I tried to start two other “regular” blog posts today but they just weren’t coming together. This post has been on my heart but I wasn’t sure whether I was going to write it. I guess the words need to make their way out so here we go.
Today would have been my brother’s thirtieth birthday. It is the most beautiful fall day in Charlotte. There is not a cloud in the sky, the sunshine is abundant and there’s a steady cool breeze. I took the girls out for a long walk this morning on the trails. I feel closest to my brother when I’m out in nature. Thirty feels like such a milestone birthday that I wish I could share with him. I know he would have loved to be on that walk with me enjoying the outdoors and the pups. He was also a big animal lover.
It’s been just over two years since his death and my journey with grief has been a winding road. The intensity of my grief ebbs and flows and the experiences of pregnancy, childbirth and new motherhood have definitely added a more complex layer to my feelings.
I am sad that my brother doesn’t get to meet Finn and that Finn will never know his uncle. I wish he could have been right there with me when our children met for the first time to feel how amazing that moment was.
I feel grateful that although we are not together, Finn has a father who will watch him grow up and be an important part of his life. I really struggle with that not being a reality for my brother or his two beautiful girls.
I deeply long for a close sibling relationship and wish that I had one to lean on through my entry into motherhood and all that has come with it. I oftentimes feel rather lonely due to the absence of this relationship along with how far away my parents and grandmother are from me. I know that Finn and I are a perfect family of two right now but that doesn’t mean that I don’t I wish it were different.
I have always held deep empathy for my parents as I watched them navigate everything they went through with my brother but now that I am a parent myself, holy crap. I have a whole new appreciation for their hearts, resilience and strength. I truly cannot imagine the pain that must come with watching your own child struggle so deeply and not being able to fix it for them. It must be the deepest form of surrender and heartbreak.
The last few years have felt heavily marked by loss. There is so much that I question and so much that I don’t understand, and I wrestle with these things every day. Finn has been the most incredible reminder of love and hope through all of it and he has changed my heart in so many ways.
I wish I had some sort of neat way to wrap up this post but I do not. Pain and suffering are part of the human experience and my prayer is that by sharing my joy along with my suffering here in this space that I am able to serve and help others.
Sending love to all of you, especially those of you who are in a time of pain, confusion, sadness, loss or suffering. You are not alone.