Tuesday, February 2, 2016

My Brother, My Playmate, My Friend

Two years. It’s been two years now since my younger brother Steven died. I can never forget that call from my father, in the early morning on February 3rd, telling me Steven was dead. Nor the grief….the grief so great and sudden and heavy that came upon me as if a giant anvil had fallen from the sky and crushed my soul. 

I think the only other time I have felt such immediate intense grief and sadness was when my baby Bethany died. It’s a feeling so weighty you feel like you’re flat on the ground, unable to get up, unable to even lift your head. 

The sobs that were unwillingly wrenched from me woke Caitlin, who was asleep upstairs. It was like finding yourself in a barren land, feeling so desolate, looking around and finding no one, so alone and cold and raw. 

And wondering how this could be. How could it happen? How could Steven be dead? 

I still find myself trapped in that land of emptiness, wondering how Steven, a man so full of life and bright with love and humor and generosity, could possibly be gone from us. It’s like you can’t seem to grasp it, you can’t accept it…Steven was that much of a living, beautiful force on this earth. 

And so I still struggle with his death. 

I wish everyone could have known him. He was such a good person. He had his problems, his burdens, the demons he dealt with, as have we all as humans. But nothing could tamp down his loving personality for long.

I think everyone who knew Steven would agree that the one thing that most defined him, besides his pure love of the people in his life, was his sense of humor. It’s a trait that runs strong through our whole family, and if Steven was in a room with you, you were guaranteed to be laughing before long. 

He looked at life through eyes of seeing the humor in things, in just about any situation, and one reason he and I were so close is because I have that same “virtue.” ;-) He was very Gary Larsen-esque (the comic strip The Far Side). 

When I think of Steven and how funny he was, his genuine quirky humor, I think of so many comedians and actors, but mostly Jim Carrey. He’s one of my and Caitlin’s favorite actors, and every time we see him in a movie, she and I both comment on how he reminds us of Steven. Just so hysterically funny, being with Steven you run the risk of peeing yourself. 

It’s a risk I’d take in a heartbeat….if only he were still here. 

If only he hadn’t had so much stuff to deal with. If only he didn’t struggle so much with who he was. If only he had found his peace sooner. If only….

I miss him so much. I think of him every day. I wish, every day, that he hadn’t died, and beg God to turn time back and make it not happen. But that can’t happen, so I have to accept it and allow myself to feel my grief and sadness when it hits me, even after two years, and cry my tears from the heartache. 

I love you Steven, my brother, my playmate, my friend. ♥