22

Today would have been my brother’s 22nd birthday. He would be graduating college in the spring. Maybe he would have a girlfriend, or even a fiancée. Who knows what could have been.

Happy Birthday, brother. I miss you.

~~~

It has been 5 long years and a half,

And still my grief is near,

Hiding just behind a laugh

As smile turns to tear.

 

Some days I feel almost whole:

I am in control.

And other days my raining eyes

Take me by surprise.

 

It has been 5 long years and a half,

And still my grief is near.

In 5 more years and another half

Will it still be here?

Giving Thanks

This time of year is always hard for my family. 6 years ago on the day before Thanksgiving we lost someone unexpectedly. I was thousands of miles away at college with my brother, and we rushed home, desperate to be with our family. The next 2 weeks were a whirlwind filled with tears and impossible decisions. Funeral and burial arrangements had to be made, and worldviews had to be adjusted.

The whole ordeal  has left me a little jaded on the subject of Thanksgiving. I still have so much to be thankful for, I am not denying that in any way. But there are so many sad memories surrounding the day for me now.

They say time heals all wounds. I don’t think the wounds heal so much as we get used to the pain.

A Lovely Night

In the Rogers and Hammerstein musical, “Cinderella,” the leading lady sings a song about how wonderful the ball was. Of course, she can’t let her stepmother and sisters know that she really went, so she sings as if she were imagining what happened. How clever of her.

I had a lovely night of my own. Unlike Cinderella, it did not involve meeting Prince Charming, but I can live with that. This evening I had the pleasure of good music. I still live near my Alma Mater, and the choir that I was a part of for 2 years performed Dan Forrest’s Requiem for  the Living. Dan Forrest is a genius, and I was privileged to study theory under him a few years ago. To hear his music come alive was an uplifting experience. I love requiems. The last few years have seen a lot of deaths in my family, and it can be so hard to grieve and to let go. A requiem lets you do that: “Grant them peace, Lord, and may eternal light shine on them.” But so many requiems focus only on the pain of loss. Forrest’s acknowledges the misery of separation, but focuses on the fact that we do not need to despair. God is a good God who in the end does give rest. But to be attain this rest you have to admit that you cannot find it yourself. Only God can give true peace.