You’d think that even after all this time has passed, I’d be over it. Or that I would atleast be okay about it. Or, if nothing else, that I would atleast shut the hell up about it and write about something else already.
Yes, you guessed it. I am referring to my brother’s death. Despite the fact that I just got back from a glorious and memorable Spring Break in London, or the fact that I am finally getting to spend some much-needed time at home, or even the fact that I have about ten different coursework assignments to work on for the next couple of days, my brother’s death is the topic that reigns supreme in my mind.
London was terrific. It’s my type of metropolis, it’s a walking city and pedestrian life is just brilliant there. I did all the touristy things like wander around in awe at the bright lights in Theatreland, get a caricature made of myself at Leicester Square, shop more than the size of my suitcase allowed me to, and get lost in the underground and take the wrong train. Through it all, I was happy and content. Not having a vacation for over 7 years was worth the wait, because I savoured every second of this one.
My sister and I both were fuelled by this need to just live it up as much as we could, and reach out of our safe little comfort zones to explore new avenues that we’d never thought we would. But this need didn’t stem from the fact that we’re on vacation and that’s just what you DO on vacation; it came from the fact of my brother dying too young. Seeing that happen, crying over the futility of life, pondering endlessly about why he had to die so young, and wondering obsessively if had done enough in his too-short life made my sister and I yearn for more adventure so that, throughout the trip, everything was permissable.
Nothing was ‘too expensive’ or ‘too far’, neither of us were ever ‘too tired’ to go out again in the evening after waking up at 7 am and spending all day outside. It was like an unsaid rule that we had to do everything we can, everything we want to, everything we feel like doing, not because it’s simply a desire but because we SHOULD, because we owe it to ourselves to live as much as we can in each minute that we are granted. Bhai was not as fortunate, he had no idea how limited his minutes were with us and with this world, and the same is true for everyone else. But because I witnessed his death, I realised just precisely how short life really can be; for most people, this is just a saying, but for me and my family, it’s a fact that we have been made aware of in the most painful of way. With this fact embedded deeply in our hearts and minds, how can we NOT do the best we can to make the most out of every single breath that we have?
So that’s what I did in London, everything that I could possibly do.
I’m at home now for a few days, and the entire day, I’ve felt really strange. There’s been this niggling feeling that something’s off. It’s not that something’s missing because that absence is far too great to ever be forgotten or avoided. I think it may just be the fact that rather than missing my brother and mulling over the fact that he’s gone or being upset that I no longer see him around at home the way I used to in my previous visits, I have now accepted that this is the way things are going to be now.
It disturbs me to realise that all of us at home have changed our synchronizations in order to accomodate the death of my brother in our lives. We have taken up additional roles in the family in order to try to fulfill the part he played. I’m not saying that we’ve forgotten how it was when he was around (because that will NEVER ever happen), but I think we’re all just trying to do the very best we can to cope with the loss by filling the void and extending ourselves to try to cover up the empty space somehow. But really, all we can do is veil it for some time, and then the gap is wide open again. No turning away, no looking back, only letting go and catching the next flight out to London.