Ah yes, the pesky memories function on facebook. We all love to hate it. Sometimes it reminds me of what a dumbass I was, it shows me art I regret I ever made, moments of laughing and having fun with people I love and then, sometimes, it reminds me of things that were not so great.
It’s been years since my brother passed away. I use the term “brother” lightly because for all intents and purposes, to me he was a stranger. And the month of February blew right past me and I didn’t even remember the anniversary of his death, shit, I cannot even tell you how long it has been. 5 years? I truly don’t know. Anyway, what was kind of shocking to me is that the reminder came up and I felt nothing.
I know every January that comes and goes, I always get the same reminders for Kevin and I spend that day a bit on the sad side, reflective and then the inevitable pieces of anger that follow, wondering why someone so rad could be taken far too soon, yet when it comes to my own flesh and blood I felt nothing. It was like, oh, ok then. *clicks to open another application*
I take it back, I did feel something but it wasn’t for him really, because he was a victim to his poorly made choices, but the one thing that punches me in the gut is that his departure created this domino effect that would forever affect my family: watching our parents go through grief of child loss and the subsequent trigger of Mom’s illness that went from zero to overdrive. This is time with her we will never get back.
We live our lives, selfishly, not thinking that our choices affect those around us and in his case, he totally did. So much so that there was always this vacancy that couldn’t be filled in and now never will be. I’m trying to view his place and choices with a different set of eyes because in going through therapy the way I have been, I came to realize that while we were provided for and had a “good childhood” we were also victims of emotional neglect, a constant state of dismissiveness and a weight of expectations that none of us were able to fill. Or better yet, didn’t even fucking want to. I know I certainly didn’t, I won’t speak for the rest of us. But I have to figure that maybe his distance was a bit of wanting to have a bit of self preservation, a place where he could be himself and not be reminded that somehow he didn’t cut it or quite fit the mold made for him. A mold he didn’t want. I wouldn’t know anything about that.
In any event I am trying not to feel bad about myself, for having another year go by and not really being deeply affected by it anymore. It’s hard because we’re supposed to feel something when a friend or family member leaves this plane and yet when I see photos of him, it’s like looking at a stranger that happens to share my genes and eye color. I’ve shared deeper connections with complete strangers who I have never met in person, or with the many men I have not-so-deliberately had around to help me fill the male vacancies in my life. Took me a while to admit that to myself. Shit, no one wants to be the girl with fucking daddy issues. Or absent brother issues.
Yet here we are.
I guess I did feel something after all.