For My Brother On What Would've Been His 46th Birthday

My brother turns 46 years old today. Or, at least he does in my head and in my heart. His body can't age past 41 years old, the age he was when he committed suicide in January of 2006.

I suppose I should stop counting the years, stop counting the birthdays. After all, he can't enjoy a chocolate cake ablaze with candles, expectant observers clamoring for him to make a wish.

In my mind, I see him leaning over that cake, reading frosted letters that say, "Happy 46th Birthday." I imagine him inhaling till his lungs are full, closing his eyes and blowing his wish into an ether of cheering and applause.

But, in reality, my brother will never blow out another birthday candle. He had so many unrealized hopes and dreams for this life, so many birthday wishes that never came true, and sadly, now they never will.

Now he only exists in the spiritual realm, and although I can't be fully certain, I have a feeling they don't celebrate birthdays quite the same there. Truly, these days he has no need for candles and I'm sure his soul has new wishes and better dreams - things beyond what I can conceptualize.

Whatever those wishes and dreams may be, I hope my brother knows how much he's loved... and missed. The only present I can give him today are the prayers I said for the progress of his soul. I hope those prayers are heard.


Unknown said…
What a lovely tribute to your brother. xoxo
Anonymous said…
so sorry to hear about your brother. you loved him, and he knew it.
Liz Dwyer said…
Thanks. I needed a big one this morning.

Thanks for reading. The anniversaries of his birth and his death are always hard reminders. I don't know if it'll ever get any easier.

Thanks. Sometimes I'm not so sure that he did know it.
the last noel said…
This broke my heart. He was so, so young. I can't even imagine this kind of turmoil.
Liz Dwyer said…
He was much too young to give up so easily. I wish he'd been able to step back and see the whole picture before going down the path he chose.
allisonsara said…
you are so strong to be so public with this. it's by lifting your voice that change will come to society.
Liz Dwyer said…
Allison Sara,
Thank you for reading and commenting. Our shame and silence about these things keeps us from being able to heal. It's still sometimes difficult for me to talk about this face to face with people. I write about a great many things that I can't necessarily have a conversation about, and writing about this helps me deal with it.

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