"People survive all sorts of things, Cielle thought, and love is one of them. There is no simple straight answer in life. There is no single cause for anything. People survive all sorts of things, she thought, and loss is one of them." ~ Excerpt from The Driest Season, by Meghan Kenny
A year ago tomorrow we buried my brother. Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he was only 57 when he passed, far too young for someone so full of life. This past week had been difficult as I replayed in my mind the week leading up to his passing. This is the day he was admitted to the hospital. This is the day that I told the girls they should get on a plane and come home. This is the day we were told there was nothing else that could be done. This is the afternoon that I told him that I loved him and thanked him for being my brother.
It had been a year of firsts and we had come full circle. Seeking solace, I took a walk in the woods.
This person she'd known her whole life was gone. And she knew again that the world was full of things she'd never know or be able to understand. ~ Cielle, The Driest Season
I will never understand why my brother had to die so young. I will never understand why he was taken from his beautiful family. Life just isn't fair at times and so much of it will always be a mystery to me.
But here is what I know for sure. Although our lives will never be the same without my charismatic and energetic brother we will continue to move forward, to adapt, to love and laugh. That is what he would want us to do.
Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength the will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature - the assurance that dawn comes after night and spring comes after winter. ~ Rachel Carson
As I walked along the wooded path I found myself noticing the beauty of the trees, the wild flowers, the light filtering through the leaves. The sound of the river running beside the path soothed my senses and I found myself slowing down and noticing just how wondrous nature really is.
“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God’s handwriting… Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I marvel how an old tree stump, no longer stretching branches skyward, still plays host for moss and fungi. New life can and does take root even when something or someone we love has died. As summer turns to autumn, petals fade and drop from their stems, the leaves turn color and fall from the trees, the grass begins to brown, but we still have the memory of summer in its full glory.
My brother may have passed but my memories of him bring a smile to my face and I know, I know, that his spirit (as well as the spirits of others I have loved) is always near. This belief comforts me.
Someone passes from the world and a newborn enters. A tree dies and its seedling takes root and grows. Life continues and we are blessed to be a part of it.