My brother’s wedding was today. It was beautiful, and I’m very happy for him. He and I were close as children, especially through the scary times (which would have been much scarier if we’d had to face them alone).
But I wasn’t prepared for how upset I’d be, thinking of Jack and the life we wanted to have. He’s been dead almost three years, and I still can’t come to terms with that. How much time is enough? Will I ever get over losing him?
It didn’t help to be around family members today who long ago judged me so unfit of a person that they wouldn’t even say so much as hello. All the more contrast between them and someone who, while he was alive, loved me unconditionally.
To someone who hasn’t lost a partner, I don’t even know how to explain it. The size of the hole left behind is tremendously deep and constantly expanding or contracting in the most unexpected ways. Some days it’s as small as a pinprick. Others it’s so big I feel as though I’m going to be swallowed whole from the inside out. The wedding and the reception and the prayers and the toasts and seeing the dances of people who love each other so much… so much happiness that made me so acutely aware of what disappeared the moment Jack relapsed, of what was gone forever when he died.
I know tonight wasn’t about me. None of the above was publicly displayed, but it was there all day long, waiting for me to let it out once I got back to the hotel room.
So here I am.
My brother is married and happy and I’m so grateful to be part of it. But it hurts, and I’m surprised by how much. I shouldn’t be, but I am.