remembrance week

Today marks the beginning of National Blog Posting Month, as well as a new beginning for this website.  I am committed to publishing here every day for the month of November, in an effort to find my voice again.  In order to try and motivate myself and stay organized, I've decided to structure each week of November with a theme.  This week, November 1-5, is Remembrance Week.  I've chosen to start with Remembrance Week because it's the reason I started this blog in the first place.  To figure out how to remember and how to share and how to still be me after my brother died.  It was never just about remembering or about my brother, but it was always about who I have become after his death and how it has reshaped me and how I am forever changed but also still the same.

The passing of time has not changed that.  I am still the same but I will also never be the same.  It is a direct contradiction and yet is is the truth.  Four years, 7 months after his death and I have done a lot of healing and growing but sometimes the harsh reality of Greg's death still cripples me mentally and physically.  Unremarkable things catch me, bring back a memory or remind me of how close siblings can be - of how close we were - and I'm frozen.  I can't think, can't move, can barely breathe.  Can't imagine how I can go on without him.

Those moments are fleeting, now.

I recover more easily from them, drag myself out of the quicksand and center myself back into life.

But they do happen.  And I think they always will.

There are tricks to deal with these feelings and continue on.  I use them consciously and unconsciously.  Sometimes I voice them and sometimes I keep them close to my heart.  They are things that remind me of how much love and friendship I shared with my brother.  Things that remind me of how much love surrounded us as he dealt with his addiction and as he eventually lost that battle.  Things that remind me of what he would have wanted for me and ways that I can honor his memory.

I use these tricks and stories and memories, and sometimes physical things, to keep Greg's memory alive, to go on with my life and be happy, but also to remember.  To grow and change and live, and to be different and changed and forever altered but also the same.


maresi said...

I love you.
Of course a sibling's grief is singular and isolated, and I could never accurately say that I know how you feel - but I can tell you that I've experienced something a little like what you were describing. There was a time when my phone rang early in the morning recently, and my mind instantly froze - remembering mom's phone call on that morning after he died. I thought my heart would stop and it hit me all over again that Greg is gone, and I cried for him and for you and your mom & dad, and gram, and for all of us who loved him, and for the world that is missing out on an incredible person.

Tom Zuba said...

Hi Amy - No coincidences. You began this blog on July 24, 2007. My son Rory's birthday. Had he lived he would have been 16. Sweet sixteen. He died from brain cancer when he was 13. His mom (my wife) died in 1999, when he was in 1st grade. And his older sister Erin died on 1990. A year before he was born. So...that leaves me and Sean. Rory's younger brother...who is also not an only child. On this November 1st I launched a new program on my website ( It's called "A Virtual Journey to the Heart - Living With the Holidays." Check it out. You and your readers are welcome to join us. Hope and peace, Tom

Thais said...

Amy, I have always appreciated and enjoyed your writing and how honest and open you are about your feelings. Many people are unable to do that and in reading it, it makes me feel like I am not alone in dealing with loss of a loved one. My loss is different, as I did not loose my brother and could not even imagine the loss that comes along with that; however, I have suffered the grief that comes along with saying good bye too soon. nfortutantly, I still get hit with those overwelming and often unexpected waves of feelings of grief, even 15 years later. Of course it always comes in the most odd spot - the supermarket, in the shower, driving in the car...but to know that I am not the only one who has those experiences is somewhat comforting in a strange way.
Your brother was a really great guy, and although I only knew him briefly I could tell that in an instant. I still have a vivid memory of sitting in your basement going through your old photo albums with him on the evening before your mom's 50th birthday party. The way he spoke to you and his love and memories of your family was so full of love and excitment...i still get a warm and fuzy feeling thinking about that moment.

Empty Arms, Broken Heart said...

As much as the memories can hurt when they hit so unexpectedly, they are still a way to remember and keep your brother close to your heart. Although, he was not my blood brother, the loss of a friend I grew up with has effected me in this way occasionally. After the initial shock, I am thankful that I still can remember him and that I have the fond memories to forver hold in my heart. I mourn my brother; although he is very much alive, the loss of our relationship hurts. I pray daily for the one more day for the chance to change this sad state of affairs. . . .

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