Month’s Mind

Well, dear brother, it’s been a month since you left us.

Thing is, I know since you received that Apostolic Blessing on your deathbed that you went right in.  I’ve not had to wonder once who much time you’ll have in Purgatory.  That’s a relief.

Prie DieuxI’ve been voicing my prayers every day at mass.  The priest at our 5:30 daily allows the 75 or so of us gathered together to mention our own petitions.  I always jump in first and say “for the repose of the soul of my brother, Richard, we pray to the Lord…”  I know you don’t need it.  I just assume you’ll pass it on to someone who does.

There have been some very tough moments.  Every now and then it strikes me.  This is final.  It’s over.  As in, shit, Richard’s really dead.  I mean, I should know that.  I carried your heavy-ass casket up a flight of steps and I KNOW you were laughing at me for that.  One night I was writing a blog and I thought of you and I broke down.  My wife looked over and asked if I was OK.  I think I was so I dropped it.

The thought crosses my mind every now and then that we never really got to know each other the way I had hoped.  My baby girl, she loved you so much.  There’s no accounting for it.  She knew you even less than I did.  But she delighted in jumping in on our FaceTime calls in the last few months and I could see a calm come over your face when you talked to her.  It’s as if for those few moments the pain wasn’t the first thing on your mind.  She misses you.  She told me so.

Cancer, if I ever meet you face to face, you better run you little bitch.

I only told you this twice in my adult life that I’m aware of.  I love you.  I told you that the last time I saw you on New Year’s Eve and I told you that over FaceTime the night before you went home and both times you said it back to me and I know you meant it.

But now…

Now you know and see and behold Love with such clarity I couldn’t imagine it.  You are united with Love.

I’ve been talking to you.  Duh, you know that.  Asking you to help with this and that.  How strange will it be when we see each other again?  We’ll have all eternity to get to know each other.  I have to stop now.  I’m rambling.

I love you.  You’re at peace and I am comforted by that.

Please continue to pray for us, your family on earth.  We’ll have many more of these “month’s reminders” of your life.  But where you are, I believe it’s only like a blink of an eye until we meet again.

Peace, brother.

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3 responses to “Month’s Mind

  1. Knowing that a loved one was granted the grace of a happy death is a huge consolation. As I get older, and beloved family members and friends pass away, it’s like little pieces of my life are chipped away. Remembering them in daily prayer and having Masses offered for them somehow keeps good memories alive and strengthens the faith we have that we shall see them again in Heaven. And I sure hope they are praying for us too.

  2. I had to come back to this entry tonight. I, of course, read it several months ago. But tonight, for some reason, I needed to remind myself that when Richard went home to God he left all of us here. I am not the only one in pain. It helps me to know this. Your words made me laugh, as well as cry. I remember the intensity of that illness and the efforts we made to assist our brother over the last few months and final days of his life. The crazy phone calls with the nurses and doctors, social workers, pharmacists and hospice. No matter how insane, ridiculous and torturous some of these conversations were, no matter how impossible the task at hand, he never wavered in his confidence that I would get the job done and “always had his back.” Sweet, but a heck of a reputation to live up to.
    So why come back to this entry tonight? Sometimes I just need to allow myself tears, and a good laugh. And so I look to my baby brother and the events he chronicles in his blog.
    I shared this entry a few moths ago, Tim. The audience consisted of several adolescent girls who participate in a writing group at the library. The discussion involved writing about a painful time in your life. I used this as an example. These kind and sensitive young ladies were really touched as I read to them. And then they burst into laughter when you told cancer to “run you little bitch!” Believe it or not, your example gave them permission to write about their own lives. And it let them know that it is indeed possible to laugh and cry at the same time.
    So, thanks Tim for reminding me that Richard is missed, that its okay to cry every now and again for his loss. But its also okay to remember with him with laughter.

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