Tuesday, May 25, 2010

life goes on

You've heard that saying before. And it does. But when you lose someone you want it to stop. Everything moves way too fast. That's how I felt this last 5 days. Slow down I kept thinking. I'm not ready to say goodbye just yet.

We drove to Michigan on Thursday and Friday...because it takes about 15 hrs and I didn't want to do it all in one day. Plus, if we did all the driving on Friday I would miss the viewing. As we got closer I kept feeling this knot in the pit of my stomach. We arrived at the funeral home around 7:15 I think. I didn't want to go in. Because if I stayed back in Georgia I could pretend it didn't happen. But it did. As I walked up I saw this:
And I had to take a moment to collect myself. As I walked in I saw some family and we chatted for a few. Then I went in and saw my brother. And I had no reaction other than "that's not him". He didn't have the piercings in his face that my dad hated (and I couldn't stand, too!). He wasn't wearing his usual t-shirt. His hair was neatly combed. It wasn't him. I half expected him to sit up and say "hey Shelle!" like he always did when I saw him. 

I wondered how I would react when I saw him. And I felt bad for not crying or feeling much of anything. Again, I think it was because it just wasn't "him" anymore.
The next day at the funeral was another story. When they pulled that casket out of the hearse, it was real. And I said goodbye to him for the last time. I kissed him on the forehead and told him that I'd see him again one day. And I asked God to take care of him for me.

I didn't want to be there. I didn't sing in church. I barely was able to get out any of the responses during the Mass. It wasn't right. This wasn't right. He's 29. I didn't get to see him as an adult. Sure, he was technically an adult. But I was still waiting for him to get a "real" job and settle down and grow up a bit.

But instead I watched as two parents said goodbye to their only son. Something a parent should never have to do.

My kids had to say goodbye to their uncle. I had to say goodbye to my only brother.

We all got jipped. I never got to know my Uncle Jimmy. He died when I was a bit younger than my kids are now. And my kids never got to know their Uncle Jimmy. The irony wasn't lost on me. And it made me angry. It still makes me angry.

And I watched as they put my brother in the ground. Somewhere he shouldn't be right now.

My kids were so great. Although they were horrible on the drive up it was the little things that meant so much. Like my son coming up to me out of nowhere and giving me a hug. My daughter who didn't complain once as her feet got soaked walking across the cemetery full of wet grass in her sandals.

And that was it. My brother, who had a huge heart and would do anything for anyone, is gone. And if you read through all of this ~ thank you for letting me share this with you. 


Kim's Treasures said...

Big hugs from me in Michigan! So sorry for your loss! Wish you were coming back to visit for something fun.

Great post. He is in a better place.

Becky said...

Aww, Shelle, I went through most of the events with you here, and I'm so sorry I couldn't be more of a comfort to you. I just tried to keep the kids entertained, to keep you from having to worry about them. I'm just so sad that you and your family lost your brother, and you're right -- it was wayyy too soon. If you need anything, anything at all that I can help with, I'm here for you. Ah luv yew!

mmullenix said...

So sorry, Michelle. You're right - it's not fair for anyone to be taken away so young. Prayers for you and your family!

Kimberly said...

I'm so sorry. It almost seems unfair. I'll say a prayer for you and your family.

Alisha @ Crafty Brooklyn Army Wife said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your brother Jimmy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.
My husband can sympathize with you. He lost his brother to a tragic accident and he understands your loss.
When you get back to Georgia...if you need someone to talk to we are here.

Mara... said...

Big hugs Michelle to you right now. I have no words to make it right but just know I am thinking of you!!!

Kellie said...

Michelle I just read about your brother and I am so sorry. Please let me know if you need anything. Know that I am thinking of you and your family. Love you all!

Tricia said...

I am a stranger here, but I just wanted to give you my sincerest sympathies for your great loss. I can't imagine what you are going through, but I do know that God sustains us. Even when we can't see how.


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