Grief Gab #6 - "I am older now..."
My brother is the lead singer for a band called Devils Hunt Me Down. They are an incredible band that’s very hard to classify. “Cascadian dirt rock” is what they call themselves. You can find them on Spotify and iTunes. One of the things I love about his music is that I get a lot of the meaning behind the lyrics. Songs like Rusty Nail and Caveman In A Computer Room have great significance because I know my brother.
One of the songs he wrote is called The Owl and it’s about our late sister. She died in December 2006 from a drug overdose. It was a senseless waste. So much talent and potential...
Anyway - my brother has long felt that my sister's spirit was represented by the owl. And as I’m writing this I’m struck by the fact that Joni loved owls. I had never thought of that before! In the song, he says “I am older now than you will ever be. That doesn’t sit right with me.” And all I can think is “Amen.” Joni was four months older than me...always. She was ALWAYS older than me. And as of today (4/27), I am older now than she will ever be. And damn, that doesn’t sit right with me. I started writing this post roughly a week ago. Even before then I planned a camping trip with my girlfriend to be able to get away just the two of us and spend some dedicated time getting to know each other. I didn’t realize how much this day would impact me when I originally made the reservations. It feels unfair to my girlfriend to have today become about my grief rather than building our relationship...but on the flip side, she’s been incredibly gracious and allowed me to share - which is part of building our relationship. She even suggested we leave the campsite and go to the closest library where I could finish writing this post and get it posted!
So today is a weird kind of anniversary - being alive just one day longer than Joni was in her life span. And now I will never be younger than her. It seems unrelated, but the event has caused me to think about the months ahead and particularly December. December holds her birthday and Christmas - two of the most important days on my personal calendar. And I think December is going to be really hard. At least that’s what I’m anticipating. But again: who knows? Grief is a weird and wild beast - it causes us to feel things we didn’t know we felt and it is no respecter of time, location, other people, or personal agendas. You can feel like you’ve processed and dealt with a particular emotion only to have it surface again weeks later to surprise both you and those around you. Which sadly leads to inadvertently hurting those close to you.
Today I miss my bestie. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about her final days and find myself really longing to just have her back. No one I know has gone through this specific thing and I think it’s high time for me to find a support group in which I can find people who know what I’m going through and can offer support and encouragement from a place of understanding.
“I am older now than you will ever be. That doesn’t sit right with me.” That doesn’t sit right with me at all, but I know in time that I will heal and the sting of this will hurt less.
Thanks for reading.