2014 is off to a rough start. On January 1st I lost one of my nephews, Stephen, to an as-yet undetermined cause. His death was not only a shock to the entire family, but it sort of dropped a big fat boulder over everyone's hearts and minds.
Steve was taking a shower when he started coughing blood; he collapsed and pass away en route to the hospital.
He was 28 years old.
Just got a big promotion at work.
He quite literally was just starting his life as an adult. Fucking tragic.
I can't say that I have ever been that close with my family, or anyone for that matter. I have usually been the loner (shocking, right?), and opening up has been hard for me. Usually, I just put that on my Dad, but recently I have been taking more control over my life and reaching out to people. As a result, I got to see Steve on Christmas day - something I haven't done probably since his mother died earlier this year. Oh yeah, did I mention you may want a Kleenex for this one? Yeah.
We never spent much time together and that makes me angry. Angry that I missed so much of his life, but probably more angry that I will miss even more of what it could have been.
Steve's funeral and services are this weekend, and I'm having a real hard time dealing with these past 3 weeks. Between my looming operation and Stephen dying, I feel like I'm losing my mind. Legitimately losing my weak grip on reality. Having never been a real solid sleeper, my stress level has kept me from trying to improve my rest, and I keep having dreams about my cancer and Steve, among other things too weird and bizarre even for this blog. Not just normal ones, those creepy lucid, half-sleep/half-awake, sweaty dreams that take you a good hour to shake.
I'm supposed to be working, supposed to be being strong for my family and my brothers, but today ... today is a tough sonnabitch. Friday is the first of the services and I don't know what to expect. This kid impacted all of our lives so deeply, and it's rare to find someone like that. Who's absence leaves that hard-to-fill chasm of regret and true, stinging loss.
Driving back from his fathers house today, I was finding it impossible to untangle my feelings. Was this anxiety and fear based around my surgery, or Steve's funeral? Am I emotional because I'm getting my will together in case my worst fear is realized and I die on the table, or is it because my OTHER worst fear has already been realized by my nephew - dying from some unknown genetic flaw? I can feel them both inside, tentacles of the Fear Beast wrapped up together, sucking the energy out of me. All I want to do is be with my family right now. All of them.
|Steve and I, with my Brother Pete, Sister-in-Law Keelie, Taren, and|
Steves wife Maggie on Christmas. Literally the best Christmas ever.
Even if it was only for 10 min.
I've heard this song at least 100 times, but today it made me think of Steve.