To my little brother, who is gone from me
Brandon…. you idiot.
I didn’t know. No one told me, B! You didn’t tell me, and I’m so mad at you for staying quiet. Tay asked me to call and I knew something was wrong. I knew. Dad told me and I swear if my coworker hadn’t caught me, both kneecaps would be broken. In that moment, a piece of my heart reserved specifically for you went missing. Did you take it with you? She told me everything, little brother. About the drinking, about the violence, about the man and woman in your head… I can’t even begin to understand how horrible that must have been, but it has been easier to breathe knowing what you did to yourself was because of the man, not because you hated life, or…. I mean it’s not easier to accept, but… I think there’s a degree of relief.
I stood with Critter at the viewing. He didn’t have anyone to hold him upright. I hyper-focused on him for those few minutes so I wouldn’t focus on you, cold and in a f***ing box. I’m so happy you had him as a best friend. He’s amazing and I know how bad he misses you. You were his brother, too. When he went to speak, Uncle A stood beside me and held ME upright. I didn’t even realize how badly my knees were shaking. How horribly sweaty my palms were. How I hadn’t taken a breath, for fear that the exhale would be a scream…. and I’ve screamed enough for a lifetime.
Your siblings miss you, B. Kyle… is the only reason I’m angry with you. He found you, kid. And that’s…. f***ed up. He tried to help you even though it was hours too late. He’s scarred. I mean losing a sibling is… psychotic, but he’s literally just… scarred. You idiot. I’m so angry at you for harming him. Screw the rest of us- we’ll survive! How is Kyle supposed to handle that weight for the rest of his life?! He’s so young and I’m just… You wait. I’m gonna hunt you down when I finally get up there and you better PRAY God has the strength to keep me from turning you black and blue.
It’s been 130 days. A handful of months. Whoever says it gets easier? Is a liar. I went to call you in my absentmindedness yesterday, as I hadn’t heard your voice in a while… Your number is disconnected, FYI. Spent the rest of my day pissed off. Tay posts pictures of you on facebook and people ask how I’m doing- how we’re doing. I’m sick of all of it. I’m sick of working toward a goal I don’t WANT to reach- what the hell kind of goal is acceptance? I don’t WANT to accept that you’re gone. I want you to walk through the door with that STUPID SMIRK and a threat to lift me off the ground that I HATED for so long but now all I want is to feel that bear hug that you always MEANT, B. You always, always put your full self into hugs. You always left a piece of yourself with others in that way.
Hundreds of people are mourning you, do you know that? Do you know how much of an impact you made on the world around you? I hope you do.
Trust me when I say that the time between life and death is far shorter than we realize, and you best start thinking of ways to appease me when I reach the pearly gates, because when I see you again? I’m going to make it my business to kick your a$$ until either God finds a way to stop me, or I get tired of it.
Until then? Sis loves you.