When my brother died, I wanted to die too. A little over a month ago, my confidant and best friend left the earthly plane. There were things I told Miles that I never told anyone else. In the first week of May, when he came to Florida with me, we spent a lot of quality time together. Time in which I saw, quite vividly, the sorrow he kept hidden. I could sense something had changed, but I didn’t know how to approach it. I held him while he wept.
In the car, when I told him my secrets, he said, “I have faith that you’ll know what to do. I have faith you’ll get through it.”
We hated each other when we were kids, but it was a misdirected anger. An anger that stemmed from elsewhere, from running through the woods, from leaving home. From missing the presence of our father. Although I tried to protect Miles when we were little, I couldn’t. So much darkness around us. It threatened to swallow us whole.
Miles and I were both angry children. I broke things. Miles tried to break me. He hurt me physically, and mentally, but I think we had an understanding. Somewhere deep inside us both, we each believed we deserved it.
From a young age, he was keeping my secrets. And when he became a martial artist, focused on the techniques of self-defense, I discovered he wanted to protect me. When we were in high school together at Tinicum Art & Science in Ottsville, PA, Miles would attack me in between classes. He held me in a choke hold and said, “If you don’t learn how to protect yourself, someone’s going to kill you.”
The teachers laughed at our interactions. “Ah, those Holden kids!” they said.
Once, when a man was interested in me, Miles twirled his knife in his hand and promised that if anyone hurt me, he would make sure they paid for it.
Miles had faith in me, and was proud of me. He worried about me, and I worried about him. He is, and always will be, my little brother– the best little brother.
This past February, I blogged about the grief I felt over losing my father. That grief remains. I have lost friends, as well as family, and everything seems overwhelming at times. I take comfort in the memories of my father. But right now, I am not feeling comfort from any source. I feel as if a huge part of me died with my brother.
One day at a time. It’s the best I can do.