I’ve often heard, and I suppose I believed that the first Christmas (or other major holiday you may celebrate) without someone you love is the hardest, but now I’m not sure that’s true.
Last Christmas, it had been 6 months since Joey’s death, and I missed him so much, but I feel like I was still just in shock so much that I couldn’t quite come to terms with the reality. I had started walking and set my goal to run a 5k in 2013, and these goals were so important for me to keep moving and taking breaths every day, but in some ways they were also a much needed distraction at the time.
This Christmas, however, I have felt the absence of Joey much worse. The permanence of death has set in, and the least of things has moved me to tears. Read the rest of this entry
This is my brother. He is dead. I MISS HIM! I cry… a lot. 90% of the time it’s because I’m missing my brother, and the other 10% of the time, it’s because of something else that seems 100 times worse because I miss my brother.
I’m a positive person, and I’m doing everything I can to keep living my life and not let Joey’s death be the end of my story, so people say, “Look at how great you’re doing. You lost you’re brother, but you’re ok.” But I’m not ok. I’m not “over it.” I am working through it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I would give anything to have one more hour to talk to Joe about all the things that I’ve discovered about myself, about life, even about him. But that’s not going to happen, so I just have to keep moving, keep living, keep trying. Read the rest of this entry
I haven’t written anything in a few days because every time I sit down to write, I feel the complete and utter deficiency of words to express my feelings of loss or to adequately describe the magnitude of significance of the life lived by Joseph Carroll.
I write…I delete…I try again. And then I cry. Because you’re gone, because so many people will never know how special you were, and because I’ll never get another chance to tell you how much I admire you.
You lived your life to the fullest, never letting others hold you back and always pushing others forward to do the things they’d only dreamed. I want to be like you… only like me, and I think that’s all you’d want.
I got another tattoo on my arm, a rose to remember. I think you’d like it. It’s extremely conspicuous right there on the top of my right wrist where anyone who shakes my hand is bound to see it. It’s not on my neck, but to me, it says, “Never Betray.” It says, “Stop being afraid to stand out.” It says, “I’ll never be the same again.” It says, “Don’t wait to live until you die.”
When I heard the news that Joey was killed, it felt as if the bottom had fallen out of my sense of reality. My brain couldn’t cope with a world in which my brother wasn’t out there making stuff happen. It just didn’t make sense. I felt a profound sense of loss, but it was more loss of clarity than the loss of his presence at first.
Joe had been living in Austin for the last two years, and I had seen him rarely over that time, though we talked on the phone and texted a bit and kept up with one another on Facebook. He had been home to Nashville just a month before to celebrate my oldest son’s third birthday and visit with family and friends for a few days, and looking back I’m so grateful for those days, though I would have made that hug goodbye last a bit longer had I known it would be my final goodbye.
We didn’t really talk about anything important, mostly we just enjoyed one another’s presence, and I think I saw a look of approval and even pride as he surveyed my little family and the way we interacted. Read the rest of this entry