In the summer of 2012 I was dealing with some stuff and seriously stressed out. I decided to visit my bestie and not worry about all the things I was dealing with. I flew in on Sunday night determined to have the best times and leave all my troubles behind. Like Scarlett O’Hara I would worry about it all later.
Two days later my world shattered when my brother was fatally shot while watching the carnival parade. I bought a ticket home. I woke up the following morning to go shopping for funeral clothes; including a suit to bury my brother in. that shopping trips is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Inside I wanted to run away screaming but I really didn’t have time to crumble.
I flew home. I cried. We buried my brother. I got a rash. Stuff happened. I cried some more. I flew back to the States to be with friends. I was not the same person. I carried sadness and heaviness with me.
One of my earliest memories is of my mom making coconut oil while pregnant with my little brother. Then I remember going to see him at the hospital when he had epilepsy as a baby. Because of the epilepsy and some other stuff I was always looking out for my brother. Every time I walked into Payless my first stop was in the Men’s section to see what deals I could find for his size 14 feet. Then he died. Shot dead, helpless on the street. And there is absolutely nothing I or anyone could do to help him. The pathologist said his aorta was torn beyond repair or something like that.
Here I am struggling to do normal stuff when I really would rather not. September came and I went back to work. I am still really tired and sad all the time. I know why I am sad but people are telling me to snap out of it. In October I start to feel a little better when my grandma’s sister dies after being sick for a while. At this point I know that I am barely holding it together but I keep going on. Most people don’t really understand that I lost my buddy.
In November I start feeling sick. In December I give in and go to the doctor. I rest and try really hard to feel better. In January I feel worse. The doctor’s are sure its and infection. I end up being hospitalized…for fatigue. I can no longer say that only celebrities and rich people go to the hospital when they are tired. In March I am diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
More stuff happens. I cry some more. I go to yoga teacher training. I cry some more. I play sad songs. I play happy songs. I cry. I dream of my brother. I miss my brother. I keep moving through life but underneath it all I am sad and my heart is heavy.
Then on September I am hanging out with two wonderful kids. I am insanely blessed to be a part of their lives. My God daughter is a fiery 3yo red head and her brother is a 5yo sensitive soul. They are always delighted to see me and make me feel like a million bucks. We are hanging out in the living room and their mom is in the kitchen. The red head wants to dance. I put on music and we are being totally silly. The boy is doing Michael Jackson moves. We are giggling….Then….I have….one. Of. Those. Slow. Motion. Moments.
FOR THE FIRST TIME IN OVER A YEAR I FEEL TRULY DEEP DOWN HAPPY. My heart does not feel heavy. I still miss my brother but the grief is no longer overwhelming. It happened when I wasn’t even trying. I danced like no one was watching. In a moment of total honesty I realized the tide was turning on my grief.
I have been to quite a few funerals this past few weeks. I know my friends are hurting and there is nothing I can do to make the pain go away. I can be there. I can give hugs. I can say that I have been there and one day you will feel better. Until then……
Cry when you heart is heavy
Smile when you remember the good times
Laugh from the bottom of your heart
And dance like no one’s watching.
Love doesn’t die it lives on in your heart.