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An Open Letter To Alex
  Dear sweet Alex,

Wow. You've been dead for almost four months now. And every day I've thought about you.

Your obituary is haning in my bedroom right now. I've got pictures of you on the walls in the office area. Your hair that fell out during chemo still resides in my nightstand. I haven't had the ability or the want to open it to look at it. Hair's just dead cells anyway.


When I see pictures of you, it's weird to think that you don't exist any more. I found a picture of us from about 9 years ago. It was taken right before we went to Easter services. Our parents were still married, we're standing in front of some azalea bushes in full bloom. You're holding a small stuffed chicken. My hair is doing something weird in the photo. You look very cute and very young.

There are days that I have to remind myself that you're not here any more. I've wanted to pick up the phone to call you at home. To see how school is doing, how life as a 15 year old is going. See if you're excited about gettin to learn how to drive.

But then reality sets in and I realize that I now have a loss. A real loss that won't ever be replaced.

I miss you so very much.

Every time I look up at the night sky, no matter what star catches my eye, I always say a "Hey there dude" to you. The other night I just happened to look up and there was shooting star.

God, I hope that was you telling me that you're cool and all right.

I miss you so much.

There are times when your Mom calls that I can't bear to pick up the phone because I don't know what to say. There are times when I try my damndest not to think about you and how young you were and how unfair life is, but I usually end up letting myself wallow and I feel better afterwards.

I wonder what your Energy is up to. I wonder what has Happened to you. I'm so very curious, but scared to let myself dwell on it too much as I find myself unable to sleep when I do.

I miss you.

I love you.

I wish you weren't dead.

It's not fucking fair. I saw a group of kids your age outside playing soccer and I cried. How come they get to play and you don't? How come you had to go through all you did and not be one of those miracle stories that everyone hopes for?

I don't want you to worry about me. I know that you love me. I know that you're around me in some form.

I hope that you don't watch me have sex or sing stupid songs in the shower or be a complete dumbass with my Life.

I still have trouble trying to remember what your voice sounded like. It's weird talking about you in the past tense. I've been asked a couple times since you've passed about how many siblings I've had and it's difficult to answer.

I lost the arrowhead necklace I borrowed from your folks when you were in the hospital. I have no idea where it is and I feel guilty about it. I still have your baseball jersey, but I don't want to put it on sometimes because I don't want to disgrace it with my Human ways: drinking, smoking, Living.

Someone told me that I now have an angel looking over me. Part of me wants to believe it's true, but part of me knows that you've probably got better things to do than watch your oldest sister do stupid 25-year-old things with her life, what with your busy Omnipotent schedule and all.

I hope I'm not disappointing you with the way that I live. I hope that I'm making you proud with what I'm doing.

My hands got really numb the other night. It was the same sort of numb tingling feeling I had when my hands were on you and your soul passed through me. I know that's a really granola-head sort of thing to say, but it's something I have to cling to so that I know that you made it out OK.

I'll never forget that moment Alex. One hand on your chest. The other on your shoulder where your sweet arm met your young shoulder. I can't evern describe it with words, but I've never felt a sensation like that before. I hope to God that it was you that I was feeling in me at that moment.

And when I have a minimal glimpse of that feeling in my Present day life, it gives me some hope, some insight into the idea that you do still Exist. That you're still here with me in some sense.

I miss you so much. I wish you were still alive for selfish reasons; so I wouldn't have these moments of sadness, so I wouldn't have the times of pain and hurt in your absence.

But, at the samtime, I know that you had to go. You were in pain. You didn't need to be here in the state you were in. It was hard to see you leave, but also, it was an incredible relief.

Because it was final. There weren't any more questions or possibilities. It was final and definite.

For that, I have a bittersweet gratitude. Which is hard to type, but true to say.

Man, I really hope that you know how much I miss you and wish you were back here with me and the family.

Dad's voice is getting back to strong. Your Mom still seems tired and sad. Doobird's back on track school wise. Heather came and visited and the hugs between us seem closer than they've ever been.

Your name was taken off the answering machine at home. That's when it was final for me. No more messages left from the sister that was far away for you. I still have your name on my Instant Messenger with the Alarm status next to it.

It's been a long time since I've been alerted.

I still have your e-mail address on my contact list because it feels uncool to take it off.

Someday, perhaps. Not today, though.

Death happens to everyone, but I'm really upset that it happened to you.

I miss you.

I love you.

I wish you were here. For reals.

I know you know I love you. But I just wanted to tell you again.

Happy Easter, little brother.

I love you so much.



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