To the Older Brother I Lost

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Because my brother left this world so abruptly, a lot of things were left unsaid. Seven years later, and I still have so much to tell him. This is just a few of the things I want him to know.

I miss you: There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t think of you. Sometimes I miss you so much, it takes my breath away. Every day, I wish there was a way for you to come back. You left a gap inside me that will never be filled. I miss the memories we made, the jokes we shared, the things we did, and the stuff you said. I miss your smile and your laugh. I miss who I used to be when you were here. There are days when I catch myself unable to remember your voice or your face, and it leaves me terrified that I will forget to miss you someday.

I’m mad at you: Sometimes, I feel unbelievably angry at you for leaving. I want to scream and yell until you hear me, because you left me here to pick up the pieces of the things you broke. I’m mad at you for not being here for me anymore, because you were supposed to always have my back. I’m mad at you for shattering the world I knew and forcing me to build a new one- one that will never be complete without you. I’m mad at you for abandoning me. I’m mad at you for giving up. I’m mad at you for not fighting harder for your life. But then the anger wears off, and I get mad at myself for being mad at you. Because the truth is, I just miss you.

You left me a mess: There is so much that broke when you left, including me. You left me here to pick all the pieces of the mess you made, especially all the broken pieces of myself. I’ll never be able to completely clean it up and I will never be able to put myself completely back to together, because no matter what, there will always be a huge gaping hole that you used to fill.

You make me wonder if I am good enough: I will forever be questioning my self-worth because I wasn’t good enough to make you stay. I feel like I will never be good enough for anyone, because the one person that was supposed to always be there for me left me. Everyday I wish that I had been enough to have made you stay, but I wasn’t.

I will always look up to you: You taught me so much about what it means to be a good person, and I will never forget that. Even now, as I continue to be older than you ever were, you are always someone I look up to and admire. You showed me that sometimes you should put others first, but you also taught me that sometimes you need to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else. You taught me to spread love instead of hate. You taught me to be compassionate and empathetic. Most importantly, you taught me how important it is to keep a good sense of humor. You probably didn’t know how much you were teaching me, but you were. You are forever a role model in my life, and no one can ever take the lessons I learned from you away.

I love you: Nothing will ever fill your place in my life or in my heart. You will always be one of the most important and influential people in my life. As much as it hurts to think about how my life will continue to go on without you, I still love you as much as I did when you were here. Maybe even more. I wish I would have told you this more when you were still alive, but I have the rest of my life to regret the decisions I made when you were here. No matter how much time passes, I will never stop loving you.

Losing someone is hard, that is something that everyone knows to be true. But what they don’t tell you is that it continues to be hard years after. It has been seven years since my brother has been ripped away from me, and there are days where it still hurts as bad as it did when I first lost him. It has been 2,557 days since he died, and I have thought about him for every single one of them. I don’t know if there will ever be a day where I don’t think about him. Some days it feels like I just lost him yesterday and other days it feels like he is from a different lifetime. Which brings me to the point of this post:

I didn’t just write this for my brother. I wrote it to remind us all how fast someone can be taken away. To show how much losing someone affects someone, even years later. If you have lost someone, there is no time limit on grief. If you still feel the need to cry, cry. If you feel a need to get angry, get angry. You are allowed to grieve for the rest of your life if you need to: don’t let anyone tell you differently. Because for me, the hardest part of losing my brother was when everyone went back to their normal lives, but I didn’t have a normal to go back to. Keep that in mind when you are trying to be there for someone who has lost a loved one. There is no going back. Instead, you have to build a new world. Life is so unbelievably fragile, so don’t waste it. Spend it doing the things you love with the people you care about. Stop holding on to useless grudges, and forgive those that are worth your forgiveness. Let people apologize for their mistakes, because we all make them. And most of all, tell the people you love how much you love them. As my brother told me: Live your life with no regrets.

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