. Knowing they're struggling and I'm so far away and there's so little I can do. My heart just aches for them.