A year ago today my world turned upside down.
In a freak accident, under circumstances that could never be replicated, my nineteen-year-old brother was killed.
Mandy, the main character in Emerald's Keeper, relays the sense of loss best:
"The loss had left her empty, like a shell of her normal self. None of it seemed real. The shock of losing him so suddenly made it all like a dream -- hazy around the edges, slowly being washed away by the ebb and flow of time. Her mind was consumed with thoughts, memories, and emotions all vying for her attention. It seemed like a lifetime ago, yet in the same breath, it had just happened.
Mandy’s thoughts snatched her back to the hospital where she looked frantically around for her mother. She would never forget Mom’s eyes, full of grief.
Mandy lost her breath all over again. Her heart felt like it was clawing itself to pieces, and her mind screamed in refusal to accept the truth. The familiar pain in her stomach threatened to overcome her as she fell to the sand.
Tears glistened on her face as her mind made her relive that horrible day moment by moment, breath by breath, in excruciating detail. She put the heel of her hands over her eyes and pressed hard in an attempt to stop the flow of tears. To block the memory. The tightness in her chest constricted and threatened not to let go."
I miss him more than words could ever express. I wrote this scene shortly after he died. His death really changed the shape of the story -- of my life -- forever. What started as a for-fun-fanfic turned into something so much more because of him.
Here's a poem I wrote for him. Don't laugh, I'm no poet. I just couldn't keep it inside.
I have a story in me,
And it's because of you.
My sight, my way, my passion,
You brought it all to view.
A clearer light has never shone,
These words I wrote, they flew.
Without you there to guide me,
I'd never see it through.
My brother, though I miss you,
We'll meet again some day.
Until then I'll leave you, with these words I say:
Forever in my heart, forever in my mind, forever in my words.