Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Dear Timmy | A Letter to My Forever-Young Brother

Dear Timmy | A Letter to My Forever-Young Brother - A Simpler Grace #letters



"Grief does not change you. It reveals you." - John Green

Dear Timmy,

Nine years ago today, you took your last breath.

Nine years ago, I walked into a hospital emergency room - the hallway walls lined with familiar tear-stained faces - knowing it would be the last time I would ever see you alive. Alive being a relative term, as it was only the beeping and hissing machines that kept your heart beating. You were gone long before those machines stopped running.

When I awoke nine years ago, I remember how perfect the day was. The sun was shining and there was not a cloud in the sky. We had just come out of two straight weeks of rain and it felt like the world woke up rejoicing that the sun was finally shining again. I had no idea of the devastation the day would hold.

When you woke up nine years ago, you saw the sun and did what you would have done any Saturday morning. You hopped on your motorcycle with your friends and went for a ride. Later that morning, you would lay your bike down on the side of the interstate and your life would come to an end, but I truly believe you wouldn't have chosen to go any other way.

You lived your life in the moment. You embraced every opportunity to try something new, go somewhere you'd never been, talk to someone you'd never met. To you, life was one big roller coaster. Sure, there were rough spots, but you tossed your hands in the air and smiled through it all.

image of Tim's last vacation courtesy of his friend Chad W.

Nine years... It feels like an eternity since we last spoke but the gut-wrenching ache that still lingers in my wounded heart feels like it all happened yesterday.

I often ask myself what I'd tell you if I could have you back for just one day and honestly, I don't know that I'd do anything different than what I did the last day we spent together. You weren't the kind of guy to sit around and dwell on negative things. You wouldn't have wanted the tears or to hear the sappy stories of our best moments growing up. Instead, you would have ordered your usual steak and cheese sub, popped open a beer, kicked your feet up on my couch and laughed at the latest episode of "Jackass," the next morning, heading out the front door for work with a simple, "I love you".

I've tried to move on the way I know you would have wanted us to. I've tried to smile through it. I've tried to push forward when the tears feel like they won't stop. I've tried to breathe deeply when I wake up in a panic because I've had to re-live your final hours in a dream, for the thousandth time since that fateful day. I've tried, but it's hard. Twenty-one years and nine months is not enough time to live. You should have been able to grow up. To marry. To have kids. Grandkids. But that's not the way it ended up.

One thing I've learned in the last nine years is this: life goes on. It goes on when you don't think it will. It goes on when you hope that it won't. And just like that roller coaster you lived your life on, now, I will try to throw my hands in the air and smile through it all, like you would have wanted. Like you would be doing if you were here today.

Love and miss you always,
Your big sis

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52 comments:

  1. Awe, friend. I'm so sorry that you lost your brother! ❤ what a sweet memory/remembrance of him. You are so strong! ❤

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  2. Oh, my... I'm so sorry for your loss, Lecy. You express your emotions powerfully here and show us that grief never leaves. I hope writing this helped you.

    It's a tragedy when a life as young as your brother's ends. My younger brother died suddenly and unexpectedly when he was 33 (and I was 35). Those sad events change the color of our earlier memories.

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  3. Thank you, friend. It's the best way I know how to memorialize him. :) <3

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  4. Oh I'm so sorry to hear about your brother. It's never easy to deal with sibling loss. Thank you so much for stopping by to read this. :)

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  5. I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine the pain. What a beautiful letter though, thank you for sharing with us!

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  6. This was very hard to read, yet so inspiring. You captured your love for him so perfectly in this letter. You are a strong beautiful woman, and I wish I could give you a hug right now. Thank you for sharing this with us. I know it isn't easy. <3

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  7. I cannot imagine losing a sibling. That would be a hurt so deep. I'm so sorry you had to say goodbye far, far too soon.

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  8. So sorry for your loss... thank you for sharing this letter.

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  9. Thank you for coming by to read, Samantha! <3

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  10. Oh Trish, you're so sweet. Thank you!! <3

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  11. Thank you for your sweet words, Rachel. <3

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  12. Beautiful and heart-wrenching to read. A close friend lost her "forever young" brother 30 years ago. It's still difficult, but remembering the reasons for loving him is something that gets us through. A wonderful share.

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  13. Such a beautiful heartfelt post. Thank you for sharing and I am deeply sorry for your loss.

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  14. This is beautiful. So much love your way as you remember your brother today.

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  15. Lovely to read. I lost a brother to cancer 12 years ago. Since we saw it coming, I had the chance to say goodbye. But the truth is, that doesn't change the loss. Anyway, what a great picture of your brother. Perfect, I think.

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  16. Oh, I'm so sorry to hear about your brother. Thank you so much for coming by to read. <3

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  17. Lecy, this is a beautiful tribute to your brother! I am so sorry for your loss, but I can tell just from your words that Timmy will always be with you...

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  18. Thank you so much for your sweet words, Melissa!

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  19. <3

    Oh, my sweet, this makes my heart ache for that giant loss in your life. I'm so sorry to hear about this... your brother sounds like an incredible human being, and though he may not roam this earth the way you might expect, I have to imagine he's still watching over you and proud of his sister <3 Sending so many thoughts and well wishes, today especially <3

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  20. Charlotte, you are so sweet and thank you. I agree that he is still with us. I feel him near all the time. <3

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  21. So sorry about your loss. I can't imagine losing my brother. I'm sure your brother was incredible, and it's great to see that you remember all of the good times. You have a closer angel than most of us :)

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  22. Thank you for your encouraging words, Kayla. <3

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  23. I am so sorry for your loss. My brother is 4 years younger then I am and we are not very close, but I could not imagine what it would be like for him to die.

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  24. I am sorry for the loss you so bravely shared. I appreciate your openness and willingness to talk about how you’re working through your grief. Timmy seemed like a lovely brother and beautiful soul. Heaven gained an amazing person and I know one day you’ll be reunited.

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  25. Kelly, this brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for your sweet words! <3

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  26. I am so sorry for the loss of your brother, what a beautiful post to honor his memory.

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  27. I'm so sorry - no matter how much time has passed, the sense of loss never goes away. Although this is a heartbreaking thing to have happened to you and your family, I'm so glad that you are able to stay strong and look back at your beer drinking, Jackass watching time together with a happy heart.

    Christie's Take on Life. xx

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  28. Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Christie. <3

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  29. Sending you great big hugs. I can only imagine the hole left in your heart. Sitting here in tears because so often the good ones are gone far to soon.

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  30. Thank you so much, Kim. You are such a sweetheart! <3

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  31. This is one of the most heart touching posts I have read! I am sorry for your loss of your brother. But I am glad you have good memories of him and think back on them. That is what gets me through the lost of my loves one too!

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  32. Oh Lanae, thank you for coming by to read and leaving your sweet comment. :)

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  33. This is a really beautiful letter to you brother -- I'm so sorry for your loss and I can only imagine the ache that never goes away when you lose someone so close to you. What an amazing way to commemorate him. <3

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  34. Thank you so much for your kind words, Allison. <3

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  35. This is absolutely beautiful. I am so sorry for your loss. Beautifully written.

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  36. Wow I'm crying. I am so sorry for losing your brother... I can't imagine what that's like! I'm thankful you've been able to find some peace in it all, though! Loved your letter!

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  37. Thank you so much for coming by to read and leaving your sweet comment, Rebecca. <3

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  38. my older brother passed away fourteen years ago last month. he was thirty-four; i was twenty-nine. i am now a decade older than he. there are days it's damned near impossible for me to wrap my head around that thought. i understand your grief.

    that picture of your brother on the beach. that is perfect for this post.

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  39. Oh Jenn, I'm so sorry to hear about your brother. It's hard to understand sibling loss until you've actually experienced it and you're right, it is difficult to wrap your head around those age milestones. That photo of my brother was taken two weeks before he passed, so it is eerily appropriate. Thanks for stopping by to read this evening. <3

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  40. there's one of my brother standing at the window of the colorado cabin we used to own, looking out at the night sky. my brother was quick to smile, quicker to laugh, but in this picture, he looks serious like me. i want to say it was taken during our last trip there, the christmas three months before he passed. so i understand the eeriness you feel looking at your brother's beach photo.

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  41. Wow! Those photos definitely make you wonder...

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  42. I'm so sorry for your loss. I don't have any words of comfort, but I am glad you have been able to move forwards. It sounds like he would be really proud of you.

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  43. Thank you so much, Beth. It's very sweet of you to come by to read this. :)

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