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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Brother Ken



For an over analytical person, I don't seem to spend much time trying to make sense of my brother's death.

Others seem to move through their grief, dissolve into spontaneous tears at the sight of a photo or memory. I wish I would, it seems more natural.

I can't bear to hardly think of those he left behind. There is nothing to be said. There is no possible comfort- unless you consider something desparate like their happy reunion some eighty years and a lifetime or two away from here as being adequately reassuring.

Look at his eyes- so full of love. He wasn't always like that, its not the way I remember him when we shared a house under mom and dad. But life shaped him that way.... His wife's laughter, his soft, brilliant daughters.

I'm trying to prepare myself somehow for the upcoming summer season. That date that will mark the passage of time. The last day of school when we heard his diagnosis. A few warm weeks into September when his lungs took in that long rest.

I hope I can grieve then, like a normal person. I hope I don't translate it into something tangible, something simple, something complex.

I hope I can one day stand to see them without someone else having to plan it. There's no condemnation in it for me, I haven't felt like I ought to be "doing more", at least between me and God. But when others reach out to them intentionally, I feel a stab in me - as though there is something terribly wrong with my insides, that I don't have the conviction to try to engage.

I'm glad you came to peace in this life, Ken. But I'd have liked the privelege to become your sister-friend from this new vantage point. God grant me whatever it is that I need to be whatever it is that I need to be for your daughters.

6 comments:

it's a gong show... said...

Joyce, I never knew your brother nor have I ever lost a sibling but I can feel the pain in your post. I cry for his wife and kids that were left behind and for your family.

I don't really know what to say and I was hoping something really encouraging would pop into my head so I could send it your way. All I can say is that I care and you are in my thoughts a lot and I will continue to pray for you.

God speed.

Joyce said...

I'm glad that you didn't force that, and that you said what you did. Its like I said, there IS nothing to say.

Judy said...

I lost a brother-in-law.

I'm sure I did not do nor say the 'right' things.

But, this post reminded me that it would have been his and my sister's wedding anniversary today.

At least to her I can say, 'I remember too'.

Tess said...

Joyce, the photograph of your brother is remarkable. It's as if he is allowing himself to be really deeply seen in every way.

What you describe is heartbreaking. There are no easy answers. And perhaps there is no such thing as "normal" grief.

Marshkies said...

What a beautiful picture, Joyce. My heart aches, and my whole being is panged with "what can I do or say or be"? I just don't know, so I just cry, hurt, wish, pray -- esp. for Kate, Maeve & Cedey. What a great picture of Ken with his girls. ...I'm sobbing now. God help us!

Ruth said...

life is so strange.
so hard.
so wonderful
and so incredibly fragile.

God help us to seize each moment we are given. Bless you Joyce. love you.