It all finally began to hit me last week. After Ryan died on the 6th of September I went into auto pilot. I knew what needed to get done and I made sure that it got done. Yes, I was overwrought and tears came very easily, but I still hadn’t begun to mourn the loss of my brother. Arrangements needed to be made and affairs settled, requiring me to focus my mind on the task at hand.
I flew to Ontario to attend the Veteran’s Mefloquine Rally in Ottawa on the 19th and finalized my brother’s memorial on returning home. Not long after that, I was off on another adventure, this time to Tuktoyaktuk with Mike Rude and his faithful companion Spark. Things didn’t turn out as planned however and I ended up back in Calgary, without much of a plan.
With nothing to distract me now, I began to finally comprehend the depth of my loss. My little brother is gone, and I’m never going to see him again. A hole in the Earth has opened up and swallowed me whole, or at least that is what it feels like. An intractible pain had gripped my heart and torn apart what remained of my battered soul.
Last week I had reached my lowest point, and I decided that the time had come for me to check myself into the hospital for my own safety. On Saturday I signed myself out Against Medical Advice, tired of repeating myself over and over again to a hundred different people. I was confident that I was making the correct decision, and I remain that confident now.
I remembered something that Churchill said. “If you are going through hell, keep going.” Somehow I have to keep on going. I have to walk down a very dark and lonely path through the grief and the guilt I am feeling right now, but I also have a lot of support to help me out along the way. My family and friends have reached out to me in my time of need and I am eternally grateful to them for that. I am also lucky to be a part of one of the biggest families around, and have received a lot of support from my brothers and sisters from other mother mothers and misters.
A part of me doesn’t want this feeling to end, afraid that when it does I will forget Ryan entirely. I know that this will never happen, there will never be a day that I won’t miss my little brother terribly. I have come to terms with the fact that my life will never be the same again, and that I will carry this with me until the day I die. There will forever be a sadness deep within me now that will never, ever go away.
I plan on fighting this battle on a number of fronts and will be utilizing a number of the methods at my disposal to do so. Grief counselling is on the list of things to do, along with a few other therapies, but so is volunteering, and writing. I’m going to start healing my soul by donating my time to the veteran’s food bank, so that some of my brothers and sisters can get the help that they need and a little of the respect that they are owed.
As I make this journey I’ll be documenting it in words and in pictures, in the hope that it may prove insightful and perhaps inspirational. Below are pictures I took on Monday, November 4th, as I walked around downtown Calgary.