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Goodbye To You

The funniest moments will flash a wave of grief over my heart like the mighty ocean tossing and turning during a hurricane.

I can be watching television, or driving, or listening to the radio, or simply sitting on my porch and the littlest thing will wash over a feeling of grief I’ve thought had long since been buried.

Just such a moment happened last week while watching American Idol.

One of the Idol hopefuls brought her little brother with her to the audition. And oh how he adored his big sis. The feeling was mutual and lovely and painful for me to watch.

The next thing I know I’m bawling. I’m literally balled up on the couch, in the fetal position, crying my eyes out. We’re talking full on ugly cry. And each time I have an oh-so-raw moment like that I’m taken aback a bit thinking, “How can I still be this sad?”

Each time I mourn my brother I go back to him as a child…I think of him aged 5 or 8 or 10. He was such a sensitive little thing. And very kind and gentle and loving. But fragile… very, very fragile.

I was his protector and friend and confidant. Always there for him and he for me. We loved each other so much. Being homeschooled, and growing up in a very tumultuous environment, probably had a lot to do with our bond.

But I lost him.

I lost him when he became a teenager. I lost him to drugs and alcohol. I lost him to mental illness. I lost him to a large group of people he thought were his friends. I lost him to emotional pain he’d never admit to.

He changed. I’d never know that sweet 10 year old boy that I loved so much. That I still love so much.

I wish I could go back in time and tell that brother goodbye. Oh to be able to hold him in my arms again and let him be weak and dependent on my strength again. And to love him and tell him how much I would miss him.

And to go back and warn him. Warn him of the demons that would come knocking soon. The things that would take him away from us forever. And away from himself. The things that would end up leading him down the path to taking his friend from everyone who loved him.

I lost him as a teenager and now… now I’ve lost him to prison.

He’s slowly being institutionalized and changed into a prisoner. A person I don’t know. A person I don’t like much, if I’m being honest.

He’s so far from that little guy I played with and shared secrets with and laughed with. On occasion I catch a fleeting glimpse of that sweet little boy that needed me for shelter. And truth me told, when I catch that glimpse I think it hurts more than it comforts.

I miss him.

He’s gone. He’s been gone for 20 years. But I’ll never forget the little boy I called my best friend for 10 years. And I’ll never stop mourning him.

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17 Comments

  1. Oh my goodness I really appreciate this post and the realness of it. My brother in high school got into the same problem, he did drugs, was with the wrong people, had a mental illness he did not treat and I thought I would never ever let him around me or my daughter.

    when my second daughter died he woke up he quit doing everything, got help and is now about to graduate college (many years past normal age but in this day who cares) and seems to be on track again, i love him again but i still have my fears

    i hope that one day you can experience this with your brother again but i totally understand why you miss him, its so hard.

  2. You should write a letter to that 10 year old brother you remember and tell him all you want to tell him. You don’t need to do anything with it–burn it even. But maybe in writing it you can tell that memory what you wish you could tell that boy.

    ((hugs)) Nell.
    .-= Heather G´s last blog ..Todays Mama Giveaway =-.

  3. I am so sorry for all you have to endure with your brother. My mom, who is on the edge of being in or out of our lives, is a drug addict. And my husbands mom, whom we don’t talk to, has a mental illness that she refuses to believe in:(
    I feel for you.
    I am praying for you today!
    .-= Summur Braley´s last blog .. =-.

  4. I love the idea of writing a letter to the 10yo him.
    I think that is an awesome idea.

    Many hugs, over & over again. Your tears are so understandable, and you are courageous in sharing w/ us all.
    .-= Sharon´s last blog ..Do You See the Boat? =-.

  5. what a painful experience. i can’t imagine what it must feel like to lose someone in those ways. i’m so sorry, and admire your honesty in writing about it. hugs to you!

  6. So, so sorry for your sadness. I too admire your realness and your honesty in expressing your pain. I hope writing this post was in some way healing for you, even if only in a small way. Love and hugs to you.

  7. Nell, I also remember him this way. This is the only Him I know, which confuses me when I hear of the other. I was wondering if you have a pastor that you are counsling with? If not, my heart really wishes you had one. If it is ok, I will be praying for that for you. A good Godly pastor will help you work through this sadness. I do wish we were closer so that we could support each other more. Praying for you!
    Love,
    Rach

  8. Oh, Nell. My heart just breaks for you over this. I hate for you and for him that he became who he did. I hope that someday good and light shine on all of this anguish. You have such strength and courage. I wish I could give you a real hug. But, instead lots of love and cyber hugs to you.
    .-= Madeline´s last blog ..Love Is In The Air =-.

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