I had a post written previously, that I was gonna post today.  But, on my drive home – I changed my mind.  So if it seems like it rambles, I apologize in advance.  I had the benefit of telling a guy I worked with today, about Shaun.  Telling him that today was the anniversary of his death.  And he, in turn, told me about his friend Sean, that had passed awhile back.  And he said to me, “I view death differently.  Although it is sad that they are gone – I look at it that at least I had the opportunity to know this person.”  And as he said that, it stung my heart.  It made me take a different turn.  And I am so thankful I had those years with Shaun.  I really am.  That being said, today still sucks.  This day reminds me of the fear, pain, stress, shock, and deep throat sadness I felt that day.  I hope it gets better as time goes on, but as I have previously stated, I am not a fan of June 23rd.

On my drive home, I thought about that – blasting my iPod in the background.  And I thought about the changes that I have made in my life since he is gone.  I have done things I never would have thought possible.  I have spoken in front of crowds.  I have started a blog.  A website.  I have helped people.  I have worked my fingers to the bone.  I scrimped and saved.  I struggled.  I was a pit bull, fighting for her pups.  My relationship with my children morphed into something I never knew it could.  I never knew – the level of passion and protection I could have for them.  I thought I knew before, but I had no idea.  I am proud of the woman I have become.

But, that being said – there are some bad that came with it.  I am much more callous. I am much more choosey over what I will shed my tears over.  I can be vicious.  But at the same time, I still can cry when someone else is sad.  I guess, sometimes I can play down others issues, because they weren’t as dramatic as mine.  But I am working on that.  I want to help people be happy.  I want people to love like there is no tomorrow.  I want them to know what I know – without the journey to go with it.

So here is what I am trying to say.  Shaun Greenberg, You changed my heart, mind, and soul forever.  I love you.  I always will.  And I will make you proud.    I promise that.  So, below, I am posting a song.  I love this version.  Listen to it – all the way through.  I feel like the first part, is me.  The second part, is what Shaun would sing back.  I knew the first time I heard this – It strung a chord in my heart.  I didn’t realize until today – why.  And if you wanna know how I feel – that nails it.  100%. I can’t write it down any better than he can sing it.

May 2nd would have been Shaun’s 33rd birthday.  My heart always feels heavy when I hear the word, May. Anyone who knew Shaun, knew he loved his birthday.  Another reason we were a great pair.  We loved our own birthdays.  It’s like your own little personal holiday.  Started the day with breakfast in bed – or restaurant of his choice (depending on his mood).  Then we would go and get his birthday present.  Followed up with a family dinner out – and normally friends coming over that evening.  He loved his birthday.  So, every year – on his birthday – my heart feels heavy.  Sad for him.  Sad for the loss of him.  Sad for everyone that knew him.  Sad for me.  And it’s a weird feeling – being sad.  There is a level of guilt that comes with that sadness once you have continued with your life.  And thankfully – my husband is a rockstar.  He gets it.  He knows that just because I am sad for Shaun- doesn’t mean I love him less.  It’s a situation that  I never thought I would be in.  And I am still stumbling through it.

This was the worst year so far.  On Thursday, May 1st, my sister-in-law and I were at a Charity event with some friends.  The salads had just been served when I noticed her take a phone call and walk out.  She comes back in literally about 4 seconds later – and says, “I need you – come on.”  So I got up and left.  We walk away and go to the restroom area – and she turns with her eyes welled up with tears and tells me, “David is dead.”  And something bizarre happened to me.  My insides felt like they were turning to stone.  David, is my brother-in-law.  My husband’s brother.  I had never met him.  But, there was an unfortunate accident where he was living, and it was completely unexpected.  We know we are going to have to tell our husbands, but we don’t know how.  Finally we call – and get everyone to the house.  And by this time – my insides were completely solid.

My husband’s youngest brother – he is a fixer.  And so he was on it.  My husband – was in total shock.  And all I knew to do was hug him – and let him cry.  And then try to figure out the logistics.  Make sense of it all.  Research it all.  And then do whatever needed to be done.  I knew my job was to be the one who when someone says, “Go get a chicken and taco sauce, ”  – I am gonna be the girl who gets it don’t ask why.  I never realized how much those people helped me until after the fact.  But inside – I was stone.

Until Friday.  Shauns’ birthday.  At about 10 o’clock.  I went to work that day.  Due to catastropic events in the panhandle – our team at work was short – so I needed to go in and finish some stuff.  Especially, not knowing what the next week was going to hold.  I walk out into the tow yard, and I am staring at a car.  And I hear one of the people walk up behind me – but I refuse to look at them.  He says, “You ok?” – and my insides began to shake and melt.  And tears started pouring.  And I began to ugly cry.  Shaking all over ugly cry.  And he looked shocked – but shut up and hugged me.  And let me cry.  And never questioned why.  I thought, “Why am I crying like an idiot?  It wasn’t my brother – and I didn’t know him.  Don’t be the dramatic person, who is all overwrought.  Buck up girl, and handle it.”  So I did.  But I was still confused as to my hugely emotional outbreak.

So for the past 2 days, I have also tried to figure that out.  Because after my 4 minute breakdown – I was solid again.  So I started writing down the random thoughts in my head – and here is what I came up with.  My heart was broken.  Broken for my husband.  My brother in law’s.  My sisters in law.  My nieces and nephews.  I might not have known him personally – but my heart was broken for all the people I do love.  That I do know.  I know, all to well, the pain that they are going through and that they will go through.  I know how much their world is rocked.  I know their lives have a new dividing point – Before David died and After David died.

So, I wanted to buy them a book.  A sweet friend of mine gave me the book, “Tear Soup”, when Shaun died.  It’s a children’s book – but it was exactly what I needed.  But, I thought, maybe there is something more appropriate for grown men losing a sibling.  There is not.  There are more books about losing a pet than there are about a sibling.  And then I cried again.  Two reasons this time.  And I finally figured out why.  
1.  I cannot imagine losing my sister.  I have had her my whole life.  And even thought we live super far away – there is a level of comfort of knowing she is there.

2.  This – the here and now – is their new normal.  And it sucks.  And it ‘s painful.  And it will get better – but it will never go away.

And here is something to think about – there is nothing out there for siblings.  And that shocks me.  Your siblings are the people that are supposed to be with you through everything.  All the hardtimes.  Your parents are not supposed to outlive your siblings.  It doesn’t seem natural.  You prep yourself for the fact that your parents and grandparents will die one day.  Not your brother or sister.  Your siblings have been there for all you successes and failures.  They have seen you at your best and your worst.  You tell your deepest secrets to you them – and even if you don’t tell – they know it anyway.

“Death is not the greatest loss in life.  The greatest loss in what dies inside while still alive. Never Surrender.” – Tupac.   And I believe he nailed it.  Everytime you lose someone – and piece of you dies inside. That is the biggest loss of all.

And the loss of your sibling will remain with you the rest of their lives – just like they were supposed to.

Tonight my papaw passed away. And to be honest, it makes me feel all weird and conflicted. I didn’t talk to him often – I haven’t lived in the area for 15 years or so. But he was my papaw. My daddy’s dad. My roots. The man who has been my constant in this world – he is the reason he exists. And now he is gone. 

My papaw was a Christian. Is a Christian, I should say. He too, is now in a whole new body. Rejoicing with his bride. Celebrating their reunion. But we are here. Behind. Trying to feel that joy, but feeling sad for ourselves. 
I have cried more than I thought I would. He lived a long life – he buried two wives and two children. He was almost 96. His birthday was next week. We were both are virgos. I just realized that we had that in common. I don’t know why I didn’t know it sooner. That just made me smile. A little bond I just realized existed. A little present from him, I suppose. 
Papaw was always a funny man to me. He was tough. Rugged. Intimidating in a way. He had a loud voice and smelled like chewing tobacco. He always called my daddy, “Son”.  I still think that it still so sweet. 
One of my best memories of being a kid is driving to papaw’s house- just me and daddy. And it seemed like it took forever. You drive down a four lane road. To a two lane. And then one? And then a gravely road. We would park on the gravel road – walk through a field- and then you were there. And daddy would tell me stories about when he was a little boy. And I would sit on that porch- In southwest Virginia – and try to see my daddy being a kid- and papaw being a young man. 
Papaw had hogs. Cats. Dogs. Horses. Cows. And a plethora of all of them. His house was an adventure.  And he would grab any animal and show it to you. No fear. He was something else. 
I know this is rambling. I just wanted to get it all out. And thank God for making Worley Horne my papaw, and making sure he let us know he was a Christian. Thank you papaw. For being you. For giving me the memories that are woven in my mind. For making my daddy such an amazing man. And for being you. I will always love you. I always did- even when miles separated us – heaven will be our meeting place. Ill see you again one day. Kiss everyone for me. 
And, (my family will get this), I am not fat as a toad. I love you papaw. Heart and Soul. 
  • Revelation 21:4 “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Today I had the weirdest, strangest memory.  It’s not that he memory was weird or strange, I guess.  But it was sudden.  I was just sitting there… thinking about my work that I was doing… and then BOOM!  It was a snippet of a memory like playing in my eyes.  Nothing even really important.  Shaun and I loved to ride the “Flying Eagles” at Kings Dominion.  We called it “our” ride.  Cause, first and foremost – that is a thrill ride to me, because I am a big chicken.  He loved it when I got all scared and nervous and hid my face in his arm, but I loved it.  My memory was this – I saw it from my own point of view.  Like out of my own eyes.  And I was grabbing his arm, and he was swinging the eagle.  And we were both laughing.  I could see the trees whiz by.  And when I remembered, I wasn’t thinking about Kings Dominion, I wasn’t thinking about anything really – kinda in a robotic work moment.  It was weird.  And of course, the tears start falling.  Because I want that.  I want that back.

I have so much going on in my head right now, it’s hard to decipher what is and isn’t important to tell… So if I seem jumbled up – it’s well, because I am.  But one thing that I thought about today was this.  I was trying to envision what heaven is like for him.  And I call I can envision is what it will be for me.  In this moment, my idea of heaven is this – Shaun leaning down to kiss me.  Feeling the weight of him in bed beside me.  Hearing his “Bert and Ernie” laugh echoing through my ears.  Feeling his big hand grabbing mine before grace – and then him catching me and me catching him looking with one eye at the kids.  Hearing him tell me to “Relax…” and then tapping his leg for me to come and sit beside him to snuggle.  I can’t wait to see him reunited with our son.  I can’t wait to see his face light up with recognition when he sees me.   I know that heaven is a lot more than that.  But right now, that’s all that I can even imagine.  I picture him scooping me up when I get there, and running, while kissing me the whole time, to go meet God.  Seeing the joy and excitement on his face, that he gets to share this with me.  I know then, I will no longer taste the taste of my tears and makeup mixed up from running down my face.  I will be able to see clearly again.  And I feel like everything that I see now, no matter how wonderful, there is a big cloud of sorrow hanging around it.    I can’t wait to see with my own eyes, that everything is okay.  I know that day is coming, I guess I am just going to have to wait.