It needs to be said: my brother is dead. And again. My brother is dead. I guess it wouldn’t matter how many times it’s said. It still cannot be true.

For one thing, I don’t believe in death. I am certain there is no such thing. We are eternal beings, embodied for the moment, trapped in time. My brother just isn’t “here” anymore, although I don’t know that for sure. Maybe his spirit is lurking around. I just know I can’t see him anymore inside of time. I can’t hear his laugh, except inside my head.

But that eternal spiritual stuff is not what I’m talking about. I just mean, Biff cannot be dead. Cannot be gone. Cannot have passed away, traveled — whatever you want to call it. Just no. No.

He’s my big brother, the one who taught me how to be in the world, what was right, what was wrong, what was funny, what was serious, what was worth caring about, and what to let pass.

Back in the day

Back in the day

Biff brought me up to be a good little hippie in the sixties and seventies, but then — surprise! He became a conservative Republican and I had to find a new path cause I sure wasn’t following him there. But we stayed close, very close, and over the past few years of depression and heart failure when I was essentially his caregiver — as much as I resisted and tried to get him to a doctor so he could care for himself — our relationship deepened even more.

That’s a long story. There are lots of long stories involved. You may be subjected to some of them over time. But right now, it’s just no. No.

I’m grateful, so grateful for the numbness and the disbelief. I know that there is some processing and integration going on at some level, but it’s not conscious. I am flat-lined.

From my journal:

“I am here, but not. Because obviously if I were really here, I would be devastated. This is such a strange netherworld. It’s like I’m alive, but not actually living. Dream-like. I guess I’ll just keep acting as if I’m alive, plodding through activities as if they actually matter. It’s not that they don’t matter, they’re just not real. I will trust God to allow me to experience what I can handle when I can handle it. I feel like a baby rabbit — so exposed and vulnerable and utterly helpless. If a strong wind came, I would blow away. Ungrounded, uprooted. Small. Timid. I can still act like my regular self, at least for the time being, but it — she — feels like a defense. A wall to protect the cowering baby rabbit.”

So — I wish you Happy New Year. For myself, I’m just hoping for survival in 2014. Thanks for listening.