Okay- so I know what I said... that I was going to be better about posting. But, I guess I just hit a real "life happens" period in my life. And that, unfortunately, made me put my blog on the back burner. Without trying to be a real downer or harping on what I have been going through, I do feel the need to tell you a bit about the few months since I last posted.
Christmas was tough. Really tough. It began with the most horrible phone call I have ever received. On Christmas Eve, of all days. It was the coroner calling to tell me that my brother had been found dead. Totally sudden and unexpected. I just could not believe it. I refused to believe it. I called my husband in a panic, and he hurried home from work. It took us hours (since we were in another state and it was Christmas Eve), to get confirmation from the police that indeed, this horrible phone call was no prank. It was real. My dear brother Rich was gone.
I have had losses in my life. Big ones. In less than 5 years, I had lost my father, my mother, even my beloved dog... and now my brother. As difficult as it was to lose my parents, nothing could compare to this. My parents had become "old", had lived full lives; this was within the natural scheme of things. But Rich... he had so much more ahead of him. So much living yet to do! He was 4 years older than me; I have never known life without him. And no one knew me as long as he did, in a way he did. We shared so much together and had a close bond that is truly irreplaceable. It still seems unreal to me. We had so much planned, and so much to look forward to. As a matter of fact, at the time of his death, by brother was in the process of moving here to live close to me and my family. We were all so excited about it!
So, I guess it's all about finding a "new normal" now. Because no matter how many people claim that with time it "gets easier", I don't believe it. You just have to adjust. And as you do, and the shock wears off, then you begin to cope. But in my opinion it never really gets "easier". Quite honestky, as my husband and I were recently noting, it's actually getting harder. Because it's been too long now since we have picked up the phone only to hear his voice on the other end, shared life's happenings with him, laughed together (oh how we laughed!) and reminisced. We did an awful lot of that over the last year, since our Mom died. And now I have no one to do that with. There is no one who I can talk with about those childhood memories, the people we knew, the places we went, the things we did. It's a really hard place to be. It's a lonely place to be.
But I am trying to do the best I can at what I know Rich would have wanted me to do. To concentrate on my family: my wonderful husband (whom Rich's friends said he thought of as some kind of super hero, lol!), and my beautiful children. And he'd want me to think of all the good times we had together. All the wonderful memories. And to remember how much he loved me. That's easy to do. We talked on the phone nearly every day. It was rare not to talk to him. And every time we talked, he told me he loved me. He also often told me I was the only family he had left. It made me sad for him that he had never married or had any children. But Mike, the kids and I were here for him. And he knew it. He loved us, he adored our kids. It was going to be so great to have him living close to us. Rich also had friends living here, already. And eventually his best friend of 30 years was planning on moving out here, too. This was to be a "new beginning" for him.
So, here we are. Without him. At least without him here on earth. But because he was such a big part of our lives, he is still with us. We hear his voice (quite literally, as many of you know he was a voice actor so we still hear him on the t.v., radio, recorded phone messages for businesses, etc.), and we have so, so many memories. And thankfully- oh so thankfully- I know where he is. Because in the last months of his life, my brother found Christ. He was searching. And he found his way. There is nothing more important. No bigger accomplishment can be made. And so I know he's just on the "other side", and he'll be there to greet me when I join him there, too. I hold on to that. And I carry on as I know he would want me to. Is it hard? Yeah you bet it is. But it's okay. I know in my heart he's okay.