My brother was so damn cool, I worshipped him. He was my protector, my playmate, my mentor, my parent, my friend, my teacher. I was in every essence of the words “Tony’s little sister”. He was popular and well liked and where ever he went those doors parted for me like the red sea when they knew who I was. He was always in my corner, taught me to question, be strong, debate (in a healthy way) and to never never let my fears keep me from doing anything.
K and I took a break at Thanksgiving to “reset” and start again when she returned things were going really well. God I remembered how beautiful she was in the absolute pure sense of her heart and her person. I felt in love again, I felt loved, I felt a connection that had been eluding us for a while. I felt like we were on our way, working our way back. Then December started and I completely fell apart and the pain and grief and anger about losing Tony scorched and spilled all over my beautiful girl and our happy attempts to rebuild.
December 3rd was his birthday I was begining to feel the pain, the sadness the desperation of realizing he is gone. For a year I buried this, distracted by the anger toward my family who swooped down like vultures once again as they did after my father’s death. Stress, pain, rained down on our loving attempts to care for each other. The following weekend for the first time I visited his grave, I did not go the day of the funeral I delivered the eulogy and left after the mass. I couldn’t and I wouldn’t watch my brother be lowered into a hole in the ground the finality of that makes me sick to my stomach even now. I also wasn’t there when he was taken off of life support I couldn’t do it perhaps for my own selfish reasons of fear and pain but also because my family is incapable of offering each other support in a healthy way and I didn’t feel safe being in a vulnerable place with them.
When my dad had been ill and in the hospital security had to be called to remove one of my siblings who got into a screaming fight with another one of my siblings. All this while my dad was in ICU. Each of them screaming “you leave, no you leave.” At my funeral home after the arrangements were made for my brother the all familiar process of faking decisions that were already premade by my mother, two of my sisters got in a screaming match about my brother’s money. Ending with my brother in law dragging away one sister, me putting my mom in car as another sister screamed “get a fucking lawyer.” This funeral home must love us.
For the first time in a year it came spilling out, I fought with K then locked myself in the bathroom and on my hands and knees sobbed, releasing noises like a wounded animal, something non human, tears streamed from my eyes, snot and drool dripped onto the floor as I tugged and pulled at the bathroom mat. I comforted myself against the cold bathroom cabinets burying my face in the corner as I gasped for air between sobs. Whispering Why? Why? Why did you leave me? Why did you give up? I miss you, I love you, I need you, Why? For a moment I would stop long enough to whisper I fucking hate you for leaving me with these people, I hate you for giving up and not getting yourself well I hate you for leaving me with our crazy family. When I said this I kicked and kicked and kicked the garbage can in the bathroom I kicked that weaved basket to a pulp. My third mantra that I repeated was I’m sorry, I’m so sorry I wasn’t there with you in the end, I’m sorry you couldn’t hear my voice, I’m sorry that I left you with the crazies of our family with barely a lovable person to sooth you, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry I let you down. This went on for nearly an hour the next victim of my anger was the towl rack, I ripped it off the wall and smashed it against the counter over and over till it resembled a 60 degree angle.
When I came out I was in such a fucked up spot and wanted K or anybody to take away this pain. When she couldn’t to do that for me I misdirected my anger and pain at her. Now, she mentioned today that this was not the root of our troubles or downfall we have been struggling before and that led us to counseling, but for me, now in this moment I see the impact it had on my girl and she went from that beautiful pure open soul to scared, sad, protection mode again and all her fears resurfaced and we were back to square one and knocked off the positive track we had been on.
What am I learning? patience, trust and how to let go enough so that she can have what she needs even though in this moment it is so hard for me to step back. I’m so grateful I have so many loving people who in the course of all this trauma have been there for me. I am blessed to be so loved, cared for and understood. I am blessed to be able to share my pain without fear for the first time, I am blessed to hear words of encouragement during such a low time in my life, I am blessed to for the first time show my vulnerability to people who love me, or perhaps even strangers who read this, I am blessed to accept help from those offering it. Even though I’m so scared and don’t know our future she has blessed me with her presence and I accept that in whatever form it comes in my life.