I wrote this shortly after Nate died. I thought 5 years later it was worth remembering how I felt. March 11 always smacks me in the face and I am right back to how I felt those first few days.
How do I express the depth of loss I feel? I don't know. I feel like a piece of me has died along with my brother. My brother, dead, how can that be? He was full of life- perhaps too full. He lived life to the extreme. I loved that about my brother. I hated that about my brother. He was never afraid to say his mind, to live out loud, to be adventurous. He was smart, yet made bad choices. He was so funny and had this contagious laughter-- I couldn't help but laugh along, even if it was something we shouldn't laugh at-- like the Chin (that's a joke between him and me) He was someone I always looked up, even when he was troubled. I couldn't help but look up to Nate. I couldn't help but love him. He knew me my whole life. He was there teaching me to swim, to ride a bike, to tumble. He helped me grow up in many ways, some ways were hard. I learned we can have the greatest families, and still choose drugs. I learned that sober Nate and not sober Nate were very different people. I learned to love him even when he wasn't himself. That to judge people is so very wrong, we just don't know where they're at in their journey. He was itching to have peace. He was always searching, not realizing that the God who loves him, wanted Nate to be at peace in Him. Nate did love Jesus. Nate always spoke of his relationship with Jesus. He was solid on that point. He just had an addiction-- to sin. Don't we all. Why does some sin kill? Why does some sin entice us to such depths? I don't know.
I sit and think of Nate. I think of how it seems like he was just here visiting me while I was pregnant. How thankful I am that I left a birthday party early to spend time with Nate. That was the last time I saw him. I will miss my big, spontaneous brother. I will miss his lanky hugs, his crooked smile, his insatiable laugh. I will even miss his teasing. I will love him forever, I will love him for always, as long as I'm living, my brother he'll be.
So much sorrow. How can I handle it? I don't know. I don't know.