Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Void - A Year of Healing

A year has passed since my brother died.

I recall being at work and having a strong urge to call another brother....I knew he was there and something was telling me to make that call. When he answered the phone all he said was "Mark's gone". It was a moment I knew was coming and a moment I thought I was prepared for. Once again, I was wrong.

My brothers and I all played a role in the performance called a funeral.....a horrible ritual we humans have developed to mourn the dead. I hate funerals. Hundreds of people gathering to tell you all about the one that has just left this world. They laugh, smile, joke and sometimes cry. I suppose there is some healing in this practice but there has to be a better way.

Over the past year I experienced many phases of various emotions, most of which could likely be diagnosed as depression. That depression has not ended. I went through a similar phase when my Dad died, but nothing compared to this. I suspect knowing my father was older made it easier to manage. Having a younger brother taken made no sense. It still doesn't.

I argued and challenged God. I lost. She was not impressed with my attitude nor was I with her's. I suppose I have walked away from religion.....it's not the first time. I go through the usual Sunday routine, but there is nothing there. Perhaps I have built my own wall to block out those talks of a loving God. I just don't know.

The year has taken its toll on me and I in turn took it out those who care for me. I cannot take back those hateful words I issued to lash out at those who were truly concerned. I can only hope forgiveness is word that can, in time, be offered to me. But I do not deserve or expect that to come.

My life has changed over the past year. I cannot honestly say it has changed in a positive manner. I have allowed my anger to fester to the point that I no longer like who I am. I no longer know what I stand for or where I'm heading. It has been a tough path I have chosen....rocky steps all along the way. But rocks, in time, turn to sand and the path becomes easier to manage.....I long for an easier trail and a lighter load.

Mark, I wish you could know the effect your passing has had on me. Maybe you are reading these words and already know. Maybe you are writing these words through my fingers. There are many regrets I have mustered up since you left. Most of which have to do with not visiting with you and Tami often enough. You had the courage to set out and do what made you happy. Writing stories and music that somehow explained who you were and where you came from. I admire you for that. Our younger brother started a blog before me and possibly inspired me to do the same. But it was YOU that convinced me to put my thoughts into words, stories and songs. Sadly, you won't see these words or hear these songs.

I miss you Brother.....Fly On, Freebird!


Anonymous said...

Life is full of regrets. The secret is to not let them keep us where we are or from where we need to go. God may have taken him early to keep him from experiencing worse things here on earth. You can be thankful for that. Get on your knees and have some one on one time with God. He can heal the pain with time and provide for your forgiveness. You been there before. God is waiting on YOU...He will never leave YOU!!!!

amateur shrink said...

You are obviously hurting and mad. That's okay. It's good to get mad, but not so good to let them have power over you. Somewhere, somehow you got the idea life was easy and that life as a religious man meant no problems. You say you've been lashing out at others in anger. Maybe you expect them to leave you too. Why not give them a reason? Then you'll be right. Be full of anger, full of hate, full of turmoil and see how fast everyone runs from you. You say you don't deserve or expect forgiveness even though you obviously don't like yourself much anymore. Well, who does deserve forgiveness? That's the point. Forgiveness is a gift from God. You ask, you receive. You want an easier road. Ask. You want your friends and family to not abandon you? Ask. What good has your anger done? What good does it do to have regrets about things you can't change? You long for an easier road? Stop fighting the one you're on.

Hidden Wizard said...

I guess it is a good thing you are an amateur and not a professional shrink. I wouldn't want to take advice from you and PAY you for it!

Janet said...

I agree with you about funerals. The only people who benefit are the people who run the funeral home. I think the Vikings had the right idea - put you on your boat, set it on fire, and send you out to sea in a blaze of glory.

I believe everyone experiences God differently, according to the things that have happened to them in life, and whatever kind of religious teaching they have received. Any God who can't handle a little anger and sadness from the beings he/she supposedly created doesn't seem very omnipotent or loving to me. (Spoken as one who comes from a background of fundamentalist fanatacism of an extreme degree.) I was taught never to ask questions - but boy do I have a lot of questions. People are fond of the Bible verse (I no longer know where to find it) that says "All things work together for good to them who love God . . ." (there's more), and I've been waiting 40 years to see any good that came out of my father's death. That will be the first question. It's an interesting theory that God may have spared Mark (and presumably my father) from worse things, but they both suffered a tremendous amount of pain and agony before they died, and we can hardly be expected to be thankful for that. But to be fair, I guess it's hard to know what to say unless you've been there or somewhere similar.