Memory and the State of Things

bittersweet symphonyI heard Bitter Sweet Symphony on the radio today and it got me all reflective and sentimental. Not only because it’s a pretty damn great song from my youth, but also because it was played during a video slideshow summarizing the life of my brother at his funeral.

I generally avoid going “there” with my brother anymore because I’ve said my bit and have grieved and don’t feel the need to dwell or add more baggage than is currently strapped to me already. I loved my brother and he knew that. I’ve celebrated his life, but I’ve allowed myself to continue living.

Since his death, my family unit from my youth has fractured completely and I’m okay with that, too. I don’t hold ill will at all or sadness about that because it simply “is.” It’s beyond my control. Anger, bitterness and sadness will do my mind no good and will not help me take care of my wife and 2 kids who are my largest priority.

I guess when I think about Phil anymore, it feels more like I’m struggling to even remember what life was like when he was around. He feels less like a brother and more like a person from grade school I haven’t seen in a long time. He feels less and less real. A damn specter.

It’s such an odd thing.

I can reflect on him and remember him and remember my feelings for him, but they are fading. Of this, I’m not particularly happy or thrilled, but the human mind isn’t impervious to time and memory isn’t a perfect recollection of events. I don’t feel shame for it because I can’t help it. It just is.

I guess I’m just writing to put it down to paper how I’m thinking and feeling and I’ll be able to look back on this in another few years and my brother will feel even more like a shadow. This isn’t bad. This is me living.

I love him and miss him, but I’m recollecting less and less of what it is I’m missing. What was his favorite color again? Did he like pork and beans? What did his laugh sound like?

Do I even want to remember these things and be haunted by them?

None of this causes me any pain because it’s beyond my control and I can’t help how I feel. I’m good.

I do wish I could give him one more hug, though. I wouldn’t be opposed to that.

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2 thoughts on “Memory and the State of Things

  1. You’re a good writer, Nathan. This particular blog entry tugs at the reality for all of us who lose loved ones–to just “be alive” or to really live. Thanks for writing and sharing something so personal.

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