It’s been six months since my brother died. Not enough time to mourn. After all, how can you let go of someone who was so important to you? My go-to person for all of life’s questions no matter how complex or simple.
What kind of car should I buy, I once asked him.
Toyota Camry. And I did.
What about college? Where should my kids go?
Far from home, so that they learn to be independent, he replied.
The last question I ever asked him had to do with my son and whether I should insist he visit me for the holidays. Answer: Yes. Absolutely.
And he did.
He was the best brother I could ever have. Fair and open minded, sensible, compassionate, and downright funny. He always made me laugh. He loved when I visited and I did so often. We spent a lot of time together and he loved us with all his heart.
I miss him. The loss is incredibly deep. I think of him all the time. My brother, my mentor.
But I’ve been keeping busy.
Saw a therapist for a few sessions. She told me there’s good grief and bad. You mean, crying out to him and asking him to take me with him isn’t considered good??
Nevertheless, she said, ignoring my question, I’ve been doing all the right things. That it’s okay to cry. Getting distracted by other activities also helpful.
Like taking more improv classes and signing up for Standup Comedy lessons. True, I had no idea I’d be performing my standup act after six weeks. Nor I was I planning to perform for all the world to see! Sheesh, performing was nerve wracking to say the least, but I did it. And, in the end, I was told that my comedic timing was spot on. Which made me very happy, indeed.
I’ve continued my piano lessons and my piano instructor is trying to persuade me to perform in a piano recital this coming June. How many ways can I say no, I wonder?
Plus, I still have my movie pass that allows me to see up to three movies a week. Let’s just say I’ve now officially seen all the movies nominated for an Oscar in the best picture category. Tah-dah!
I look at my brother’s prayer card every day. It’s the one we had made for the funeral. In the photo he is wearing his glasses and smiling. As if he’s glad to see me. I use the prayer card as a bookmark in whatever book I’m reading.
I keep it close. Always.
My friend Lois, told me that if I give her one of the prayer cards–I have a few left–she’ll say a prayer for him during mass. I think that’s very kind, especially since I am not a church-going person. It’s good to know someone of good ilk is on his side.
I think what amazes me most about my brother, was discovering after his passing, just how much he was doing in the area of Diversity and Inclusion. How he was serving as a mentor for young lawyers of color, giving them advice and, more importantly, opportunities to gain experience in the field and shine.
My brother was a hero to many, and he was especially a hero to me.