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  • Writer's pictureLisa Rousseau

I lost my younger brother Tyler 2 days ago... I've been trying to put into words what I am feeling but I keep coming up empty. You never think something like this could happen. You think you'll always have more time. The cold hard truth is you don't. I thought I had more time to talk, more time to spend with him. Angry at myself for not staying in touch as often as I'd like. The last time we talked was a few months ago, and that's going to have to be okay with me because I can't change that. I was so proud of him, and I know he knew that, and I know he knew how much I loved him, just like I know how much he loved me. Nothing can change that. It doesn't matter how he passed away, what matters is how he lived his life and in the past few years he lived, more than I have. He was helping other people get their lives back. I was so proud of the man he had become, so damn proud of getting to the other side. Everyone has their demons, and God knows Tyler did but he had finally realized those demons could help him, overcome everything that had been consuming him for so long. He was finally putting them to rest.

I saw Tyler last year; we spent an entire day together. He was so happy, and I was so happy for him. We talked about what he had overcome and what he was still trying to overcome. We talked for hours, and it was so damn inspiring. He had found nature, he'd started biking, lifting weights, hiking- it said it had saved his life. So, we drove into the white mountains, parked at the bottom and a hill and just walked- probably walked for 2 hours before we decided we should probably turn back. He showed me his favorite restaurant and we sat and ate together, he suggested I try certain dishes. Then we walked around his town he had come so fond of- a place where he could be himself- a place that could keep him out of trouble. A place that was healing him. We walked all around town; it was surreal. I was taken in by its beauty- the slowness and quickly came to realize why he was so happy there. He had a group of friends that were good for him. He took me to a market he had started working at- we walked in, and everyone was so happy to see him- he said it was the best job and he was truly happy to have found it.

It's weird to see your baby brother all grown up because to me he'd always be my little brother, but Tyler was a man, an adult and again I was so proud of the man he was becoming. He had his moments that would remind me of the little brother he had been. Whenever he would text it was always- "Hey sis." Growing up Tyler would call me sister. He'd call our foster mom by her first name- and he got away with it. Everyone else called her Mimi. He always had this sword strapped to his pants. He loved playing cops and robbers- he was always the robber.

He was my baby. I loved him so much. I never knew you could love someone so much. We both had shitty childhood circumstances, Tyler more than me. He had it rough from day one and it's no wonder why he did some of the things he did.

I have so much I want to say but right now I'm going to spend some time with my sister. I will write more. This is a process, I am heartbroken, I am wallowing in my own faults- not that I can change them now. I made a slide show that I'd like to share. I will share more later but right now I need to be with my sister who I haven't seen in a few years- life is so damn short and you might not have the time you think you do. Call your loved ones, tell them you love them- and if you haven't spoken in some time, all the more reason to. Don't let petty things get in the way, believe me it's not worth it.


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