Sunday, May 20, 2012

Calendar Watch

I've been watching the calendar all month, dreading this day.
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.
And this from a 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.


Sheila Callahan said...

May he rest in peace. And it looks like we need to buy a bottle of wine to celebrate your brother and most especially, your love for him.

The Messy Baker said...

This made me cry. I feel for you loss and admire you for posting on the anniversary. My thoughts are with your entire family.

Annette Gendler said...

Sorry for your loss! In my experience, we will always miss that special person who died, and that is, in the end, a good thing, because that means his life had meaning to us, and we have not forgotten. We just get used to the void over time.

Kathryn (KL) Lance said...

Beautiful, touching post. I lost my younger brother twelve years ago February. So very, very sad.

Marijke Vroomen-Durning said...

I can identify whole heartedly. In 2005, I received a similar phone call. My baby brother had taken his life; he as 35 years old.

For several years, certain dates would send me into a tail spin: his birthday (Dec. 21), the date we think he died (Feb. 12), the day I got the call (Feb. 16) and all of November, when I finally buried his ashes.

The dates hurt continuously until, one day, they don't hurt as much. This year, February passed and although I mourned, I didn't feel the intense pain and sorrow I had the years before.

My sympathies, from someone who has been there.

Anjuli said...

Sorry again for your loss! As you said, the pain may lessen but the
heartbreak is still the same. You will always miss him!

I love how you ended this memorial to your brother- reminding each of us to treasure this day- for today and every day is a very special day!!!!

Thank you for this reminder!!!

bookworm said...

Beautiful post. I'm sorry. I will be thinking about you today.

Unknown said...

Hugs to you on this day. I shall raise a glass to your brother. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Jen @ My Morning Chocolate said...

Thanks so much for sharing a bit about your brother, especially on what I'm sure was a very hard day. For me, the first year after my brother died was the hardest. My heart goes out to you. Did he really enjoy good bread and olive oil and wine? That's a lovely way to remember him.