To My Bro Dan

Dan I miss you. It’s been three whole weeks and I just don’t know how to deal with the fact that you’re gone. It’s feels surreal. I miss you Dan. I know we didn’t talk much recently but please believe me when I say that I was trying to protect myself…. in the past, challenging times for you meant that I wasn’t safe. But I know you tried. You tried so hard, you sweet boy.
You were kind and loving and I’m told that you were the most devoted friend. We hold the same things dear Dan. We both love art and odd things in nature. You thought it was the coolest thing when your big sister in grad school got her motorcycle license and I thought your tattoos were beautiful – I just got a temporary one for you Dan. It’s the one you got for Kraina because I want to remember you as your most loving self. Your love for her was magic. I prayed that one day I’d find that kind of love, and I did Dan. I wish you would’ve gotten to know Reuven more. I know he doesn’t look like your type with his engineer vibe but he’s so quirky and creative too- he’s one of us Dan. And he’s so sensitive and loving. Inside, you guys are very similar actually.

I wish we could go kayaking and sea glass collecting together. We totally could have taken a trip together- you, Kraina, reuven and me. I think we’d all love Guatemala. I’m gonna take Ma there and we’re gonna hike the volcano and think of you. You would have loved so many parts of life Dan. I know you were so tortured and couldn’t accept love and I’m so sorry for being obnoxious to you when we were younger. I was honestly scared of you and angry that you made my life unsafe and unpredictable. But we don’t need to talk about that now. I know you felt guilty for that and I just want you to know that I forgive you for those years. I worked through it in therapy and I’m really okay. You were just a kid and life was so freaking hard. I wish you could forgive yourself too, and forgive me.

I really thought you turned into such a cool person – kind, creative and so much generosity. Ugh I should’ve given you that darn guitar you wanted.

Dan I don’t know where you are right now but I just want you to know that I love you. You’re my only sibling look-alike and beyond that, we’re made of similar stuff. We both feel and care a bit too deeply (you were so wise in so many ways), we have that creative eye, love animals, workout lovers. We’re kind of spiritual- not religious, don’t worry.

Dan I know you were so proud of me for breaking the mold. You thought it was so cool I took pole classes – said you respected the workout and that I’m doing me. Well I think you’d think it’s cool that I started a boudoir photography business. I’m ducking out of corporate a bit to pursue a creative passion. It brings me such joy Dan. I wish I could tell you so you could be proud of me.

We were the most open minded in our family Dan. I really thought you and me would be friends one day. Our kids would look alike. It’s like the future was just snatched from me and I really was looking forward to it.

Please Dan, wherever you are, know your big sis loves you and was proud of you. At just 23, you were so much bigger at than all of us in a lot of ways. I promise to keep you alive by doing and being in ways you would.

I’ve been in touch with Kraina and she’s so wonderful. I wish you guys were together when you passed, for your sake but not for hers. She’s really suffering as it is. But she got the crane tattoo also. She said “he got it for me so I’m getting it for him”. So we’re tattoo sisters now 🙂 I love mine. Feels like I see some of you every day… and I love what it says about me- I’m making bold statements for my bro, and I’m wearing my feelings on my sleeve – get it? Cuz it’s on my wrist? I love you Dan. I’m gonna make you proud. Promise. Love, Neens

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