I continually remind myself why I share about the loss of my brother. Grief is something that can easily be hid away in the corners of your room. It is not pretty. The finality of death is something we all have to come to in our lives. It is the end of this life on earth and all of us will someday meet it. Our culture does all it can to prolong the conversations we have of death and grieving. Culture has a mentality of living and very rarely is grieving understood until the moment it greets us at our door.
In my late 20’s I experienced something that many at that age have not. Loosing a sibling to suicide was not in the college handbook. Pursuing dreams and following the well laid out career plan didn’t lend itself to working your way through grief. A major shift happened when I learned that life is really not all about living and planning, but rather about death and grieving. The one thing that we all have in common is one day we will all die. How are we going to grieve when it comes to the ones we love? I constantly find myself thinking that if we lived in a society that made space for grief, we would be a whole lot better off.
Our day to day lives are struck by an array of emotions when we lose a loved one and many times we are required to move on with life as usual. What happened to mourning? Society makes little room for mourning the loss of a loved one. The grieving may often be found in the corner of the room tearfully dredging through the day with no space to truly think and mourn for the ones lost.
I recently pulled out a poem I wrote and was reminded yet again why I continue to write on this topic. My brother spent his life on earth with mental health struggles and in just a moment of despair his life was gone. The world continues to hold on to the stigma that just the word suicide brings, meanwhile, I spend my days reminding myself that my brother encountered one moment of despair that changed the course of my life and so many others who knew him.
This is Life
The last touch of your hand. The very last joyful laughter heard.
Each moment traps itself away in my tears.
The pain of losing you. The moments of not knowing what to do.
I miss you.
May the world know your story. May the confusion, frustration, and pain from within ring.
I want your truth to be heard and felt for others who may feel despair.
May your loss be a reminder that this is life.