Letters to J: #1
* Authors Note:
On Friday, August 5, 2016, my brother passed away. I had toyed with the idea of writing him letters, and finally began to write them. I am sharing my imperfect letters to my brother in hopes that others who are grieving, understand they are not alone. One day in all of our lives, we will all understand this place. I hope to give someone that feeling-of understanding- and help assist others in their grieving process.
Dear J, I miss you. My heart is breaking because you are gone, and well, mom has moved in and is watching Fox News every waking minute of the day. I know you feel my pain.
My T.V., that was rarely used and only for the good cause of watching movies, NHL games and Matthew's late night shows like The Daily Show, is now rampant with end of the world predictions and Donald Trump. You know I never liked watching the news-only BBC when my stomach could handle the depressing situation in the world. Reading news seems a bit easier for me, although my mind runs rampant with worst case scenarios when I have to stop reading. I fall into a brief depression when I see suffering.
Over the past three weeks, that's all I've seen-not just on Fox News. Mom, as she breaks down crying and then angry, several times a day. The day of the funeral - the agony on everyone's faces. I did what I was suppose to do. I was strong like everyone told me to be. I held it together.
I steal minutes at a time to cry when no one is looking and no one is asking something from me. I have yet to let it out, completely and utterly. The world doesn't let the grieving grieve. The grievers don't let others grieve. I just want to cry it all out at once so these pains in my heart heal a little bit. Just a little, if possible. Instead, the smoldering sadness just sits there all day, everyday. I'm already predicting I'm going to lose my shit when Matthew, Vi and I are in a cafe in Italy. They will think it's the food, but I will say "It's good," in broken Italian, while I cry over my pizza. I'd rather melt down there than in India because well, you know, I'm afraid of heights and trekking up the Himalayas crying would not be the best choice where, in certain sections, there are no guard rails.
I lost my Yorkie, Teddy, last Friday. Charlie, my Shih Tzu, is depressed half the time. He lays there and the cats aren't a distraction for him anymore.
Vi is visiting from California and I'm caring for her bunny, Tony, while she is at her dad's this week. I could stare at him for hours, but half the time, I think of you and get sad or cry.
There is no where I can be without you. When you were here, we hardly saw each other. Now that you are gone, I see you everywhere. In the birds that sit and watch me, in the sunset, in the whistling of the breeze. I feel like a piece of me broke off and disappeared when you left. Like I'm missing a key part of who I am. Without you and dad, I feel like I'm going to float off into the wind.
This is the first letter I'm writing you since before my trip to India last year. I should have done that more. I should not have waited until you were gone.
I love you. You are always in my heart.
Susan Kiskis is the publisher for Freedom Journal and author of memoir, Born Fire Dragon. She has a deeply seeded case of wanderlust.