Monday, October 6, 2014

Remembering Marcus

There is an African Proverb that says “You are not truly dead until there is no one left who remembers you.”

For the past few days I have been silently grieving and missing my baby brother Marcus who died 11 years ago. I have tried my hardest to avoid and/or dodge the feelings of grief by attending live music shows, eating out with friends and even watching hours of black classic (and black exploitation) films. I have done just about everything I could do to forget the pain of my loss. But in the process I have also forgotten that I must honor his memory and our love.

His death was unexpected and was very tragic. He died at our family home Thanksgiving Day 2003. This is my grandparents wedding anniversary and through the years it has been the MOST IMPORTANT holiday in my family. Ironically, the day that had been the most cherished day in my family tradition is now the day that holds the most painful memory in my life. It's the day my brother committed suicide.

Many people never knew I had a brother because I never talk about him anymore.  It's not because Marcus wasn't an extremely interesting person but because the memory of him brings back a pain that feels much too heavy to bear. So in many ways I have cut off the memory of him so that I can cut off and minimize the pain. For years I have tried to file the memory of him in the back of my mind and only allow myself to access those memories once a year...on his birthday.

One of my Facebook friends recently and unexpectedly loss her husband so she always writes posts about her deceased husband.  I know that his loss is very painful for her but I have noticed that the painful posts are gradually transforming into new posts with her recanting beautiful memories about their life together. I know that the pain is still there but I can see the presence of grace, peace, and healing through her words and posts.  She is teaching me how to grieve but also how to heal. I realize that most of the people that I know who talk about their past love ones seem to have a more balanced relationship with loss and are able to share beautiful memories about their deceased love ones. Therefore, I have decided to open my heart and talk more about the people that I love who have now transitioned from this life. Love never dies.

Yes, I have decided that I am going to talk and share more funny stories about my brother Marcus. I'm going to start sharing joyful memories about my brother... like the time he brought a young girlfriend to visit me and totally forgot her name. I can see him right now standing in the den with this young woman trying to impress her but totally drawing a blank on her name.  He simply looked at me to get him out of the awkward moment and he then looked back at the young woman flashing a great big grin with those beautiful deep dimples.  Somehow his smile, charm and a quick embrace made the young woman immediately forgive him forgetting her name.

One of my most cherish memories is how much he loved and talked about his little girl, Rachel. Marcus was crazy about his only child Rachel and called her a Daddy's girl. He always talked about how he wanted to do more for her because he wanted her to be happy. She was his heart and his 'spitting image'! My brother loved our family and he really loved me.  I know without a shadow of doubt that my brother thought the world of me.  He thought that I could do anything. I was Super Sister to the rescue. He confided in me and always said that he was proud of me. My brother loved me unconditionally.

My brother will not be forgotten because I will not allow the world to forget him. I am going to walk through the fullness of both the painful and joyful memories and share with the world the stories about MY BELOVED BROTHER.

Marcus Christopher I REMEMBER YOU! 



(Photo of Marcus and his daughter Rachel)


Jackie H. said...

Beautiful tribute...keep sharing

wendy said...

That was sweet , I miss and love him !!!!! ♡♥♡♥♡♥♡

Jeffery H. said...

Beautiful Tosha