Three years ago today, we buried my brother. In two days, it will have been three years since my grandfather died. The end of September and the beginning of October is especially hard for me. Nothing like losing the two of the most important men in your life to taint fall forever.
My mom told me the other day that she feels like we are forgetting Andy because we don’t talk about him much. I have very few vivid memories of him. With our age difference, we just didn't spend a whole lot of time together, but it still feels like my heart is being wrenched from my chest, so I don’t worry much about forgetting him.
Not long after he died, I wrote in my personal journal, “I keep waiting for it to get easier, but I’ve come to believe that it will never be easier. It will just change how it is hard.” Now, three years later, I still completely believe that. I’ve also found that when you lose someone like that, so suddenly, so unexpectedly, so heartbreakingly, you never do get to go back to normal. You eventually redefine normal, and most days, you’re okay--good even, but there are still moments of sadness that stab at you, that make you want to crawl back into bed, that make you want to lay down and die, too, because even the thought of going on without them, even the idea that the world can keep spinning without them, is too much to bear.
It really helps to have friends who love you and make a point to say, “I remember, and I’m still sad, too.” It helps to have people who care, to have people who know that Saturday wasn’t a very good day for me, that today wasn’t so great either, and that Wednesday will be hard, too. It helps to have people acknowledge my heartache, and it really, really helps to have someone understand that grief never does truly go away.