It’s been about 7 months since the passing of my younger brother, Joel. It’s no doubt that these have been the hardest 7 months of my entire life. I’ve essentially felt like I’ve been trapped in a cave with piles of rocks on my chest suffocating me. I haven’t been able to seriously sit down and take a breath, not even really during happy times.
I had an incredibly awakening experience on Sunday night. I can finally breathe again. All this time I’ve been forcing myself to live in the dark even though so much light has entered my life.
In the last 7 months I’ve watched my beautiful niece grow and learn and even poop behind a chair. I’ve watched my sister-in-law grow into a strong and independent woman all while being a good mom. I’ve seen 2 of my best friends get married. I’ve experienced the warming love of old friends and even some new ones, too. I’ve seen my youngest brother grow into an amazing, strong man who keeps growing into an incredible person. I’ve watched my family grow and love deeper and be more accepting of everything. I’ve continued to fall in love and build a relationship with my love and my best friend. I’ve learned to appreciate the smaller things and the efforts people make, because, surprisingly, people put a decent amount of effort into things.
Most importantly, I’ve learned to breathe again. The sadness isn’t going away anytime soon, but next time I feel like I’m suffocating, I’ll close my eyes, breathe in, and let the sun warm my face. I, we, have so much. Life is all about breathing and appreciating what you have. I’m going back to that.