Thursday, August 22, 2013

Four years

I wrote this letter on the evening of May 3rd and saved it on my hard drive. That night I was just too much of an emotional wreck to publish it and then I just went on without ever pausing to letting my feelings be heard. I thought of it again today and felt compelled to share it at last.

 Dear Alexander,

Today marks the fourth anniversary of your decision to leave us and this world behind. I never knew the exact time it happened but I am guessing it was right around now as dusk settles in on this nice, balmy early May evening. You thought life just goes on and we will, too. You are right to a degree. But, oh so wrong, too. Life does go on but so differently. You changed all of us, you changed me. You took away our innocence in how we approached life and death. All of a sudden the latter was a reality, a true possibility lurking behind every corner, every day. Of all the things that changed me this made the profoundest difference on my outlook to life today. I appreciate the flowers, the spring, my friends and most of all my family more than ever. But there is a sense of sadness, a knowing it won’t last forever that masks every moment and takes away something from the most glorious ones. I miss you. Four years is such a long time. I don’t cry every day anymore or am hit by a sad wave on a daily basis. Sometimes a day passes that I don’t think of you specifically. I guess my life does move on. But I think of you so many days, so many moments. And the questions remain the same ones they have been for four years. Why did you do this? Did you really see no other option? Could I have helped? Did you know what this would mean for us? Was it really that bad? Why did you not try harder to live life? Do you know how much we suffer? Are you better now? I would give so much to know the answer to just one of these questions. Four years is a long time. I wish I would know what you would look like today. All of us are getting older and ageing visibly. You, however, will remain 23 forever. It is so incredibly sad. I hope you are in a better place and happy.
I will love you forever. And miss you forever.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Another Christmas coming

So much in my life changed since Alexander left us. And so much is still the same. I have a toddler keeping me very busy and making sure I smile a lot while also leaving me frustrated on a daily basis. But amidst all this business of my life now, I miss my brother. Especially with another Christmas upon us. I did not write how our Christmas went last year. It was not good. We spent it again at my parents and with my other siblings. However, we now had a baby that was at the time a very poor sleeper and I therefore was extremely sleep deprived. But the worst was that no one mentioned Alexander anymore. We did not go to church together. I think it was the first time ever! Partly this was my son's fault since I could not leave him in the evening and the rest of the family did not want to go to an afternoon service. So this meant that we also did not go to Alexander's resting place as a family. We wanted to do this later but it never worked out. So there was absolutely nothing that had us all acknowledge that we missed him. And how much harder that makes things for us! I think for me it was almost the worst Christmas since he left us. In my opinion this was a direct reason for our plan this year. At Christmas dinner we already were talking about a way out and we managed to find it. So this year my entire family will fly South to spend Christmas on an island in the warmth. It will be a planned escape of this silence and sadness that we experienced last year. I have no idea whether it will work or not. But it certainly has the advantage of all of us looking forward to a holiday and the possibility of creating a completely different Christmas. However, apart from this prospect this season is still one of the hardest, right after the weeks before May 3rd. Everyone is supposed to be happy and joyful. I am happy to have a healthy kid but I miss my brother, too! Just a few weeks ago I visited my parents and my two other brothers came as well. It was all so harmonious. Now some might say how great but honestly, I miss the challenge of having Alexander as a conversational partner. No one of my siblings can tease me, treat me like he did. Only he had the ability to go ballistic within minutes. Now it might seem like something strange to miss, but no one can do that anymore! I really, truly miss it. And the challenge of answering his teasing comments. I miss other things, too, of course but with Walter and Magnus there I really felt just how much I lost when he left. It's been 3.5 years now since he left and I wonder what he would look like had he lived, what he would do, whether he would be happy had he kept on fighting. Oh, and I miss his smile, him smirking, his smell. I miss my brother.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Two years

Dear Alexander,

It is crazy. Had you asked me two years ago I would have said I cannot see this day coming, ever. You left us exactly two years ago, two full years! Two years! So much has happened since then, so much that you did not get to experience, share with us, live with us. And again I am spending this day without family around. Luke is working today and be with me only in the evening. I guess that is fine. Now I just have to find some way to pass this day without falling to pieces. It might work well too since I know I have to be somewhat responsible for this little being inside me. And yet, the last few days have been hard. The anticipation of the birth and the grief for you came together as one big hormonal bundle that is impossible to separate. All I know is that more than once I was an emotional wreck in the last few weeks. Did you ever think about the consequences when you were contemplating to leave us or did you only think about your own pain? I wish I would know. I know you thought about leaving often and for many months so I wonder whether you also considered the results of you leaving for all of us. Yet another question that will remain unanswered.
Today I am sad, mainly so incredibly sad that you are not with us anymore. I miss you so much, so much more than words can ever say. It was so nice to see you in a dream the other night. I don’t remember every detail, unfortunately, but I do remember hugging you and telling you how much I miss you. You replied that you miss me too. It was so comforting to hear that, you have no idea. I think it was the first time that I got some kind of answer from you, the first time where the situation in which I saw you was real life related and not just completely random and unrealistic. Thank you for having done that.
I hope that you are doing better and are so very happy wherever you are today. I hope you have found your peace, I wish you that with every ounce of my body. Yes, I am still angry that you left us – how could I not be? I miss you way to much to not be angry. But since you decided to do this two years ago and I have no ways of undoing your actions I hope you at least found what you were looking for, peace. I hope you are with a forgiving god and hold your own loving hand over all of us, especially on this day where our hearts are all aching from the pain of missing you.
I will love and miss you forever, until I see you again.

Your sister Carola

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

23 months

Dear Alexander,

It has been a while again. It is just that I stay busy. However, this does not mean that I think any less about you. Oh my, sometimes I even wish I could just think more about what is going on day to day rather than dwell upon what could have been or would have been. But life is busy around here, so it is harder to take the time to write to you. I guess it is another sign that I am slowly moving on despite the fact that it is extremely hard. And now it is less than a month and you will have been gone for two full years. This upcoming anniversary feels very different to the one last year when I was alone abroad and all the pain came back so intensely again. This year, your anniversary is also marked with the expected arrival of your first niece or nephew, my first child. My due date is one day after your anniversary. I guess it is safe to say that that has me feeling a bit weird at times. How crazy is that! Obviously there are a lot of things one could interpret here but I am not going to go into that. I guess, it is simply meant to be that way and the little one will choose whenever he or she wants to meet us. However, this end of my pregnancy is also a happy occasion that I am looking forward to so your anniversary definitely lost some of its horrifying and scary attributes. I am loving the fact that I can see spring come and not only be sad about it. But I still wish so badly that you would be here to hold our baby, make your stupid jokes about whatever, laugh with us, argue with us and scare us when you would do (and I know you would have done) stupid, dangerous things with the little one. I am so sad that this little person will never get to meet his uncle. I know what he or she is missing but how will he?
Alexander, I still miss you every single day. Do you know all that you did to us? Do you know not just that but how gravely you endangered the marriage of our parents? Do you know just how much positive energy and happiness you took away from mom? Do you know how much we all miss you? Do you know that while you were right when you wrote ‘life will go on’ it is yet such a different life, one that none of us wanted or wants to live? I hope with all my heart and soul that you found peace but I also hope that wherever you are some part of you is trying to help us a little bit managing our lives without you. If you can hear me, make sure to give our parents some positive energy.
Alexander, I am really anxious when thinking about this next month. I wish I had you to talk about it on the phone or while you would come to visit. Now, I can just tell you here a little bit about how I am feeling. I am thinking about you a whole lot, missing you even more and loving you like crazy, little big brother.

Love forever,

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Birthday / 21 months

Dear Alexander,

It is hard to believe but you have been gone long enough now that you would be 25 years old now. Now your twin brother is 25 without you. He misses you. I miss you, too.
The last few days leading up to your birthday were hard. It is funny since I don’t acknowledge that to myself but realize it more afterwards when rethinking some of my reactions throughout the day. How much harder must it be for Walter! I just get angry at nothing and frustrated with myself as well as having the hardest time concentrating. All things I have gotten to know as parts of this journey towards learning how to live without you.
Your birthday itself was not too hard since we were alone in our city not celebrating with Walter. I am once more now on my way to get some work abroad done so I did not feel like travelling the day before that. So the two of us simply stayed home, drove around the city for some window-shopping while getting annoyed at each other for not giving the right kind of directions/going the wrong way. The evening was nice when we could watch a movie together except for the part where there was a suicide in it. I hate the fact that there are so many movies out there that are hard for me to watch!! I wish they would rate them accordingly or something, mention the fact that suicides will be in it. I know that that is a completely irrational wish but it would be nice to at least prepare for it. Where did you leave us, Alexander? Sometimes I feel as if I am thrown back to the time right after you left us struggling to even be on my feet and get up in the morning. I miss you so much, fighting the realization that you will truly not come back each and every day.
I wrote your brother a letter with lots of good wishes for his next, new year here on this earth. I wish from the bottom of my heart that I could have written you a similar one. Instead, this one is more about me than it is about you. All I have left to wish for you is that you found the peace that you were looking for. I am hoping that that is the case so much every day while I struggle to live here without you. I struggle every moment I am on this earth missing you.
I love you and wish I could hug you once again.

Yours, Carola

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

20 months without you

Dear Alexander,

I am sorry for having missed writing to you last month. It has been a crazy one. I was so busy with work, finishing up abroad, visiting friends and preparing for another month away from home. This time it is not for work though, we were just spending the holidays with family again as we did last year. In the midst of all this I also tried to prepare for the upcoming Christmas season buying/making gifts and baking cookies. However, all those things keeping me busy did not keep me from thinking about you. To the contrary, you have been on my thoughts a lot. It was strange to prepare for this holiday season realizing that this was already the second Christmas without you. So hard to believe! It is still so unfathomable that you will never come back to celebrate that day with us.
Although I thought about you a lot my thoughts were not always full of grief. Often I wondered why this holiday season did go so much better than the last. Obviously it was the first year without you last year but it still did not explain why I felt so much less grief stricken this time around. Have I really learned so much about dealing with my grief this past year? It certainly does not feel like it on a day to day basis but maybe I simply forgot how awful it was just one year ago. All those questions were answered in a rather shocking way on Christmas Eve. I know now that I still have a hard time with you being gone. I know that I still don’t know how to properly deal with all my grief for you. I know that it still hits me in the face when I least expect it. I also know that I learned how to keep my feelings inside me, even hidden from myself, when something inside me knows that I cannot deal with the enormity of my grief at a certain point in time. That is what happened in the pre-Christmas season. My feelings were hidden from myself, only to completely blow me over on Christmas Eve.
So all of this is to tell you, my dear brother: I still miss you like crazy. Your death is still so unbelievable, so unfathomable. I am still not at a point where I really know my grief or at least how to deal with it, although I am getting better at developing survival strategies. So, I still have more or less the same questions I had a year ago. Why, oh why did you have to leave me, our family, this world? Was it really all that bad? Did you not feel how much you are loved? What could I have done to help you?
I truly hope that you are feeling better. I know I have said this before, too. But I don’t get an answer from you, and it is just so important for me that there is at least some good out of the bad. So I am hoping with all my heart and soul that you are alright now wherever you are.

I love you and I miss you.

Forever, your sister Carola

Friday, November 19, 2010

One and a half years

Dear Alexander,

This month it is one and a half years ago that you left us. I did not forget that day even though I only write to you right now. In fact, I have been thinking much more and more intensely about you the last few weeks than I have in a while. I wrote this letter so often in my head. But to be honest, I also evaded this. It makes it so real that you left. Of course, reality strikes me every time I see a picture of you on my computer screen, or think of you, talk about you with mum or grandma. And yet, writing to you makes it more real than ever. I cannot, still not, understand why you did this. That you really did this. That you really left us. It sucks being alone. Living without you. I miss you.
I noticed that over the last few weeks I have gotten a lot more used to thinking about my siblings without you. This does not mean that I start forgetting you, by no means. It just means that I do not anymore think about adding you to the address line in an email every time I write to all of my siblings. Frankly, this scares me and makes me sad, so incredibly sad.
One year and a half. What a long time. I would have never thought that I could do this and feel like I do today. I miss you, every day, I am sad every single day, I am angry at you for leaving us every day. And yet, I have found a way to live again as well. I learned and still learn to live with the whole you left and the wounds you cut in my soul. One and a half years later I recognize that despite all my fears those wounds are starting to heal. They will leave big scars, I am not fooling myself. These scars will hurt all my life, sometimes more, sometimes less. I wish there were no wounds, no scars but you in my life. I miss you so much. I miss hearing you laugh, I miss you love, I miss your smile, I miss our conversations, I even miss our fights.
Oh Alexander, I am still angry with you for leaving us. But by now, I think, if I am being really honest with myself, I am way more sad that you left us. I am so incredibly sad. Tears are streaming down my face while I am writing this. I know why I could not write you before – I can only bear it when I am ready for it. It hurts so much. It hurts so much to let the pain come straight to my heart all over again.
I hope you are doing better than me. I hope you are happy, laughing, at peace with yourself. It is my constant wish for you to have reached this happiness. I hope that there is some good, something positive in this enormous hole among all the pain and emptiness that you left.
I miss you. I love you, forever.
Your sister.