I don't talk about my grief because this is supposed to be a happy place. But I kind of feel like not talking about it is more of a lie to you guys than it is a service. So here it is. (Warning, this is intense so feel free to come back tomorrow when things will be funny again.)
The truth is, I am exhausted. Both mentally and physically. All the time. I think about my brother and how he died (let's just say it was the worst of the worst) every day. Every. Single. Day. Probably every hour of every day. Some days every minute. It is not something that will ever go away. It is a part of me. It has changed every single aspect of who I am. Anyone who knew me before it happened has to get to know me all over again. Because the girl I was before is not the girl that is left standing here today.
I wish that I could have gone home for Christmas. The Christmas that was the last time everyone in my family got to see my brother. And I didn't. Because I was nine months pregnant with The Cool Cucumber. The last time I saw him was almost a year before he died. And I can never change that.
I wish that the remaining members of my family could find some peace.
I wish that I had never seen the face of a mother who has lost a child. My Mother.
I wish that one of my remaining brothers would put aside his hate and open his heart to me. For both of our sakes.
I wish that I could explain to people why this is so much harder to get over than a normal death. I wish that I could let them know that the violence of it all has affected me in every way possible. That PTSD is a real thing. That no one wants to fake this.
The world in general causes me anxiety now. I can't watch the news because it makes me fold up inside myself to watch all of the horrible things that are out there in the world. I can't watch movies because the violence in them does the same thing. Even at work I am triggered every single day by something mindless someone says.
There are days that everything I see and hear remind me of my brother's brutal demise. That send my mind to dark places. That make me think of the unthinkable. That make me relive every last detail of what happened, down to his last breath. But I have to keep moving. Keep living. Act like I am OK. Through it all.
There are days when I am afraid to leave my house. Days where it feels like the world is going to crumble around me and everything good in my life will be taken if I take just one step. Days when I feel like it will never get better and I will never be okay again.
But then there are days that are not so bad. Days when I feel like it is getting better. And there is hope.
The reason I do my puppy dogs and rainbows post is not to be all, "Hey, look how fucking awesome my life is and yours isn't." It is because some days looking at them is all I have left to hold onto. Some days are just so dark I need to have somewhere to find the light.
I see people differently now. I am more empathetic. I care about people who are hurting, even if I don't know them, simply because I wish that someone had done the same for me.
The ones who haven't been there for me have kind of fallen away from my life. Not because of what they did, but because I have changed and they don't know that. I miss the people that are no longer in my life, but I just can't do anything about it. It is hard to explain that one single moment in time has changed every fiber of my being, but it has. And I could never explain that to someone. There just aren't words. Because there shouldn't have to be.
But there are new people that have surfaced. People who have meant more to me then they can know. Just by being present. Being with me, even when we don't acknowledge why. Just by being good people. Some of those people I found through this very blog. And I love you so much for that. More than I will ever express, because I am just not good at that kind of stuff.
In the long run, my brother's death has made me better. I am no longer selfish or vain or careless. I am very purposeful in everything I do. I am a better friend. A better mother. A better person. I feel more. I care more. I am more. Shockingly, I am actually more positive and see things in a more forgiving light now.
But I sure as fuck wish I could've reached enlightenment in a different way. Because though I am outwardly better, I am inwardly irreparably broken. Forever. And that is OK.