This is my life now

It was one year since I lost you this September. One year without all the things you did that made me love you, your smile, laugh, wit, kind heart, and open ears, you were truly one of my best friends. I regret not getting to know you sooner in life, I always thought I had more time.
In the harsh days after you ended your life, I thought a year from now I will be “better” as if this grief was a sickness I could cure. One year came and passed and I have been struggling so much more. The realization that time will never heal this ache. The reality that missing you and loving you will always be complicated and intertwined with all of the parts of my life now. Grief has been the rawest form of love I have ever felt. The tears I have shed screaming for you at night are frightening and violent. Then there is the secondary grief in losing who I was on September 19, 2020, the day before you died. That girl was strong and resilient. She was patient and thoughtful. She was happy. That girl is gone. I cannot unlearn what losing you taught me, I cannot go back to who I was before.
When people say I look like I am doing so well, it makes me sick to my stomach. What you are seeing in me is survival. It takes all of the energy I have to try and just be in this world without my little brother. I recall the day I found out you died like it was today. Dad called and said, “Eric is dead.” I wailed and wailed, disbelief, are we sure he is gone? He said, “I have to go call your older brother.” I sat in my home alone, on the floor, my life shattered around me. It felt like being at ground zero of a bomb going off. I will never understand. I am deeply hurt you felt that this was the only way forward. I will love you forever. I will grieve the loss of you forever.

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