It's the middle of the afternoon and I'm sitting alone in my apartment watching TV. I'm watching TV because that's the only thing that lets me not think. I don't want to think today. It's my brother's Birthday. He would be twenty-nine today. But he's not. He's not anything now, but memories and thoughts and sadness. This is the eighth Birthday he hasn't celebrated. They say it gets easier, and sometimes it does. But not on days like today. Today his absence is big, and painful, and heartbreaking. And I don't want to feel any of it. I don't want to cry. I don't want to
miss him. I don't want to feel depressed. And yet I do. Because grief doesn't disappear just because you want it to. I don't know what happens when we die. I like to think we become spirits or angels and watch over the people that we love. I like to think that if I talk to him he is listening and will talk back. I just don't know if that's the truth. I've tried talking to him. I've tried feeling him around me. I try these things because I don't want to live my life without my big brother. The thing is, I can't hear him. I even contacted a spiritual medium to help me talk to Blake, but even he couldn't contact him. I'm alone today. Feeling or not feeling sadness. I texted my ex-boyfriend just so someone around me would know that today is a hard day for me. I don't know if he will help me feel better or will just be one more distraction that will let me not think for a moment. I haven't gotten off my couch today. I haven't changed out of my pajamas. I haven't put anything in my body that's remotely good for me. I don't know if this is the proper way to handle sadness. Or if there is even such a thing. But I know that it is all I have the energy to do today. I only have enough energy to try not to feel. Tears are coming to my eyes anyways because I love my brother, and I wish I loved him harder when he was alive. I know a lot about sadness. It's been stitched through my insides ever since the day he was killed. Sometimes I forget it's there. Sometimes I use harmful things to distract myself from it. And sometimes, I just feel it. I didn't want to feel it today, but I sobbed anyway. Loud, ugly, painful sobs that came from the deepest part of me. Tears formed from the absence of him painted on my face. I tried to stop crying, but now that I let myself, I can't stop. The part of me I keep closed has pushed its way open and I've forgotten how to not feel. I'm going to be okay. I've been okay all these years without him. But today I am sad. And today is a hard day, as hard days seem to come in and out of our lives. I hate having a dead brother. It's my least favorite part of myself. I wish I could stop feeling regret for all the things I did and all the things I didn't do when he was alive. Maybe that is part of the sadness I am feeling today. Blake was one of the most unique, free, unashamed people I have ever known. I want to be like him. But first I have to forgive myself for the sister that I was. Today I am sad because it is my brother's Birthday and he is dead. He will be dead tomorrow and I will still feel sad about it. There's a chance the sadness won't be as close to the surface as it is today. Tomorrow I might be able to get out of my pajamas and turn off the TV. But not today. Today I am going to be sad. Or I am going to do things that help me ignore the sadness. Today is a bad day, as August 28th always is. Not just for me, but for my Mom and Dad and sister and all the people who love him. If you are there Blake. If you can somehow see this from whatever space you exist in now, just know how much I love you. Know that you're the only person I would ever want to be my brother. Know that I miss you. And that I would spend my one wish on being with you again. Even if it were just for a moment. I know a lot about sadness. Sometimes it just needs to be there. It needs to move around you and through you and come out in tears and screams and conversation. I got to know my brother for twenty-one years. And if all those twenty-one years results in this current feeling of sadness, then I'll be sad today. And all the days that I need to be. Because I would never take back knowing him. I got to be his sister. I got to love him. He will always be my big brother no matter how much older than him I get. I'm going to watch a scary movie because Blake loved scary movies. And I'm probably going to think about him. And I'm probably going to cry some more. But that's just because I love someone whose absence is worth crying about.
Happy Birthday, Blake.