It's been nearly four months since I lost my brother. While it's true I am having more good days then bad, there are still so many times when I feel the breath leave my body and I feel so very heavy.
Over that time, I, of course, have done a lot of thinking. You know, when something so quick and tragic happens, we inherently look for answers. Why? Why do we want to know every detail? It's as if we're searching for something. Initially, we want to appease our mind that our loved one did not suffer. We want to know that the pain was quick and decisive, if felt at all. We want to know our loved one had no time to realize the end was upon him. We need to know this.
But ultimately, we are searching. Somewhere in the back our minds, we our searching for a solution. We're problem solvers. We see a problem, we encounter a problem, and we look for ways to resolve that problem. So in our minds, the more information we gather, the more likely we can find a way to resolve it.
We categorize this information in ways that allow us to build a world of "what-ifs." What if he'd worn his seatbelt? What if the top of the Jeep didn't cave him? What if he'd just been thrown from the window before he broke his neck? Then would he be here? Would he be alive? Why did he have to break his neck? Why!
What if the night my mother called, she was telling me he was in the hospital? What if he was in ICU? How different would things be? He'd still be here. And he would've had a chance to fight.
We pull all of this information together in an attempt to create a new outcome. One we can accept. One that doesn't leave us fighting to make it through the day in such anguish. We search for ways to make fact become fiction. To make truths become untruths. We want to rewrite history in such a way that we ache with the need to make things different.
But for as hard and as long as I search for a solution, there is none. No amount of rewriting things in my mind will bring about the change I seek. I can no more change the past than I can predict with accuracy what the future holds. And all the scenarios in my head. All the conversations I am having with him will not make them real. There is no reality by which my brother will be here on this Earth. There is no reality in which I will spend another holiday in his presence or hear his voice on the other end of the line.
And even though I know all of that to be true, it doesn't stop me from searching. It doesn't change the war waging within me. The war to find a way to bridge the gap between reality and fiction. To make what I know will always be truth into fiction. To change and rewrite a segment of time. I continue this fight with such veracity. And even though I know its a war I cannot possibly win, I still find some solace in the altered outcomes and conversations my mind continues to weave.