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Dreaming Of My Brother


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As I approach the 2nd year anniversary of my brother's death, things are stirring inside. I just woke up this morning after having a dream about him, me and the family business where we both worked years ago. What's sticking with me is the clarity of when I saw him walk into the store....so real I could almost smell the outside air on him as he entered from the street. His mannerisms, his walk, the pipe hanging from his mouth and the tiny grin he gave me in his normally-reserved way. It shocked the heck out of me once I awoke, to realize I'd forgotten all these miniscule things...but worse, that it felt so 'homey' to see him again, to experience him, exactly how he used to be. It felt like I'd actually seen him in the flesh. And now, I'm missing him like I've never missed him to date. It was sort of like same-old, same-old, yet things were different, in a sad, and terribly lonely way, as the store was dark, and sort of half-closed to the public, yet here he was, walking in, ready to start another day at work...but like he knew, too, that things were different but with some kind of understanding that I didn't have about how things were now. Yet I also knew that our Mother was now dead, our father conspicuously absent and nothing was really the way it had been, so many years ago.

I guess I'm finally starting to grieve his death, and it hurts like hell. I was so 'removed' from his death before. Not in the same city, the sudden call from his 'wife' telling me he was very ill, and in the hospital, mere weeks after our Mother had died....nothing I could do, nothing anyone could do...he was on full life-support from the moment they got there. The nightmare of hearing his 'wife', who I'd never yet met in person, sounding so 'professional', for lack of a better word. Telling me he had trouble zipping up his coat suddenly, saying, "You'd better take me to the hospital..." the last words he spoke, as far as I know. Knowing, from just that one statement, that he was seriously sick, as my brother hated doctors, hospitals, taking care of himself physically. Yet this woman, who I already knew had wanted to be rid of him for many years ( she'd told me this herself, in the very first conversation we'd ever had! ), delayed getting him there. Stopped ( somewhere...back to their house? a store? ) to get some FOOD for their son first!!! WHAT?!?!?! Who would DO such a thing when someone is so obviously ill?!?! As if the hospital wouldn't have any food...as if anyone, including their son, would FEEL like eating at such a time! Who would do such a thing? I'll tell you who - someone who wanted someone to die. Even if nothing would have ultimately been different, this woman made sure my brother wouldn't survive. And although I know my brother wouldn't have wanted to keep living all impaired ( he'd had a massive, bleeding stroke in his brain ), who's to say how impaired he would have been had she not delayed? Then to suffer all the additional shocks she sent my way, after she'd had them stop life-support 5 days later ( I never could go and see him, as we had no money left for another trip home for me )...telling me afterwards that she'd been praying to God to help her out of her situation with him...and that God had answered her prayers. While I'd already decided she was a total nutbar, this was the icing on the cake. Who would say, with no compunction, such an insensitive thing to someone who'd just lost their brother?!?! As far as I'm concerned, this was murder by omission and convenience. Apparently, she even recounted her little food trip to others at his funeral no less, so it wasn't just a mistaken comment made only once.

I'd already had dozens of shocks in the last 6 months, all having to do with my Mother's illness, death and the rest of our family's behaviours, so all this just added to the surreal feelings I was already stuck in. My brother got a blue coffin, and a donated plot, and an obituary with my name spelled wrong. I complained to her about it and she did apologize, excusing herself by claiming she'd been in a rush and rather frazzled. I'd just written my Mother's obit, which was of course, at my brother's house, too, clearly containing my name. It was probably best that our Mother was dead already, not to have to see such a fiasco. But I was still here, fully aware and horrified. And I unexpectantly got a Christmas card this year from this woman....with my namespelled wrong again inside, spelled correctly on the envelope. I've not responded. She'd offered to save something of my brother's for me, and I gave her some preferences, but she never followed through. And now it's coming up 2 years.

But then this dream...I wonder now if I should write this woman a letter, and be totally honest about how I felt then, and now? It's really hitting home now - he's just gone- just like our Mom, and I seem to be the only one left who even gives a damn, who's ever cried for either of them. I've never seen his grave, my Mom's ashes are off-limits to me in my remaining, evil brother's keeping. I've had no opportunity to talk to anyone about my dead brother, our story, my story about him. The few people who would listen to me at all, only heard some things regarding my Mom's stuff, as there was SO much to tell around that alone ( no one has the patience to hear the whole, sorry mess ), and my brother has become a faint shadow in the background....until this dream. The stress ended up killing him, but I...I'm obviously 'fortunate' enough to be 'stronger' and so have remained 'alive' to survive all the stress. Lucky me.

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