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  • Writer's pictureLisa Rousseau

Grief hits us at different times and some days are definitely harder than others and today is one of those harder days. There is no right way to grieve and I've come to realize that everyone grieves differently, and it also depends on the loss, not that any loss is less than another. This is a first for me. I've lost two mothers, two fathers, two aunts, a grandfather, several friends, but losing my brother is different, there is a another level and it's really hard to describe. I feel like people think it's less of a loss, although they don't say it directly but I feel like at times I'm not getting the support I need. It's been twelve days and I'm supposed to move on and be done with my grieving? Well I'm not. Not that I need people asking me every single day how I'm doing but I sometimes you just need validation that your grief is just. Some people didn't even acknowledge the loss and maybe they don't know how but sometimes that's worse, it makes my pain seem so small when it's not. My point is people expect you to be okay after a few days and the truth is I'm not sure when I'll be okay again and maybe I keep those feelings of emptiness and sorrow and hurt and a little touch of anger to myself but in the end is it healthy?

I wake up each morning and before I'm fully awake there is this brief moment when I think it was all a dream, that it didn't really happen, but then I wake up and realize that it did, that Tyler is really gone. I made a slideshow for his funeral and every morning before I get out of bed I watch the entire thing, maybe it's not the best thing to do but it's what I need to start my day. Every day my mind is consumed of thoughts and memories of him, like movies playing in my head all day. I find myself telling stories of him through out the day. That's how our loved ones live on- through our memories. I want everyone to know my baby brother and how amazing he was.

That's another thing- we were so close when we were younger. He was my baby- I used to pretend he was my son and because of what our circumstances were I kinda played that role. I took care of him like he was my own because it was just nature. I never knew you could love someone so much. When I found out that I had a younger brother I was so happy and I couldn't wait to meet him. I grew up in foster care and I didn't find out about Tyler until he was three years old but once I did I asked to see him all the time and finally the state started setting up our visits. He would spend weekends at our house, sometimes a full week and when he was six one weekend my birth mom never came to pick him up- she had abandoned him and my foster mother got custody of Tyler and he lived with us all the time after that. He lived with family before he came to live with us and on and off during as well. At one point he did move in with another foster family for awhile- unfortunately Tyler had some behavioral issues and my foster mother and him sometimes did not get along. Tyler moved eight hours away to Maine for high school. He joined the Job Corp and I remember the long drive we took as a family to drop him off. He would come home every so often and would call all the time. I had moved to Maine with my now husband and Tyler at some point moved back to Laconia and then spent some time in Tennessee. It was really hard to stay in touch with him because he either didn't have a phone or would change his number a million times- something that drove me crazy haha.

I'm so glad I have so many pictures of him and of us to look back on and remember. At times I wish we had more time, so much more time because he was so young. Twenty-eight. Your not supposed to lose a sibling so young- besides he was supposed to out-live me I am seven years older, it wasn't the natural order. Twenty-eight. I had been holding on to some stuff for him for when he bought his own house, got settled and had kids. I had a box of things from my mother that I wanted Tyler to pass down to his kids. I held on to those things because I thought one day he would have a family of his own, a house to call his own. A woman who loved him for the man he truly was. I'd imagined what his life could look like, the dreams we had shared. I grieve for those dreams, I grieve for the life he didn't get to live. I grieve for the at times annoying brother chasing me around the yard on his bike yelling, "Sister!" I grieve for the young man he had become and all of the time we didn't get to spend together. I grieve for lost time. I grieve all the time and sometimes I'm not okay, but I know I will be. Someday I will look back on those memories and smile, but today when I look back on those memories I still cry, I'm still sad but I know someday they will make me smile and the sadness I feel will go away little by little. I look forward to that day. It won't be tomorrow and it won't be next month, it may be years from now but all I can do at this moment is take this pain I'm feeling one day at a time...


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