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.
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.
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.