I remember after you passed away, my mom told me to grieve now because people are not as comfortable, or tolerant of the pain and awkwardness that conversations around death bring later. I remember going to work on the Wednesday after that Saturday and just sitting there, numb but desperate for the distraction. It’s been a harsh reality discovering that my mother was (per usual) right.
I bring you up all the time and I refuse to not say your name. I think about you constantly and talk about you to Bode and to anyone who will listen. I am always celebrating you and your life, but it is hard to not have the time to grieve or even a wide audience to listen. Loss is such a personal experience and it translates to such deep pain, almost to the extent of vulnerability and one person’s experience is never an others. We remember different things, glorify others and obsess over minute, different, details. Hindsight is 20/20 and similarly, deathsight, deathsight is a weird foggy, yet painfully lucid mind space of extreme emotions.
But, remembering you helps. Remembering the laughs and what it was to pick up the phone and always have you to call. Crying helps too and usually, they go coincide. It makes me so unbelievably sad that another year has gone by, that you aren’t here. It is an inconceivable reality and the worst part is feeling you fade away. I now have to work towards remembering you, your distinct hand movements, your voice, your hair, your smell. I cannot walk through life sad for you, though, it is too heavy of a burden. Rather, I have to make the decision, day after day, to be happy that I can call you my best friend.
Whenever the reality of your being gone gets to be too much, I repeat this E.E. Cummings quote aloud and then I live life like you are in my heart. Whether that be singing and dancing to Disney songs with your namesake, Bode, pushing him fast in the cart at Target, or just laughing instead of getting mad at life’s nuances. And mostly, I feel. I feel the way you did: deeply and all at once, always.
Brynne, I miss you and I love you more than anything. I am so sad you are not here, but I am so happy you were here when you were, that I got to go through every awkward phase of growing up with my kinder, better half by my side. Whenever life gets to be too much, you are still here to simplify it, with both your memory and the juxtaposing reality that is you being gone. Sometimes I even think that the pain of the world right now, the injustices, the absurdity, it would have hurt you to such an extent B, I don’t know how you would’ve handled it. With passion, that I know, but you felt so deeply and it would’ve hurt you so badly.
In Judaism, we believe you keep loved one’s memories alive through names and through sharing stories. Bode is named after you and will always know his aunt Brynne and (most of) our crazy/amazing/hysterical stories. I find solstice in this and love sharing with him everything about the amazing person he is named after.
The first year after your passing, when I wrote you a letter, I aimed to make it positive. This year, I can’t. I refuse to sugarcoat the pain, but I do know that you are alright.You visit your mom and still, me, on occasion and tell us that. We thank you, we love you, we miss you so unbelievably much and we promise to always live life for you.