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In Memory of a Great Brother

January 2006 Anniversary

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Stepping Off the Soapbox

Well, all the preaching has finally come back to bite me in the butt. And I thought all of you who read these monthly emails might find this ironically funny.

I have spent months writing and saying to anyone who reads these that my family really needs to talk about Nate to heal. We need your help to deal with this loss and silence does not make it go away. Although we may cry at times when we hear some stories, it is good for our souls. The worst feeling was after the funeral when everyone went back to their daily lives and we sat there wondering what just happened to our little world.

So, amid all that preaching on this email soapbox I sit on, I have found myself caught in the same trap. As I watched a co-worker’s world fall apart with the sudden death of his father to a massive heart attack, I waited for his return so I could offer some kind words of sympathy. After all, I had been there. I knew what it was like to lose someone suddenly. I would know what to say to make him feel ok.

Then, I think God laughed at me from Heaven. I thought I had it all together. I was ready to be the sympathetic friend and I was willing to be a shoulder he could lean on.

Then he returned. He talked of being in a daze and not being able to concentrate. He spoke of the large turnout they had and all the flowers they had no idea what to do with. And instead of becoming the empathetic person I knew I could be, I turned into a vegetable. I sat at my desk and relived every moment of Nate’s death from the planning to the wake to the funeral and then the months of confusion I felt afterwards.

It seems that whenever I get this feeling of strength~that I’ve been through it and I can handle it~ I am shoved right back in my place. Not only did I relive Nate, but my husband and I revisited the moments of his mother’s death. We talked about how it affected us then and how it still hits us at different moments in our daily lives.

Another co-worker of mine reminded me that yes, we will always be zapped back to that sad time when someone we care about loses a loved one. She came to Nate’s wake and I remember the look in her eyes when I saw her there that night. It was probably the same look she saw in my eyes last week as I took this journey again. But she is right, after you go through that, you remember what it was that you needed to hear from people and it is your duty to do that for others.

And so, I talked to my co-worker. I probably talked way too fast and he probably only understood half of it. (For those of you who know me, this is very possible!) I may have taken five steps back last week as I relived two years ago, but I also took a few steps forward as I continue to live for today.

I have learned that some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet are those who have suffered a traumatic event or loss. I admire them for their strength, but most especially for their life gratitude - a gift often taken for granted by the average person in society.

~Sasha Azevedo