Today would have been my brother’s 61st birthday. I thought of him as soon as I woke up. I am having a hard time right now-thinking of how he should be here and how he isn’t. It is too soon. He should still be here. It is one of those moments or days or occasions that makes grief rise just a little higher, that brings it up to the surface yet again.


We miss our loved ones who are no longer with us, all the time. We think of them often, if not always. But there are those moments that arise that remind us they are gone. That make us miss them more.  Sometimes it is the obvious things like today, birthdays. It is the holidays-we miss their presence, sharing special times with them. It can be simple things like their favorite food, places we visit. It can be songs that make us think of them-I have a few of those! (Yesterday-my mom. Turn, Turn Turn-my brother. Knocking on Heaven’s Door by Guns n Roses-my brother in law. Lumberjack by Jackyl-Tami.) It can be a tv show, a movie. I cannot watch Frequency without sobbing! If you are unaware of that one, it is about a son and father who communicate over time by ham radio.  At the end, events have changed and his father is alive and he didn’t lose all the time and moments with him after all! I can watch shows about fathers and daughters and after all this time, cry, be sad. It doesn’t have to be a recent loss to affect you. Not at all. It can be one from so long ago, like my dad.

I see cardinals and think of my mom. Always. I smell pipe smoke and think of my uncle. Ice tea makers will make me think of visiting my cousin. Potato salad and laughter-my aunt, red velvet cupcakes will always remind me of Tami…..along with so many other things….seeing her headband hanging on my mirror, Las Vegas…. So many things can remind us of so many people.

Even today, when it is my brother’s birthday, I think of all the others I have lost. SIX alone in the last 10 months. It can make you sad, make you cry and that is okay. I just hope also that you can also smile and remember what it meant to have them in your life. Remember the love.

There will always be those moments. You can’t always prepare yourself for them, because sometimes you just never know they are coming or how you will react. I never expected my reaction to “Daddy’s Little Girl” at my cousin’s wedding. Like I have told you before, John put his arm around me and said, “Sometimes you just can’t listen.” And like I told him

“Sometimes you just can’t help it.”