eleven years of grief

Anniversaries of my brother's death are stacking up. There are eleven now. As many as the birthdays he celebrated alive. Its strange and odd and awkward. You don't celebrate deathoversaries. You don't call home and say "Happy Day!" You don't make a cake. You don't throw a party.

Sitting solemnly seems melodramatic. Re-hashing and remembering the days surrounding his death seems morbid, gory, unneeded. Tears don't come.

As I've spent eleven years grieving in various stages, grief has become a part of me, a part of my tears, a part of my smile, a part of my anger, a part of my laughter. To forget my grief is there is to forget my hair is brown, my eyes blue.

I've never stopped asking what my brother could have done with his life. Especially now that he'd be grown, finding a career, becoming a man. It's inevitable that the questions we ask of ourselves as we come of age, I must ask of the hypothetical, I dream in the daytime. There's goodness in his departure, in knowing heaven is his home. There's peace, finality, and hope. But it doesn't make his absence from our lives good.

Grief through the years isn't easier or harder. It just is.

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