What started off as a great new year surprised us all shortly in last year. Being a new year, I now have to say my brother died last year.
Wednesday March 27th, 2019 is the day he had his heart attack and he died 4 days later. March 31st, the day everything changed.
Nothing will ever be the same. Birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Oiler games, summer, winter, concerts, funny show’s, one liners, jokes-good or bad. I could go on, but the point is NOTHING IS THE SAME without my brother.
I have pictures on my phone from when he was in the hospital attached to tubes, bags and monitors. I still can’t bring myself to even look at them. I took them so that when he woke up I could show him what he looked like so maybe he would understand how scared we were. Had I known that he wouldn’t recover I would never have taken them. I’m not sure I will ever look at them.
My feelings remain the same almost 10 months later. Although I am not mad about it anymore, I do still wonder why everyday. For me not understanding why it happened is the hardest. There simply is no reason. They say everything happens for a reason, but I’m not convinced. For this, there is no reasonable explanation. And I guess that’s okay.
There are a lot of emotions and feelings that happen after you lose your brother that nobody talks about.
In my case, my only sibling was my brother. There is this brand new fear of death. I was never scared of death much before he passed away. Maybe it’s not so much a fear of death and more like pressure to live.
Pressure to live, to not have my Mum go through something like that pain again. Pressure to live and to continue doing the things my brother loved. So he knows that every day I think of him. Everyday. I still have a hard time not crying, at least fight back tears at the mention of his name. Sometimes it only takes a thought of him and I’m triggered.
Lately my emotions get confused and shuffle themselves and buddy up. This new hybrid-emotion I’ve started feeling is something like a frustration-rage. I have no idea how it happens, but I’m sure it falls somewhere within the grieving process.
It doesn’t last too long, thankfully and if I’m fortunate enough for it to happen while I’m driving I can usually balance my self out with the help of some music.
My brother was always so excited for anyone’s birthday. Not just birth-day but birth-week. He loved to celebrate any occasion. He was usually the guy who sends the most ridiculous cards, memes or picture messages.
He always had a very unique way of making everyone feel so special, no matter the occasion. We are all truly blessed for having known Kool Mike. He made this world a better place.
This week brings us his first birthday away from us. It’s all I can think about, and is literally sucking the life from inside me. This grief is unlike anything I’ve ever felt before. Tonight at dinner my mum and I caught eyes and looking into her eyes I could see exactly what I was feeling.
Next is Christmas, kind of a terrible double header of extremely sad firsts. I know it’s not going to be easy, this next month, but I will try to keep myself busy, healthy and happy.
Happy Birthday Michael. I miss you so much, we all do.
Recently this showed up at our place. I had purchased a subscription for my brother last Christmas, 2018.
I kind of forgot about it actually. I was so proud that after all these years I finally found him the perfect gift. He was so excited when he got the first one. I think he only enjoyed the first magazine before he had his heart attack in March.
He used to spend all of his money on the same things growing up- fireworks, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, and candy. And any left over money went to more candy.
It breaks my heart that he didn’t even get to enjoy his whole subscription. Just another reason that his death wasn’t fair. Every day I find at least one more reason.
There have been so many feelings lately. My go-to, how-to, how do I guy is no longer here to answer questions or just be there to do things I’ve never done before. Or to show me how to do those things.
Growing up I always had a fear of lawnmowers. Well the time came a few years back when I had asked my brother to come show me how to use my new lawnmower.
Away he went, around the yard, over and over. When there was just a small patch left he turned to me and asked “wanna try?” I said, no, I’m still scared. So gladly he finished it. That was one of my favorite days with him. He never complained about the work anytime throughout the process.
I guess I’ll always have Google to tell me how to do something, or YouTube to show me. But nothing will come close to the brotherly love I’ve been used to my whole life.
This past weekend we moved my brothers family into their new home. It’s the end of a chapter and the beginning of a new one. It was truly wonderful to see all the help from his friends. The original crew mostly. Fort McMurray old school came to help out. It’s amazing to see how many people he touched that are here for our family.
It was an empty feeling standing in his bedroom where he had his heart attack. Such a sad feeling. I often wonder if he knew what was happening that morning. Did he feel it coming on? Was he scared? Or did it happen so fast his body was unaware? I have so many questions that will go unanswered.
I just hope he knows the amount of love and prayers that surrounded him in his final days. At times, I would have guessed there were close to 50 people in the hospital waiting area. Out pouring of such strong love. From miles away. Old friends, new friends.
At his memorial service we had close to 300 signatures in his guest book. It was a very overwhelming day. However sad it was, it was filled with so much joy and love for one person. I don’t think my mum realized just how special he was to so many people. I know I had to take a second to take it all in before my speech. As short as it was, it felt like forever, I think because it was the largest crowd I had ever spoken in front of. I also knew if I went into too much detail about Michael it would have been extremely hard to make it through the whole thing.
Most endings are usually followed by a new beginning. In this case we hope it is a happy beginning.