My Brother Would've Been 48 Today

Here's a question for all of you who have lost loved ones: Do you keep counting their birthdays or do you think of them as being the age they were when they passed?

Today would've been my brother's 48th birthday. I think of him as being 48-years-old, not as 41-years-old, the age he was when he took his life.

 I don't do this kind of adding on years with other relatives. I always remember my grandmother's birthday but I don't calculate her age as being whatever age she'd be now.

It's tempting to think that it's a sign that I haven't quite accepted that he's gone from this world...but I don't think that's true. Although there is such a finality to death for our bodies, I don't believe this is the end for our souls. 

Indeed, I've long been fascinated by the idea that our souls are like phoenixes, rising from the mortal ashes of this physical world, only to emerge renewed and reborn in the spiritual world that awaits us. That's what I always hope for him--that his soul is blazing and alive.

Yet in the next world I imagine there is no need for keeping track of our ages or birthdays. No need at all to mark either the day we were born in this plane of existence or the day we cross over. None of the physical traditions we use to mark a birthday: cake, candles, ice cream, presents, singing 'happy birthday'. Still, I wish him a happy birthday, and hope that year 48 is wonderful.


I want to remark on this but do know what to say. When someone looses a loved one, there really isn't much you can say, so I will just say that I loved this post and I am sorry for your loss. Although he is not here, I believe that his spirit is always with you.
Liz Dwyer said…
Sexy Single Mommy,
Thank you for saying that. It means a great deal.
I'm very sorry for the loss of your brother, and I also get it. My brother would have been 35 this year. And for me, I think of him as both - the 23 year old he was when he died and the man he would be now. But my view of his age is complicated by the fact that my brother who was his identical twin is still living. So I have a very tangible image of what he'd likely be at this age. I often wonder how the surviving brother thinks of him, but he still talks about him in the present tense and will not talk about the fact that he is gone. Maybe he feels that sense of him still being here more keenly.
Liz Dwyer said…
Secret Agent Woman,
So sorry to hear about the loss of your brother. Oh my goodness, I can't imagine what it's like to be a twin of someone gone too soon. That must be so very difficult. Thank you so much for sharing and many hugs to your family.

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