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.
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.