It has been a pretty long and somewhat sad week for me and my family. My younger brother, Marty, passed on June 6, 2009 and the last week, the last several days in particular, have been filled with a lot of sorrow and the usual mix of the seven steps of grieving.
I was not close to my brother (I'm really not close to most of my family) and of course I could never be as close to him as his wife and children are. I learned a lot about him in the last several days and I think, that as sad as his passing was, it was wonderful that all of his siblings, his large extended family and numerous friends were all able to get together to salute his life, share an incredible collection of humorous and heartwarming stories about Marty and bid adieu.
My lack of closeness to Marty and to many members of my family has nothing to do with them--it is all to do with me. It certainly does not mean that I don't love and cherish every one of them, even those with whom I cannot spend much time.
I am so happy for those of my siblings and their children have had successful careers and raised their children to be the outstanding people that they are. I also feel the sadness of those who have not reached their life's goals. Life is a process of growth and renewal, sometimes filled with joy and at other times so very painful. I do not, as many of you know, believe in any sort of saving god or in a life after this one. That is not to say that I KNOW this to be true, it's just what I believe. For those who believe and take comfort in their belief, I hope that they find solace in their faith in such times as these. I believe that we are, literally, stardust, and that we all live and die and live again in a multiplicity of combinations in the nearly infinite universe.
I'm not sure where Marty has gone. If I am, in fact, completely wrong, and there is a heaven of some sort or a process of genuine reincarnation--well, hell, I'm screwed! I think, however that, if such is the case, Marty is with my 'rents and our dear sister, Anne Marie, doing his endearing, infuritating best to be a good brother, dutiful son, doting parent and the President of Huskers in the Hereafter.
I'll miss you, little brother, and I'll hold you in my heart, you rascal.