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This has been the worst year of my life. It’s like life came at me from everywhere, knocked me down, and when I tried to rise the punches kept coming. I had small things happen, and huge. But the biggest event, I can’t get over. I can’t stop it from continuing to beat me. It’s been 3 months since my brother passed. I’ve tried hard to get back in this. To go on with my life. I go hiking. Blake and I go on dates. I laugh with my nephew and play with him at the park. But, the sadness is deep inside me. When people use that phrase “not a day goes by when I don’t think of him”, I never took it literally. But that’s me. Not a day goes by where I don’t think of my brother. Not a day goes by where I don’t remember something. Everything I see around me triggers a memory. My hikes have been places where we’ve bonded and built memories with him. If I pass a local restaurant, I remember him suggesting it. Even things that he never saw or did prod me to think of him and yearn for his conversation. I went to Georgia this past week to visit Blake’s family for an early holiday and as we drove and I marveled at the beautiful scenery and colors of Fall, I began crying and thinking ‘He will never see this. He will never go on a road trip, like we planned. He won’t ever meet Blake’s family. He won’t ever see another tree turn brown and see the leaves fall.’ And it burns. When I start to cry, it always hurts. It feels like I can’t breathe. Like the world has stopped. I hope that writing about him will help me heal.

I have hope that this pain that I feel will lessen. That it won’t be as sharp; that time dulls it. I try to keep my days occupied and busy because if I stop to think, I feel an overwhelming sense of loss. Nothing will ever be the same. Even as I plan for my future–going on trips and vacations, starting a family next year, job changes, etc — I can’t help thinking of the loss. Johnny will never be here to see or hear about any of this. I can’t tell him about my upcoming cruise, and he will never meet my future child. I’m turning 30 in January. That’s the age John was when he passed earlier this year. And I think to myself, he was so young. We are so young. This shouldn’t have happened. Why did this happen. As I type this, I cry. I wish I could have him back. Just for one day. For one minute. I feel so emotionally beaten.

I can only hope that 2018 will be better. To be honest, my trip to Georgia and Kentucky last week were very stress free. Happy, even. I still cried with Blake. I still wished for Johnny. But, this year will end. And, I can only have hope that I will not feel like this forever. That a new year will bring a better year.

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  • Jen

    Claudia, I’m so very sorry for your loss. I lost a close family member a few years ago. I remember that when I was struggling with the amount of energy it took to act “normal”, a friend told me something she had read: grief is like a wet, extremely heavy wool blanket that you carry all of the time. That’s how it felt, and it made me feel better somehow to be able to visualize my grief. Anyway, I wish you the very best.

    • claudia

      Thank you for commenting, Jen. That is a perfect saying as to how I feel. As much as my grief tears me down, it also is a reminder of my brother. And, because of that it comforts me. Does that make sense?

      • Jen

        Yes, it makes perfect sense. Our grief represents our memories of our loved ones – we don’t want to lose them, ever.

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