Ken and me, 1984
My big brother had committed suicide.
I still can't say that -- or write that -- without tears. My world was shattered. Twenty years later, my feelings are not much different. My childhood hero and my only sibling is gone. How could he have helped me through my own depression, yet never told anyone about his own? My family and I have been deprived of so many moments we should have shared. Every milestone is difficult to achieve without him: my college graduation, my first teaching job, my marriage, and, of course, my children. My husband would have bonded with him over Monty Python, horror films, and 80s heavy metal. And my boys would have loved their Uncle Ken, his silly jokes, his made-up songs, and his infectious laugh more than I can imagine.
If you saw my last post, there is evidence that I have come a long way. Before having children, I would have never even considered donning my doorstep with pumpkins or any festive decorations -- most certainly not a ghost. But my needs take a backseat to my little boys' needs, and I understand the childhood excitement and anticipation of Halloween. But my Halloween will never be a "happy" one. It will always be a reminder of the loss of all that once was and all that could have been.