How annoying it is that my birthday is five days after his. I know that makes me sound selfish, childish and pathetic, but I don’t care. It sucks.
These days, the primary emotion that I feel about my brother is simply being annoyed. I’m not mad in the unhealthy, please-see-a-therapist-to-resolve-your-anger-issues kind of way; again, I really am at “peace” with everything (as much as you can be). But dealing with the aftermath of suicide is incredibly frustrating, painful and exhausting — and likely will be for years to come.
For example, I am now an only child, forced to deal with my parents by myself, which is not something that I was ever comfortable with. They refuse to spread his ashes, or even split/share them to be spread, insisting to keep him in a pimped-out Jesus box at their home in Alabama (um … he was neither religious, nor had he ever stepped foot in that state). My mother is convinced he is trying to contact her and is sounding more out of touch by the day. I get to hear how so many people have re-defined and now worship this caricature of some perfect son/friend/person — certainly not my brother, but rather an individual who really never existed. I will never be an aunt and get to spoil my nieces and nephews, and am strangely mourning this loss. I realize a day will come in the future when someone will ask me if I have any siblings, and I will have to say that I had a brother who died 30 years ago (or fill in whatever ridiculous number it will be).
I’ve been asked, particularly over the past six months or so, if I feel that my brother is watching over me. My response? Good lord I hope not!! For all the book smarts he had, the common sense ability was sorely lacking. If he was providing guidance from the beyond, it wouldn’t be pretty. (I say this with love! Really!). But I do think that he screws with me occasionally, just to remind me he’s still “around”. For example, every morning when I get up and venture into my bathroom, my closet light is on (my closet connects to my bathroom). I store the items of his that I kept in my closet. There is no doubt in my mind that I turn the light out every night before I go to bed.
So he’s raising my electric bill. Gee, thanks! So thoughtful!
I know that it is difficult to believe that one single day can so completely change who you are as a person — and that the changes are so drastic, and happened so quickly. But here I am, 624 days later, redefined. As obnoxious as it sounds, many (most?) changes I am happy with. And that’s fucked up. I don’t ever want to be in a position to say, “wow, thanks to my brother’s suicide, I made positive changes so my life is better and I am a happier person!”. I am sure things will happen and feelings will arise until the day I die that I will need to reconcile. That’s life.
And that sucks too.
So how will I celebrate his birthday, if I should at all? Well, I will consider having his beverage of choice – a Guinness – before I realize that I think Guinness is vile. And from there?
Well, maybe the consideration alone needs to be sufficient for today. We’ll see.
Happy birthday, Lucas.