From the moment I started this blog (a whopping 19 posts ago) I have struggled with the concept of how much I wanted to share about my personal life, what I wanted to say about my friends and my family. What stories were mine to tell and what stories belonged to someone else, to be told in their own way, with their own voice. Then this evening (while still on vacation) I received three phone calls in rapid succession from my family. Yesterday, my brothers college roommate and close friend, committed suicide. The details are horrific, and are not mine to share, but, I would like to share with all of you, the five things I hope to help my brother understand as he buries his friend.
1- Grief comes in waves. There are moments when the pain encapsulates your being with such force, you wonder if you will ever be able to exhale again. Then, there are moments when the hurt seems to subside. Moments when you believe you are moving through the dark could and then the pain rushes in and washes over you again. Don’t fight the grief any more than you would fight the tide, both are futile.
2- It is ok to be angry. it is ok to be frustrated or pissed. It is ok to yell and scream and go for a run because you can’t think of any other way to expel the emotion from your body. It is also ok to laugh, to think about the funny things he said or the way he always wore his hair to the right side.
3- It is not your fault, and there is nothing you could have done. I know people will be telling you this a lot over the next few days and I hope with all of my heart that you hear them. Please do not over think every conversation you had, every word you heard, every rise and fall to the tone of his voice.
4- It is going to get worse before it gets better. The days ahead of you will be long. The hugs will be endless and the tears will flow. We have already spoken about the role you want to take in his memorial and I applaud you for your strength, but it will not be easy. Know that it will be hard and know that I believe you can do it.
5- I love you brother. I love you more today than I did yesterday and I will love you more tomorrow than I did today. I love you unconditionally in a way only siblings can. When the grief swallows you like a tsunami wave, remember how many people love you and feel our arms supporting you under the deep and painful sea.