1 June 2018. The day I found out that my soul can physically hurt. 18 days after my birthday. 3 days after he stopped answering my calls and messages. My most beloved and adoring brother hung himself, alone, depressed. A million miles away from me in Australia and suffering at the lies and deception from his former girlfriend he couldn’t carry his load any longer. Our traumatic, neglectful and physically and emotionally extremely abusive childhood at the hands of our mother, abandoned by our respective fathers, cemented our bond. We didn’t grow or thrive as kids, we survived. We spoke for hours, some times daily in secret on skype at the office to try and make sense of why our mother is the opposite of a mother. He tried and worked so incredibly hard to make something of himself and he succeeded but as kids from an extremely abusive background, success is never quite enough or right, we can always do better or more and are never actually really deserving of our achievements. Failures are deep dark swirling holes with no bottom for our feet to touch. He had, had enough and I will never deny him his last act of free will. I just miss him so much. He is my first waking thought and my last. Some days I just say his name out loud to myself. Both my cousin to whom we are very close and I are struggling through this together. I feel as if I have a gaping hole where my solar plexus should be. And now after his cremation and death inquiry he is on his way home in a box with his last belongings, his letter to me, his guitar to our cousin, travelling on a ship on an ocean the same colour as his eyes. I miss his big hands, his gentle soul, how tall he was and how he carried himself. I miss his laughter and our 3 hour conversations. I miss his insights. I breaks my heart watching his 17 year old son who is the spitting image of his dad, mannerisms and all. I miss how god****d slow he could be, running late and forgetting his wallet. I desperately miss his protective bossiness over me although I was older and more or less raised him. I have lost half of my soul, my being, my heart, my essence. I have lost the witness to my childhood and my confidant. We have lost someone so integral to us and our tribe is just shattered. But today I have made myself a promise to not let a a specific date get to me. All days are the same and my grief on any given Wednesday is the same grief I am now experiencing close to Christmas and which I will experience on his birthday. Life has normalised in its abnormal way and I carry on doing what I do daily, counting my blessings, loving my kids and my family but i do it with Rudi in my heart and thoughts daily. There are no words little brother to describe my love and loss of you. I look forward to the day when my time has come and you are there to greet me and guide me. Until then I have a life to live, love to give, full of joy, grace, peace and gratitude.