David's birthday is approaching: this Friday he would have turned 28. My emotions are very conflicted and I don't know how I feel. Even more, I don't know how I'm supposed to feel. Typically in life, you know which emotions are appropriate or suspected to arise on special days and events. Happiness is typical in times of achievement, progress, and success, and sadness in times of disappointment, loss, or defeat.
February 21st is the day that David came into this world. Throughout his life it was a day he enjoyed and loved to share with those he loved. For this reason, I want to celebrate David's birthday. I want to have a party and see all of those who David loved. In an effort to honor David's spirit and his energy for life, I want to dance and laugh and be happy.
Contrasting this, is the sheer devastation that he's gone. He's not turning 28 on Friday and he's not in this world the way he used to be. Does his birthday matter to him anymore? What does matter to him now? Will he feel honored by my acknowledgment of what once was? How can I show him my love?
These questions, and so many more, cycle through my mind and into my heart, and then back to my mind. I simply don't know. I don't know their answers, and I don't know how they even make me feel. There is no "how-to" book on learning to live after this sort of loss. There's no checklist that will mend my heart or bring me peace.
David has passed on to the next phase and is experiencing life in a different dimension. I miss hearing about his life and sharing mine. I miss his voice and his laugh. It's hard to feel so disconnected from someone you love so much. It's difficult to not know what his world is like now. It's hard that on his birthday, the day you've celebrated with him every year (even if not together physically) he's not here in the way you wish he was.
This grief is really a never-ending test, and one that is impossible to ace. Every situation produces a new riddle and even though none of the options sound appealing, you must choose one. You must choose your version of the best answer, and then somehow continue on to be stumped again.
This weekend, despite my anxiety and emotions tonight, I look forward to celebrating my brother. I hope he's able to be with all who loved him, and give us a little sign that he's doing alright.