It was only a year ago, perhaps, that we finally reconnected after so many long years of estrangement, forced and unforced. I was so glad to finally repair the disconnect that wayward siblings tend to create between them over the years. Of all of us kids you were always the wildchild, always anxious and on-the-go, yet clearly motherhood looks good on you. Last summer I swelled with pride when I got to see you in super-mom mode with your kids, those beautiful and fun-loving nieces and nephews of mine. But you refuse to sit still. And now you’re gone. Again. I’m sorry that I have failed you. I feel that as your big brother, your only brother, I am supposed to protect you from all monsters, real and imagined; chase away unworthy boys when you were younger, veto all unsavory men when you’re older; assure you that you don’t need to accept that which is not good enough for you, show you that you shouldn’t settle for what you do not need, or fall for yours or someone else’s foolish plan. Ultimately, I was supposed to help save you from yourself. I didn’t. Again. Everyone says it’s not my job to do that, that it’s not my responsibility and that the choices you make are your own. But that doesn’t change the responsibility and the guilt I feel for having not fulfilled that unspoken contract that is signed between brother and sister through their shared blood. I love you. I miss you. We all do.
I am emotional for your loss, friend. Reading your letter cuts me deeper than I can acknowledge at this time. I have a little sister and often feel I have fallen short of being the requisite big brother. She is still around today but tomorrow… who knows. I feel your heartfelt words.
Thanks, Andrew. Sorry we have this mutual sorrow. My sister’s still around, alive I mean, just legally removed from our lives for yet another spell. Perhaps a longer one this time.
It sounds like your hearts are closer than they’ve been in a long time. And with that bond you both take it one day at a time. No one can break that.