Saturday, October 27, 2007

Looking for John

WARNING: Serious blog about death (and Life) but not depressing or morbid. If you have never lost someone close - it may not be the blog for you.

I am sorry about my lack of blogging for the past few days but I find myself caught up in thoughts of my brother. John died suddenly and unexpectedly right after Easter. He was 50 years old, which may seem like ancient to some but is quite young in the scheme of things.

When I got the call I was shocked and hurting. I drove back to Wisconsin and did my best to help my boys understand the loss of their Uncle along with attempting to comfort my parents through the devastating death of their only son. A painful and unbelievable time.

Our whole family rallied around us like a large, downy quilt doing their best to soften the blow. Our extended family of friends showed up in droves to give us their tears and their support. It was truly moving.

So, it amazes me that it is only now, months later, that I really feel the loss. I think time tends to magnify the void left, emphasizing how a loved one is now beyond our reach. There are no phone calls or cards on birthdays and holidays. There are the million times I stop myself in the middle of saying, "I gotta remember to tell John this, " or "I bet John would like that for Christmas."

The memories of him that pop into my head are not what I would expect. They usually involve him as a kid verbally insulting me or beating the crap out of me. No one would mistake us for Donnie and Marie. My brother and I were not close as kids. In fact, I think he found me annoying at best. Our temperaments were different, our interests were different and I was looked on as inferior in every way.

But as he got older he mellowed and found a real respect for who his little sister had become. I asked him to be Godfather to my youngest and he checked in on me regularly through the long demise of my marriage. I realized he did not want to be seen as soft-hearted - but he was. I began to appreciate his wit and intelligence and he told me how he was amazed that I hadn't become bitter, but showed real courage during great adversity.

Had we not been brother and sister, we may never have been friends - but families don't work that way do they. Often you are completely unique people with the same last name. I once read that everyone is born into a different family, meaning each person that comes into it changes it before the next arrives. Our childhood days aside, I'm glad John arrived before me. I wish he didn't leave so soon because I believe he never got the chance to finish the changes he was meant to make in all of our lives. I miss him.

Rest in peace J.D.


  1. This is so touching and heartfelt.

    What a lovely tribute :-)

  2. Hi Romi,
    I want to tell you how much I appreciated your comment. When I finished writing this blog I was so afraid it sounded unkind, which was not the feeling I meant to convey. Love is so unexplainable and complex. It's good to know someone understood what I was trying to say.

    Thanks again, Susan

  3. Sue-I am amazed at the number of times John comes to my mind. Some days it still feels like i just heard the horrible news. John would SO totally get what you wrote. You could only write that because of the loving relationship you had with each other. How fortunate to be able to be so honest while reflecting love.

  4. Dear Karen,
    I appreciate your support and your feelings of loss for John. You are a great friend.

  5. Very touching Sue.


  6. Thank you Paul,
    I seem to be having a much harder time with this than when John first passed away. Funerals are something you just need to get through, but the real missing part comes later.
    Love Sues


Thanks for commenting. Be fair, funny, frank, friendly, foolish or any of the goofy "F words". Peace, Susan