Today marks 3 years since I got the call that changed my life– I was told you were found dead in your home after taking your own life.
There was something else happening that very same day. On October 13, 2010, the entire world watched with bated breath as 33 Chilean miners were being rescued and brought to the surface after spending nearly 70 days trapped 700 meters below the earth in a collapsed mine. The symbolic parallel of that event was absolutely not lost on me.
Upon being freed, one of the miners was quoted as saying, “From the first moment, I thought they would rescue us. I never lost hope… I never lost faith.” I couldn’t help but recognize that while those 33 men were desperately clinging to hope and to life itself you were purposefully letting go of those very same things. As they were reaching for the light at the surface, you were allowing yourself to slip into the darkness. As their families were rejoicing in being reunited with their loved ones their horror came to an end… mine was just beginning. For those 70 days, they knew their loved ones were in serious danger and prayed for their safe return. During that same time, I also knew you were in danger– you were trapped in a very dangerous place of your own. They made it out alive, but you did not.
That same miner also was also quoted as having said, “I’ve been married for 32 years and rarely told my wife I loved her. I just wanted to tell her how much I loved her.” While I’m so glad that he has been given a second chance to change that, I’m also quite envious of him. You and I were never very good about saying “I love you” to one another… that’s just not how our family was. I so wish I had done things differently. I’d have been more open with my feelings with you while you were still here. I’d have done more to try and keep you safe from the world and from yourself.
There are days it feels as if these past 3 years have flown by because it still feels as fresh as though it just happened yesterday. But most days drag on because you still are on my mind literally ever moment of every single day. I’m saddened by the fact that I’ll quite likely have to live more years without you than I was allowed to live with you.
I’m going to be honest, Brian. Today is the first day in a very long time that I’d had the urge to cut again. I haven’t… and I won’t because I’ve done a lot of hard work on myself over the past few years to get past those urges. But I really want to. There is so much pain inside me today as I remember every single, awful detail of the events of October 13, 2010. It’s like a horror movie that keeps playing over and over and over in my head and I keep foolishly wishing for a different ending. I’m spending the day alone today. Not by choice, really… just sort of worked out that way. But truth be told… I can’t say I’d blame anyone for not wanting to spend a hard-earned Sunday off around a moping, sulking, sobbing, listless ragdoll of a human being. Besides, I’m so good at not wanting to “put anyone out” by sharing my agony with them that I rarely have the gumption to just say, “Hey, I really don’t want to be alone today. I want to talk about my brother and remember him and I don’t want to suffer through this by myself.” I sometimes feel as though I’m just not worth the effort that others would need to put forth to spend a day like today with me… so I just don’t ask. Besides, the compassion that was extended towards me when it was only 3 days… 3 weeks…. 3 months…. well, it just isn’t there anymore 3 years later. I completely realize that the world feels my grieving time should have come and gone by now… I should be in a better, stronger place. Well, I’m not. I’m certainly better than I was 3 years ago… but have a very long, long way to go.
It rained here last night, dude. Really, really hard. I don’t think it has rained that hard since I moved here to Austin 4 years ago. But I’m so grateful for it. Not just because we needed the rain so badly… but because I was so desperately craving for the world around me to mirror what I’ve been feeling inside these past few days leading up to this heartbreaking anniversary. (Yet another symbolic parallel of which I am achingly aware.) I sat alone out on the porch in the dark, drinking way too much wine and I watched as the skies lit up with frequent bursts of lightning and leashed a torrent of water that was too much for the ground to handle so it overflowed into rivers spilling all over the yard. It was so freeing and comforting; it was as though Mother Nature was showing me that it was OK to let out all the pain and tears I’ve been suppressing for a while now… even if it gets a little messy. I’m grateful that she raged and cried right alongside me… made me feel a little less alone.
I love you and miss you more than ever, Brian.