Thursday, December 29, 2016

To Hell in a Handbasket

I know a lot of folks who are glad to be seeing 2016 go far, far away.  Seems like lots of troubling things have happened along with many celebrity deaths.  So many in the last couple of weeks, I think I've lost count.

Interestingly,  I actually hadn't felt that way for most of the year, but then my little brother died on December 9th. (One of the reasons I haven't been blogging).

My brother had been sick for most of 2016 and progressively got worse.  The last two weeks of his life were literal hell.  I can't/don't want to talk about it much but suffice it to say even while grieving his death, we were so glad he was no longer suffering in all the ways he had been for the last year.

Joe and me at his daughter's wedding in 2010

Immediately it felt like the little nagging issues of 2016 (my thyroid, the fall which injured my ankle and shoulder, the lack of a real vacation, etc.) were nothing in comparison to the feeling that suddenly everything had gone to hell in a handbasket.

This is the brother who I grew up with and is only 15 months younger than me.  We were the two who got moved all over the USA our entire growing up years - sometimes we moved more than once in a year, which made us always the new kids in town. As I said at his memorial, because of this, we rooted IN each other and we rooted FOR each other. We even shared an apartment in our late 20's and early 30's when both of us were going through a difficult time.  Just one of many shared experiences in our lives. This is a hard loss for me.

Joe at my daughter's wedding in 2015

Needless to say, the holidays felt different this year.  He was in the hospital for Thanksgiving and it was just odd for him not to be around.  Then of course Christmas came and he had already been gone for two weeks.

I know from experience only time changes the face of grief.  It never really goes away, but it changes and becomes more manageable. I'm looking forward to the passing of time.