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.