Thursday, 19 May 2011

May 21, 2010

This time last year I spent my waking hours longing for two things: a chance to lounge in the console of our big brown recliner and obscenely thick slices of velvety chocolate cake. My mind interjected these yearnings with the worry that inevitably this mammoth child in my womb would need to burst through to life on this side. The midwife’s deft hands speculated that not only did the boy weigh in excess of nine pounds, but that I was again producing too much amniotic fluid, a condition that could prove dangerous during the birth. Walking even to the bathroom left me winded.

I was in no position to deal with the sudden death of my younger brother.

Because you need time and space for such a thing. An open calendar to meld with the couch, watch re-runs and numb your brain. It requires the freedom to stop all healthy functioning, to refuse to cope, to deny its existence. It`s not the kind of thing conducive to welcoming a new life into your family. It`s not the black goop you want flooding your psyche when life was just cornering its way to clear and juicy.

But I couldn`t stop. The baby needed to be born. A toddler had to be overcompensated for the journey ahead of him, where he`d no longer be the centre of his world. The nursery was in desperate want of clearing; it had become a storage space in the past year. And I was supposed to be savouring these last few days as mother to one, a role I`d finally wrapped myself around.

So instead of eating cake, I mulled over the details of his death. Instead of building forts I crafted a eulogy. I traded fantasies of who this new baby would resemble with efforts to recollect our final conversations, sifting through them for hints of trouble.

And I wrote about it. I risked people thinking I lacked the dignity to keep some things private. That only a narcissistic blabbing fool would announce to the world her brother was dead only minutes after it happened; post the funeral details as her facebook status. Only a crazy attention seeking harpy would write every single feeling this loss conjured up.

But it was the only outlet I could think to deal with the enormity of the abyss that had cratered itself into the centre of my life.

The only tonic that would soothe my fevered grief.

And on Saturday when a year will have passed since that life-changing day, I still wonder if I would be further ahead if I`d had the luxury to slothfully mourn him. I wonder if I`d have more answers, feel the loss a little less or unclench my fists a smidge had circumstances allowed me to stop.

And cry.

The picture above is Matthew holdingDeaglan at two months. The picture below is a week before his passing at his best friend's mother's wedding. He's holding that friend's newborn baby.

This is my post for the prompt Sloth over at the Red Dress Club.

28 comments:

m&msmommy said...

I just went back and read each post that you linked to and all I can say is, Wow. It is very clear how much you love your brother!!!He was SO handsome and seems like a wonderful person. I am so sorry that your family has had to suffer this loss. My father-in-law committed suicide in August 2008 and it was one of the hardest things I have ever seen, watching my husband and their entire family go through that. He had been sober for years and then addiction reared it's ugly head and a result he took his own life.

Beautiful post about who I can only assume was a beautiful person.

Love and prayers as the anniversary of his passing approaches.

Valerie said...

Kim, I think you grieved in the only way you could given the circumstances. Your brother's death created a huge crater-and maybe if you'd grieved in another way the crater would be a little less deep than it is now-but I also feel it's the manner of his death-the senselessness and suddenness of it and the fact that it totally caught you off guard that will keep the crater deep for a long, long time. It's a tribute to him that you loved him like you did and that your life is altered forever-it wouldn't be normal to carry on as though it wasn't a major loss. I admire you so much, Kim. You are one heck of an amazing woman-even if you don't always realize that. Hugs:)

(Florida) Girl said...

Heartbreaking. And beautifully written.

I am so sorry for your loss.

blueviolet said...

I truly felt your raw emotion in this. I teared up reading how you searched for some way to help you deal with the pain upon his passing. You did what was right for you at that time. I'm so sorry.

T Rex Mom said...

I remember those postings. I also remember the email you sent. I was heartbroken for you. I still am. Time helps heal but still, those yearly milestones are tough. I hope this weekend is a good one despite the milestone. Hugs to you, dear friend.

Maasiyat said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Your strength and courage is simply amazing to me. I get so much hope out of reading your posts. You give me hope for my future that until recently I did not have.

Teresha@Marlie and Me said...

I cannot imagine what you are going through having to face this sad anniversary. You have a Matt-shaped hole in your heart and I hope writing about him fills it with fond memories

septembermom said...

You are sharing the gift of Matt with all of us through your words and pictures. He's an angel in every way. You can feel the love in him from how he looks at the children in the pictures. And I'm sure that he is so very proud of the amazing woman and mom that you are.

I'm so sorry for this unthinkable loss for you, my friend.

I wish I could come over and spend some time with you, and help you in any way.

I'm thinking of you. Sending love and hugs.

lindsayfield said...

The loss of a loved one is so terrible, but then to not even have the time to properly grieve it... I can't imagine how you must have felt. I went through and read the posts that you had linked. The writing is beautiful - poignant and emotional.
Hugs to you xx

christine @ quasiagitato said...

your writing is beautiful. this piece and the related links are so palpable. The "reconnect" message on FB brought tears to my eyes. i hope you find strength during this "anniversary" period. i expect those are particularly tough.

Janice said...

You must've loved him so. And it's wonderful that you are remembering him this way in your blog. If it helps you cope, keep on writing. Don't worry about what others think. I only have one (younger) brother and I can't imagine him ever being gone from my life...

Frugalista said...

Your brother is so handsome! I'm so sorry for your loss. My goodness I can't imagine and I don't want to. All I can say is my heart goes out to you and that I hope you can find more peace within yourself as time goes on.

Rach (DonutsMama) said...

I am so sorry for your loss. You wrote a beautiful tribute. Your words are amazing.

lori said...

such sadness i feel in your words. perhaps, there's still a space for you to allow that grief to come when it needs to. give that gift to yourself :)

Beth Zimmerman said...

This is beautiful, Kim! I'm not sure why you had to deal with so much of the whole circle of life in one breath but I know you dealt with it as best you could! I some times think I share too much ... an adult child who has chosen to reject our family, another who has surrendered to the allure of drugs, a third that we have to remind ourselves is not perfect and should not be expected to be, and the struggles that still exist after 31 years of marriage. It's all there if you look hard enough. Because my blog, public though it may be, is where I pour out my heart. Every single day ... no matter what that day brings me!

Wild Child Mama said...

Beautifully written. I am so sorry for your loss. Many people don't understand a writer's need to work things out in words...and then put them out there for people to read. We have to grieve in our own way, no matter what.

Not Just Another Mother Blogger! said...

We all grieve in different ways, and who has the moral authority to say which way is the 'right' way?

Beautiful piece, straight from the heart.

mamatrack.com said...

I'm so, so sorry for your loss. I know that doesn't help at all, but I am. You did all you can do--we have to just keep going. Your family appreciates it.

tracy@sellabitmum said...

This is so heartbreaking, yet so beautifully written. I am so sorry. Thinking about you. xo

sarah said...

I'm so sorry for your loss - I can feel your love and emotion through your writing. I think sharing is the best way to achieve closure and continue his memory. If others chastise you, they aren't able to understand your healing.
Wonderfully written and bitterly sad all wrapped up in one.

Anastasia said...

I am sorry your family had to go through this, and you at such an already stressful time. Don't let those people who criticize you get you down. If it helps to cope by blogging or facebooking, or whatever then they can go screw themselves.

CDG @ Move Over Mary Poppins! said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss.

We never stop grieving the ones we love and lose, and it takes time to find a way to balance it with living. There is no further ahead.

I was moved to tears, especially by the beautiful photos.

Thank you for sharing his life with us.

Brandon Duncan said...

Wow, definitely not what I expected to read! As the others have said, I am sorry for your loss, but I will tell you that writing your feelings is a very good way to help yourself get everything out. Of course, it is your choice to hit publish or keep them for yourself. This was well written. Continue to work at it!

secret agent woman said...

I remember when I read that eulogy last year and how fully I connected with it, even though I didn't say so at the time. Because it was your immediate loss, and mine was a little farther behind. But I really don't think it would have made a difference - grief has its own schedule. I remember getting the phone call when I was home alone with my boys, who were 7 and 4. You have to deal with your life even as you are dealing with the death. It's just hard.

Ameena said...

I wish I knew what to say. I wish I had a way with words like you do but I really don't. So I'll just say I am so, so sorry.

You really are amazing. To go through what you have and to take care of a newborn on top of it? Truly amazing Kim. I'm so glad I've "met" you. And thank you for sharing this with us.

Mandyland said...

I just went back and read your earlier posts. I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat.

Your incredible strength poured through every word.

Lori said...

Wow. The tears are welling up and my heart goes out to you, despite not knowing you personally. Powerful and heartbreaking. I agree, keep writing if it helps you process. It may help someone else processing tragedy as well.

Thanks for stopping by my post. I'm so glad I stopped over to read yours. HUGS.

Gerri said...

Kim, sending hugs and love to you Honey. You honor him by sharing and remembering him. My hope for you is that your heart is comforted in knowing that he felt and still feels that love from you. Bless you.

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