Everything changed and everything stayed the same. There are no words that aptly describe the pain one feels when grieving the loss of someone they loved. Like shells on a sea shore, each memory is unique and now somehow empty inside. The memory is there, but the emotion is gone.
Last weekend, my 36 year old younger brother died of a heart attack.
Disbelief, anger, resentment and regret have become unwelcomed companions filling my mind with hurtful questions like why, what if and why now. These questions only lead to more and more questions without answer.
The hard truth is though I loved my brother, we were not as close as I would have liked. He and I were closely related but not all that relatable. For all the things we had in common, there were a dozen more that we didn’t.
To be honest, I’ve been beating myself up over not having a better relationship with my brother. The reality is that if he were still alive, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. That’s the sad part.
Why does it take a tragic event to cause us to change? Why can’t that subliminal feeling that I should spend more time investing in these relationships drive me into action? I loved my brother but there were many things he did that I did not like. Did that make me love him less – no. Did that make me want to spend less time with him – yes.
So, this leads me to two simple truths. Take nothing for granted because you don’t know the day and time that all this will be but a memory. And two, spend time with family and friends because they’ll always be there when you need them most.
So, for me, I’ve decided to change the things I don’t like about myself and become more like the person I want to be. Today’s a new day. A gift. The only one I have and it’s only worth something if I invest it in others.