I lost my older brother. I’m not sure those words will ever feel real to me but I know they are. During my sibling group the other night, I realized it will be 7 years in July. It blew my mind. That’s a long time. Well, it’s a long time for me.
Banks, lawyers, accountants, school systems, even doctors and hospitals are free to dispose of an individuals’ records after 7 years. Right? In some cases it’s the law, in others it’s the rule of thumb. Whichever it is, it seems that 7 years is the magic number in terms of something no longer being relevant or no longer needing proof that something existed. Shred it up, get rid of it, and you can pretend it never existed or happened- because after 7 years it doesn’t matter anymore. So I guess it isn’t just me who thinks 7 years is a long time.
There’s something to it though. It’s sad and hard to admit this but I’m having a hard time remembering my brother’s face. It’s like my brain is starting the process of shredding my memories and waiting until it’s time to get rid of them completely. I don’t want that but it’s getting harder and harder to see him. There are pictures of him in our house- it’s not like I don’t recognize him. I don’t look at a picture and ask “hey who’s that guy standing next to me, Matt, and my parents?” It’s more so when I actively remember experiences and memories with him, the guy in my my memory is the guy from the picture I just mentioned. I can remember the events and the moments of the memory but his role in my memory is either shadowy or he’s wearing a tux from Matt’s wedding. I can’t remember him so I insert the pictures I see daily into my thoughts. Honestly, it’s kind of weird- there was this one family dinner years ago that cracks me up every time I think about it but now my brother is standing there in a tux instead of sitting around the table cracking up with me and Matt. There’s another picture I see daily in my house- it’s from my Bat Mitzvah and he’s in our back yard. He must have thought he was having a. Glamour Shots photo shoot because he nailed the poses and the head tilts perfectly. But when I close my eyes to try and see him, he’s 17 and posing in my backyard with a weird haircut that he probably thought was very cool. (I’m not so sure it was)
I don’t want to think about or remember my brother based on the pictures I have but I’m not sure there’s another choice. There aren’t going to be new memories or updated pictures. I think all I can do is remember to remember the moments and look at the pictures I have and burn them into my brain so no matter how many years pass, the memories I have with him don’t get shredded or disposed of because “enough time” has passed.
Curious to know what other people do and how you experience the passing of time. Send me an email, I’d like to try something new. I can’t stop time from passing but I don’t have to let my memories leave me behind. I can’t be the only one who experiences this. Reality, tell me what you got- I’ll try anything.
You guys are the best and I appreciate all of you.