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Life's Lessons

Every time we open up mom's trunk we're reminded of how you're no longer here with us. With each passing day it smells a little less like you...

The bags filled with your belongings that are now in evidence bags. As the strong stench of formaldehyde soaks up what once was the smell of you. The smell of death consuming your memory, it's a familiar stench engraved into my mind and nose, that I wish I could forget along with the other things.

I have pitch black spaces in my memory. Maybe that's what scares me about your death so much. You know how people always say, "Well at least you'll always have those memories." I don't. A lot of our childhood is blurry, blacked out, or just nonexistent. One thing I know for sure though is that you were always there to help me fill in the blank, and now you're just not. From one day to the next you were gone...

I know your brain saves you from traumatic experiences by making you forget, but I want to remember because I know you were there too. I hate to think that your mind didn't save you, I think you hated it too. We would talk a lot about life and what tormented you. When I'd tell you I couldn't remember something you'd always look at me wishing that were the case for yourself.

I always say I wish I could've saved my brother, but I know it wasn't possible. The truth is he's more saved now than I think he's ever been, but it sometimes doesn't feel that way down here. I've had very little moments of questioning why. I just know he's better, and I also know that it's sometimes necessary to go through suffering to find things out about ourselves. I've found so much strength within myself after losing my brother.

He's still teaching me things even though he's not physically here to point them out for me. There is a purpose especially after loss. His life meant something, and it will continue to mean something. I'm so lucky to have had such a loving big brother for the time I did here on earth. I just know he's going to continue teaching me things even if the lessons are received differently.

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