One year ago, my brother David died very suddenly. I opened the blogathon with an essay inspired by David and about the time I spent at his house after his death.
But this entire month, a knot would come in my stomach when I knew I'd have to mark this date.
The details of the morning I learned of his death are etched into my memory. I had just pulled into the parking lot at my daughter's school. I had to pick her up for a doctor's visit. I remember the exact parking space. The day was gorgeous.
My phone rang and caller ID said it was my mom. "Hi, Mom! How are you doing?!?!"
I answered with fun, with enthusiasm.
"Not so good. David died last night."
I lost it. Lost it. Shouted. Pounded the steering wheel. And knew I had to pull it together to get my daughter and get her through the visit.
I remember standing in the hall in front of the school office, waiting for her to come, leaning against the wall and quietly sobbing. Someone came and guided me to a seat. All I could say was, "my brother just died."
I made an eight-hour drive to my mother's house that day, to the house we all grew up in. I spent the time on the road alternately crying, angry at the wrongfulness of it, talking to friends and family to get me there. The next weeks were filled with memories, a trip across the country, a memorial service, family and lots of questions.
I think I can say the pain is less 365 days later. The heartbreak is the same. I miss him more now than I did then. It's still every bit as wrong as it was 365 days ago.
message I wrote last May 31:
So today, please go open a bottle of wine you may have been saving for a special day. Pitch the sliced bread and either bake a loaf or go get REAL bread, good bread. Drizzle out a bit of really good olive oil, and savor it all with family and friends. Because today? Today is a special day.