If you have found this blog through the hellfire valley of grief, I am with you. While none of us have an identical experience with grief, I have a vague empathy of your pain and an understanding that your walk through this place will leave you changed. Our grief is as unique as the fingerprints of those we grieve, and none of us move through here the same way.
I have found that my worst days in life have ultimately taught me the most about…well, everything, the world, people, myself. There was a time when I was angry about certain unpleasant experiences. After decades of walking around with that boiling below the surface inside me, I came to realize that those experiences helped me grow the most, and believe it or not, I came to see the purpose for the lessons of my path, what it taught me.
Through witnessing my brother’s amazing and challenging life, the way he moved through it with grace has helped me appreciate if you can believe it, grieving him. Like every other profound experience of life, ordinary pains of childhood, working, becoming a parent, dealing with difficult people, we may learn from our grief, something beyond pain, a new awareness that helps us grow in our humanity if we see it for what it is. It may sound ridiculous, like I didn’t love my brother enough to understand real grief. Please keep reading.
I worried I would forget my favorite things about my brother, leave him behind in the dust of my past. I found it helpful to write down my favorite memories of him, initially in the form of a quick list. I later filled in the details. By later, I mean, years later, for some of those stories. I began sharing what I wrote by reading out loud to my family and his friends. They laughed with me; we remembered more details together; sometimes, I cried, but just a little. All of it was helpful to me. I am pretty sure it has been helpful for my family and his closest friends too.
I share what I have written online with strangers; this blog you have found yourself is the result of those notes, my walk through the hellfire of grief with I admit quite a bit of cursing. I would like to say I have made it through, but honestly, I don’t think there is another side, I think there is only this valley that starts with the burning pain and can transport us through self-examination to a place of some understanding.
My writing, my grieving may not be a good fit for your tastes or lifestyle. I understand that. You do not have to read any of it to share a favorite memory of your loved one with me.
I have talked to thousands of people about their grief through conversations sparked by this blog since I unzipped my life of memories and put everything online for the world to read. I know it helps me to talk to all of you, hear your favorite stories of your loved ones, add their names and images of those stories to my heart alongside all my memories of my brother, and my other loved ones who are no longer with me.
I look forward to each lovely, amazing, or hilarious story you may want to share with me at the bottom of any blog post, just click the MORE button and email me.