Yes, as hard as I try, I just cannot avoid it.
I've attempted to hide. It found me.
I ignored it. It grabbed me.
It hit me over the head...and crushed me! It seared my soul to it's depths.
And yet, here I am....still.
The sting of death has not overtaken me and I live on.
My older brother, Garry, died last night. The sting of that hit me hard and fast like a lightening bolt. He wasn't content with how his body had been treating him for the past 29 years. There were things he overcame...major physical barriers...but he kept on...fighting like the fiesty Irishman he was until there was no more left in him to fight with. He finally let go....
He was a fellow who spoke his mind...always...except if he thought it may hurt you too badly.
He laughed a lot and enjoyed the humour in everything.
He teased...how well I remember as a young girl being teased by him...and NOT liking it!
He was a heart man...in every way! He cared deeply for his family and loved them all unconditionally.
He was a sportsman. From golf to goose hunting....and everything in between.
I liked him as a person and admired him for his ability to get things done.
He worked hard and was a store manager who not only managed...he worked WITH his staff...rolling up his sleeves and digging in. I admired that about him, too.
He was a wild and crazy kid as he grew up. Flying around on his bike...then racing around in his car. He loved life and living it.
So, in speaking of living ones life, his was a great example of living ones life well. Through much adversity, he lived life fully and with a great amount of joy.
The sting of death has crept into our lives for a time. I know it will leave...eventually. In the meantime, I shall endure it's pain because when you love, you are called to endure as well. Love is like that...offering up it's sweetness and goodness in another...and then it is gone. But not without leaving a part of it behind...in us.
I said to Ken tonight as we sat and chatted about Garry at the supper table, that I have no fear in death...I do, however, have a certain fear of dying. The passive and the active. Death will be freeing. Death will usher me into a new place, a good place where I have never been before. But the dying is the active part...where the suffering, the sickness, the fear comes in. It would be great to skip that part! But that isn't what life offers.
When we have a belief in something beyond life, it gives us a great deal of hope...hope of something better, a place where love is, a place to be away from suffering and the sting that being left behind brings. A place where God is present. I don't really know what that will look like but I like to think it will be grand...just grand.
So, here's to you, dear brother Garry, and a life well lived. Thanks for being a part of it with me. you were loved...deeply...and sincerely....
We all were a part of his life....and always will be. Love to you, dear brother....