Emotions. Positive or negative they usually way heavy on our hearts or are fleeting.
Pain. Heartache. Depression. Doubt. Emptiness. Null. Void. Lost. Sadness. Sorrow. Fear. We have all felt these emotions. Some of us feel them daily and struggle with overcoming them. Others only allow these feelings to arise occasionally. Some suppress these feelings. Yesterday I was flooded with all of these emotions. The 26th of June is the date that marks my brothers unexpected passing. It has been exactly a year. I wish I could say the pain goes away – I can’t – but I can say it gets better.
When I found out I felt like a ton of bricks were being slowly dropped on my chest, suffocating me. Exactly a year later I felt like a zombie most of the day. I woke up today and it dawned on me that the last thing my brother would have wanted for me would be walking around void and suppressing my emotions. He might have teased me for crying, in a big brotherly lovingly way though. So I meditated for a bit and thought about things my brother would have said to me, wanted for me, what he did enjoy, and things we both enjoyed – adventures.
If there was one thing my brother was full of, it was adventures. Some positive and many people may look at negatively, but they shaped him. He always had a story to tell about them too. Even though we were seven years apart, grew up in different states, and had very different personalities – adventures are something we shared.
A chunk of my childhood was spent in Arizona, with my brother visiting on occasion. Most of my brothers adulthood was spent in Arizona, with me visiting on occasion. Yet neither of us had explored the depths of The Grand Canyon, a destination my brother and I frequently discussed visiting together. That adventure was one we never had the opportunity to physically take side by side.
As my father and I discussed the details of the long drive from Texas to Arizona (& back) for my brothers celebration of life, we began to share fond adventures we had with him and the ones we never got to fulfill. We decided to make it a road trip we thought he would have enjoyed and appreciated. It was our way to commemorate him. We both had a destination we had talked about frequently with my brother and never got the opportunity to visit with him; Canyon de Chelly for our dad and The Grand Canyon for myself. We even randomly added a pit stop at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico, because what would a trip through the desert in honor of my brother be without some spontaneity.
Amazing destinations all over the world are created by Mother Nature. Many by floods, the power of the wind, or by currents of water carving them day by day. The Grand Canyon and Canyon de Chelly are two of many created by all of these magnificent powers of mother nature over millions of years. This reminded me that we as humans are created by similarly equal parts; floods of emotions, the powers of this earth ranging from the people we met to moments we share, and the currents of life. I am but one of the billions carved by these things day by day. We are molded to be strong and to stand the trials of life. Each day and each year there will be new happiness and challenges. Cherish them, learn from them, and grow from them. We, as people, are only given a certain amount of years to make an impact. It is time to use those years wisely and the best that we can.
This past year, at times I felt that I had been dragged through the depths of a canyon trying to understand life and why I didn’t get more time with my brother in my life. I had to remind myself I am not the only one that feels this way, it is a normal feeling when dealing with loss, and to cherish the time I did have. Sharing our journey last year is something I haven’t been ready to do. After a lot of reflection it dawned on me that it was exactly the right time to share. My brother was always my biggest cheerleader in life. Even if he wasn’t crazy about what I was trying to achieve he would still stand by me, spread positivity to encompass my doubts, and be the voice in the back of my head I could hear shouting me on. He was with me spiritually the few hours I had at the Grand Canyon and has been every day since. “Do what you love baby girl!”
Be prepared for future posts about my journey through the desert. Until then, I hope being transparent by sharing my emotions and musings will help others. I by no means have the answers of dealing with loss; I’m still living that journey. However reflection, sharing, and adventures has helped me.