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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Shadows pass over us

This piece was started on August 22nd, but I couldn't think clearly enough to finish it that night.  

I can't even wrap my head around what I need to say.  I just know that I need to get these emotions out.  Let them wash over me and fade into darkness.  The truth is so incomprehensible that all I can do when I think about it is to shake my head no, it cannot be.

My husband's brother died today.  He, of the vibrant blue eyes, hardworking attitude, carefree and loving, generous to a fault, has returned to God today.  He was 38.  Two years older than us and an exuberant and dynamic person.  His name was Scott and he was a stranger to us a year ago.

In brief summary, my husband's father, fathered a child himself before he married my husband's mother.  My husband's father never knew of his son (eldest son at that) for 37 years.  Finally, his son's half-sister was riddled with guilt and confessed this to my husband's father and stepmother.  One year ago, almost exactly, was when we found out that there was another sibling out there.  We were curious and joyful and excited to know him.  We were also saddened, because my father-in-law is not in good health.  He has advanced pulmonary fibrosis and is on an oxygen concentrator 24 hours a day.  He cannot even get up and walk to the bathroom without having to turn his concentrator up all of the way.  We were saddened to think that our newfound brother and in-law never had a chance to know his father in the way that my husband and his twin brother knew his father.  He didn't know him as the robust man who was strong enough to bring high school football players to their knees with the touch of a hand.  He didn't know him as the man who could outrun his sons well into his middle years.  We also thought how sad it was that he wouldn't get much time with his father.

Never in our wildest imaginations did we contemplate that my father-in-law would never get a chance to truly know his son and that my husband would never get to really know his half-brother.  They said his death was caused by a heart attack and that it wasn't his first one.

So now my father-in-law has outlived two of his children.  My husband has lost 2 siblings and Scott's fiancee' is left alone at 25 and their 2 1/2 year old son doesn't know why papa hasn't come home yet.  My heart aches for all of them.  I am so thankful that my father-in-law was able to know that he had another son out there and got to meet him.  I can only imagine how much more devastated he would be if he only knew after Scott had passed away.

Scott will always be in our hearts and I know that he was loved by many people.  He gave us a great reminder to live every day as if it were our last.  My husband and I just look at each other and think of how we need to tell our friends and family much more often that we love them.  We must cherish our time together here on earth and use it to enrich other people's lives. Grief is like a shadow that covers a piece of our souls.  Thankfully, those shadows eventually pass and we can see the sun again, a beautiful ray of redemption that gives us peace in knowing we will meet again, Scott.