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  • Writer's pictureSheri

In memory of you, on your birthday.

Happy Birthday little Brother. You would be 48 years old today. 10 years ago, on July 24, 2013, we lost you in a motorcycle-car collision. Lost? well, not really. We knew where you were, your body anyway. We may have had some varying ideas, but I expect we all also had expectations of where you were spiritually, or energetically. Lost doesn't seem quite right, like we misplaced you. We were the ones who felt lost.

That day, you stopped journeying with us here on earth and we miss you. Miss your physical presence. Miss laughing with you, hugging you, and the long phone conversations when you lived into our family name of Chatters.

The hole in my heart, the one shaped like you, has not gone away. It is not as raw as it was nearly 10 years ago, or even 7 years ago when the shock finally wore off (or maybe it was denial.) When I had to learn to deal with my grief for the sake of my own health. On days like today, it feels extra heavy, my heart does. It feels lonely, even though I know I was not, and am not, the only one missing you. Sometimes the tears of holy water come, other times a smile crosses my face. Emotions, I've stopped trying to control them but rather allow and listen. At least that is the practice I'm working at.

Grief. That is heavy. A weight we are not good at holding, or sharing. Better at ignoring, denying.

Learning to honor our pain, whether that of a loved one "lost" or other pains we feel for the suffering in our world. This is the second stage in the Spiral of the Work That Reconnects by Joanna Macy. Holding space for one another and allowing our feelings to surface. The WTR's practices are important for personal, communal, and system healing. Helping us learn to walk through discomfort together. I think the most important thing to know is that whatever you are feeling is normal. There is no right or wrong, no timeline to "get-over-it," just time to adapt to a new normal. The one with out that which you "lost" in your continued storyline.

We are designed for community for a reason. We are meant to pick one another up. Provide a shoulder to lean, or cry on. To hold the hard times together - sharing the load, as well as celebrating the good times - doubling the joy! A day like today holds both; heavy and joy, because I not only remember you, I get to celebrate and honor your presence in my life. The gifts you shared with me, your family, and the world.

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