29 February, 2020

Really, I'm Not ONLY About Death

As you know, I took my time getting back into reality this past month. I'm lucky that I have the kind of life where I could take the time. I did a lot of nothing - yoga, reading, coloring, playing stupid games on my phone. Finally I opened my Nanowrimo manuscript and started re-reading it. Doggone-it, it's good! I mean, it needs a ton of work, so it still may turn out to be nothing if I can't figure it all out. I left a lot of holes in my push to get words on the page in November.

I started back into it over a week ago, very slowly. I'm beginning in earnest, reading and doing minor edits, plus filling in all the gaping holes in the manuscript. It's something. Life seems a bit more like normal again.

As I was messaging with my big brother recently, I got to considering how the same death is different for everyone. He lost his son (to suicide) in the fall, and his sister last month. Our sister's death leaves him as the eldest sibling. You wouldn't think it makes a difference, but in a family with five kids, birth order becomes a part of your identity.

I should think that, if one could quantify grief, his must be the hardest. Of course you can't quantify it. How close was he with my sister? But then, his son... There's no standard.

And then again, when his son died, I know it hit our younger brother hard. He had just recently lost an Army buddy to suicide and was already trying to cope with that. So although it was "just" his nephew, it came at a time when he was already dealing with grief. The sister who died last month was, I believe, the only one of us that little brother communicated with openly. Even then, he didn't do it often - man of few words, he is - but still. If she's the main one who checked in on him, and she's gone, and so soon after all the rest of it, what must he be going through?

Of course, my living sister and I both lost our closest sister. We do not get along terribly well. We do fine for short gatherings, but more than a day together is a strain. Our eldest sister was a bridge between us. The three of us could get together and have a good time. I feel like I should be closer to my living sister now, but you can't force a relationship, and neither one of us can fill the gap left. So this recent death was super hard on her. But I can't imagine her thoughts at the death of our nephew - just six months younger than her own son. How worried is she about her own child now?

Many years ago, a friend of mind lost one of her sons to a freak accident. He was on foot, hit by a car. (This all happened years before I met her.) It took years before her cloud lifted, and even today you can see how the grief of losing a son colors her attitudes on social media. It's a part of her. 

I think it becomes a part of each of us. Hopefully not to the point of defining us, but what if it does? 

For my part, I think I've returned to life fairly quickly. I know that although things will be different, I'm okay. Others might not be. 

This is why we should always be kind. 
I understand the meme a lot better now.


  1. We all grieve in our own ways. And it hits you the way it hits you. That is a great meme, because it is so true. Take good care of yourself. You will always miss your sister, and that's okay.

    1. I had a bit of a meltdown recently (before Covid hit the US). It will still happen, but it's okay. Actually, a pandemic is kind of a nice diversion. (weird???)

  2. I am so sorry that you're dealing with so much loss. Any loss is horrible - but so much, all at once... I just can't even imagine. I can't imagine losing my sister. I just can't. The thought puts me into a bit of a panic, even now. And a nephew too... I'm so sorry. But I'm so proud of you for focusing on your writing and putting your energies into creative endeavors. A lot of truly beautiful work can come from grief, and can help others going through the same thing.

    1. On the plus side, I'm talking (via Facebook Messenger) more often to my siblings and parents. I'm about to write about it. They are not all a part of the solution.


I enjoy a good debate. Feel free to shake things up. Tell me I'm wrong. Ask me why I have such a weird opinion. ...or, just laugh and tell how this relates to you and your life.