Death isn’t easy to write about. When it happens and someone very close to you is gone you have to immediately go into a state of organization to plan the funeral and cope with all the business and legal problems surrounding the loss. Life goes on right away. It has to for the sake of everyone. It feels rotten.
The hardest part of dealing with death is the finality of not having that person to share what remains of your own life. When I was fifteen my brother died suddenly in an accident. He was only thirty-two years old and left behind a wife and three little children. Along with the rest of my family, he left me.
I never had the chance to share my adult life with him. He only knew me as an adoring little girl who thought he was handsome and funny and took me along to community events such as dances or church parties when he was taking care of me. He only knew part of the teenage girl who followed. He knew I was learning to cook, liked to sing, spent time in front of the mirror trying out hairstyles and that I loved dogs. I never had a chance to have an adult heart to heart talk with him or depend on his advice. I never had a good argument with him. We never had the chance to be really good friends as grownups together.
When this tragedy happened my parents although doing the best they could had to deal with their own grief. My mom dealt with it through fierce hard work on the farm. My dad suffered deeply in his quiet way and died of heart difficulties only a few years later. My loss became just that, mine alone to deal with and it hurt to feel broken. I look back on this time after all these years and have the insight of what I was experiencing. It is clear to me that certain experiences that followed in my life were directly connected with this loss. Just my luck.
His mischievous sense of humour, his smile and the expert way he could handle things on the farm, how he humoured mom when she was provoked about something and his enjoyment of his many friends and young family is what I have stored away in memories. It’s not enough.