12% BEER
December 13, 2003

After Alex died, I mean, to be more specific, the moment after I saw his heart stop beating, I had this incredible sense that everything was all right, no matter how much sadness and numbness I was experiencing at the sametime. Walking back to the family waiting room as they unhooked his soul container from the machines, I gulped for air in between the knee shaking sobs. I remember looking at Doobird and the expression of just shocked reality sitting on her face. Pops sat in a chair in the corner, head fallen to his chest a bit, hands resting on his knees, his eyebrows somewhat askew, kind of the same expression he gets when he reads a grocery list and doesn't know what exactly is meant by a particular item. The quiet was not overwhelming, but had a peaceful intensity to it that was broken by sighs and sniffles.

We had lost Alex. He was gone. It was for real this time, not some scenario played in the mind as a sort of buffer or preperation for the actual moment. This was the actual moment.

Going back into the room after the nurses had removed the venitlator, the dialysis machine, the IVs, I remember looking at Alex's body and not really recognizing him. It wasn't Alex. A combination of heart-stabbing pains and comfort came with that realization.

It was hard leaving the hospital. This place that had housed so many moments of purity for me, a place that now housed my brother's body, walking out of it and away. I felt like I was abandoning him. I looked up at the hospital room window where we had been only an hour before, the light was still on. I couldn't imagine what was going on in there now. I really just could not actually imagine. My brain was tired.

This was all a year ago. In the months between 5:37PM that day and now, I often wondered what I would be feeling right now. Would this day be filled with incredible emotions, revelations, secret treasures of the heart revealed?

Surprisingly, no. The only pain I feel is from a rug burn I have on my knee after pretending to be a dog for an hour or so a week ago. (Actors, sigh.) I looked at photos of him today, touched a hand print he left behind, sent him kisses and hugs, called most of the family to send them my love. But all in all, December 13, 2003 was not what I had built it up to be in my mind.

I think it's because I'm feeling like Alex is okay. My intuition feels like everything is all right with him, and although I don't have any proof of this being fact, I can't shake the feeling that I don't need to be worried about him.

And knowing this makes me feel okay, too.

I miss you Alex. I know you're okay. I love you.

Thank you so much little bro.

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Copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 L.Leroy