Sometimes the people we care about the most, hurt us the worst not by what they say, but by what they don’t say. I really value people who communicate with me, even if its about a subject that makes me uncomfortable. I am sensitive when people shut me out.
I admit I am not the best communicator, especially when it comes to my feelings. One emotion I hide a lot is anger. Another I hide is sadness. I am trying to be better at expressing these feelings in healthy ways, by simply saying, “I’m angry,” when I am, without acting out on being angry unless it warrants being action and I know I get very passionate when I am emotional. I would like to think I am someone that at least lets the people in my life know what is going on with me. I am also someone who could talk something to death and not know when to shut up.
This weekend I went to dinner with a friend. She and I both lost a sibling to suicide within a year. It was the first time she and I talked face to face about our loss and the emotions we are having. We both allow our friends to see us grieve and we force ourselves to be social even when we don’t feel much like being social. I can say I am blessed to have amazing friends that love me.
I can remember the day I found out my brother died, I called her. I don’t exactly know why, but when girls share similar situations, we go directly to the person who can relate. If I got a bad haircut, of course I go to the last person who got a bad cut too and we talk about our experience. She didn’t answer her phone that day and when I heard the beep, I realized it was way too sensitive to talk about over the phone, and leaving a voice message was completely wrong. I don’t even know what I would have said, and I hung up.
Talking to her the other night, we both shared we were the ones who were strong when everyone else fell apart. We took care of the details. We made sure everyone else was Ok. Now, in the aftermath, I realized one reason we are still grieving, is because the only person on Earth,- our sibling, is the only one we want to give us peace about what we don’t understand. We are still fighting with the person who would openly fight with us since the day we were born. The only difference now is, they are silent. We are angry because they didn’t share with us the most intimate thing in their lives, with the one person who should have known them better than anyone else on the planet, including our parents; they never shared their feelings of suicide. And now in this silence, more than anything we want to hear their voice and say something, anything- to make sense of what happened.
No, don’t get me wrong, yes, sometimes siblings have secrets from each other, and I admit to keeping my distance with some of the things going on in my brother’s life, especially when it involved his illegal activity, but when it came to us just talking, I felt like we talked. We fought. We had the same sense of humor. We both loved to laugh and have fun. We were so similar in our personalities, people mistook us for twins. We shared our joy and our sorrows. I felt close to my brother. I loved him, and I know he loved me.
In my own life, I struggle with how I might have drawn him closer, could he have lived with me, could he have a different life, could he still be alive, if only… ? If only they would have fought to be a part of our lives as hard as we are fighting to keep them a part of ours, I guess. It is hard for me and my girl friend to accept that our siblings chose suicide, because we, she and I, are both single moms. We know what it’s like to face everyday struggles, defeated and alone; we are not people who have the luxury to escape our lives. And the one person we counted on to be there for us, when we needed someone to know us intimately more than anyone else, is gone. Emotionally, I struggle with separation anxiety, trust, boundaries, and a lot more, including sanity.
I admit God gets a lot of questions from me, and they all start with WHY? I have a pile of devotionals with scriptures and a whole bible to quote from, but today, I don’t want to read about God, or share a verse; today I would like to experience God. I want to know that He is not going to be silent when I need Him the most, and repair this brokenness in me.
It is my hope that you too, will experience God today.