It was unexpected and not. Even though Coke, as he was called, was in bad shape, there was always the hope and the possibility that he would pull through. But he didn't do it. Instead he was found in bed with a book on his chest and still wearing his glasses, as if he had simply dozed off.
I've been avoiding writing about this, even tried to go back to just blogging about more trivial topics, but I'm no good at carrying on as if nothing happened. I'm not really feeling depressed, more like unmotivated, like the wind has been taken out of my sails and I've just been drifting, not wanting to do much.
Coke and I were never really close. Growing up in a large family, I assume that's usually the case. Some siblings are close and some aren't. When we were kids, he was the pain in the ass brother I wished would stop bothering me. As adults we kept up on each other's lives through other family members, as we rarely talked. He didn't confide in me or include me in his life. I hadn't even seen him in five years. And yet his death has hit me harder than I would have imagined.
Even though we weren't close, he was still a great guy. Any time I needed help, he didn't hesitate to go out of his way for me. I think it was only "family stuff" that kept us from knowing one another better.
The good thing is that I went and spent Thanksgiving with my family, which I wasn't planning on doing. Except for one sister, we were all there, including two new members I had never met before.
Coke at a friend's wedding a while back.
The following day we had a memorial and a lot of old friends showed up, not just Coke's, but people who wanted to support our family. It was gratifying and overwhelming at the same time. I ended up spending the evening afterwards with my two best friends from high school. We hadn't been together for seventeen years.
I don't know how to explain the loss I feel when someone dies. Since I believe death, like birth, is simply going from one place to another, I don't see it as a tragedy. I think the sadness comes from missing the person (or animal) and from thinking about what could have been.
So, Coke, here's to your happiness. I hope you've left your demons behind and have found the peace you deserve.
And Happy New Year to everyone out there!