Two months yesterday since we buried him. It was two months Monday since he died. And it's beginning to sink in that this is how I'll measure time from now on in relation to him, always with reference to the past tense, always further away. Like Grandpa. Do they see us agonizing here?
Monday I felt too painfully to write here. I went to visit his grave instead. Not necessarily a great prescription for the pain, but I was sort of thinking maybe it would help speed the process along, make it seem that much more real, and therefore perhaps get the worst part over sooner.
I'm frustrated with myself, with my weakness, with the time I waste on emotion and futility. Yet at times my frustration could be half-hearted. Another part of me just wants to linger over it all and draw out every memory, because that's all I have of him for now. Yet I don't live for now. Or I shouldn't.
I guess going back to his grave did work to make it seem more real. I was pretty sad for a good portion of the week. Even children's books made me want to cry at times. Pitiful.
I took photos. I think I take photos more now. Is it strange to take them of your brother's grave? Oh, well. They aren't for sharing, not now anyway. They are for me, or my parents if they happen to want to see them, or my children someday if they do (some of them went up to it, others chose not to). If you want, you can go visit. He's under the hill near the globe.
I wonder if he knows where his body lies, if he appreciates the irony I'd love to share with him. More than that, I'd love for the whole thing not to have occurred, so I could share other things instead. I will miss him for the things he understood inherently, some of which few others will, some of which no one else ever really will. Except God, you might add. Yes. But it's not the same.
Do I treasure him more than my Lord? I guess I'm in the process of finding that out, aren't I? I don't think I do, but you can learn a lot about yourself when you offer a sacrifice, especially one you weren't prepared to make.
There is no gravestone yet, and the dirt is still bare. I also photographed the stones nearby. They also belong to family. Great-grandparents I never knew. Grandpa. Grandma's place already marked, waiting. It must be odd to see your name on a stone before you die. Then maybe not so much when your other half is already gone. My great-aunt's is waiting too, next to her husband's who died just last year. His is right at the foot of Clint's.
Shortly after I explained to one of the children about who the other stones were there for, I thought to myself that someday I may stand in front of Clint's stone with one of the younger ones and say something like, "This was your Uncle Clint." And I thought how different the meaning of those words will be for me than it will be for any of my children, certainly for any of them who would need such a clarifying statement. And then I thought of how different it's been for Dad to say those kinds of statements to me about those I never knew, than it was for me to hear about them, when he'd known them, when he'd missed them.
My kid brother is gone, exchanged for a rectangle of dirt....
Lord, will you tell him I miss him?