This past weekend, I returned home for the first time since my brother Gilad died four months ago. I felt compelled to visit the cemetery where he was buried, knowing full well that it would be entirely different than the last time I was there. The tears were replaced by a throbbing feeling in my chest. The hot summer sun was replaced by a cold wintry chill and mounds of snow. And the friends and family who helped us bury him were replaced by an empty cemetery, with dry leaves cracking beneath our feet as we walked along the paths.
His grave-site is less an indication of where he is right now, than a reminder of what we’ve lost. Which is what gets to me the most, on a daily basis – that excited feeling when I want to share something with him, followed by the immediate punch in the gut realization that I’ll never again be able to.
Last night, while reading “The Best American Nonrequired Reading of 2010” I stumbled upon a story written by Sherman Alexie called War Dances. He describes this feeling perfectly:
I wanted to call up my father adn tell him that a white man thought my brain was beautiful. But I couldn’t tell him anything. He was dead. I told my wife and sons that I was okay. I told my mother and siblings. I told my friends. But none of them laughed as hard about my beautiful brain as I knew my father would have. I miss him, the drunk bastard.
We miss you dearly. Every day. Forever.
The Tallest Man On Earth – Shallow Graves
Pearl Jam – The End