Last April 20, 2014, my brother died of lung cancer.
I may have already shared this before but I don't remember. I'm doing it now to explain why I haven't been showing up here. I've never grieved so deeply for anyone in my life. Never really encountered grief before. Yes, for my father and my mother, but my brother and I were very close, and somehow while I urged him to quit smoking and he wouldn't I wanted to believe that he would be one of those people who smoke yet live long lives.
I've come to see that grief first hand is a very powerful and strange thing. I can fall asleep at 4-5-6 pm and sleep until morning. This when for years I've gotten up at 3am to work on my books for several hours before going to my day job. And then on weekends I'd work from say 8 til 8. I fall asleep now without dinner. Grab some string cheese for protein or open a can of soup or have pop corn. Have a Red Bull and then fall asleep. No energy. When I've always had tons of it.
A good day is when I finally take the trash out a whole 5 feet from my door to the chute. Recyclables are piling up and need to be taken down. Laundry should be sent out. And things like marketing my book? Working on this web site? Tweeting? FB? Instead, I spent the holiday and the weekend in bed reading and grateful for the author so I could escape the bursting into tears that I've been doing lately. For months, I guess I was numb. A few tears, of course, but now they sometimes feel unstoppable.
I am very happy for my brother that he is no longer suffering and that he left fast (about 32 days after being diagnosed). At one point, he said, "How could I have been so stupid." I said, "You weren't stupid. Cigarettes are engineered with 2000 chemicals specifically to addict people."
I am so grateful that I stayed with him in Chicago for 5 days when I visited two years ago, and spent 8 days with him in the hospital sleeping in his room where we talked non-stop. Finally talking about the "Grand Adventure" that lay before him. My doctor and friends tell me to be patient and that it may take a while.
I believe I'll be able to get back to my books sooner as re-entering that world I've created and the characters I've created and their adventures will help me heal. And just as reading a novel helped me get through a few hard days, maybe mine will help a reader. - Jacqueline