Words fail me

Yesterday we laid my brother’s precious body in the earth. Words fail me. In the middle of the tears I have also been trying to focus on the positives of Jeremy’s life. (A task eased greatly by all the kind, gracious, and loving people who have come around us to share stories, or facebook “likes,” or their own mutual laughs and tears.) Yesterday as I was preparing for the funeral service I looked out my window at the tree outside my house. Almost all the trees on my block are now nearly empty of leaves, but this tree right outside my house held its leaves a bit longer. So nice. As I took a deliberate “positive” breath and smiled at this pretty tree a breeze picked up and leaves just poured off the branches. I thought, “Wow, that’s me right now — I’ve been hanging on, but now i’m just kind of weeping all over the ground.” I went outside and took a quick picture of the tree for some reason. The day passed and I didn’t get home until night. This morning I awoke to a nearly empty tree. Spent. This time as I took the photo I brushed away a tear. Again I took a deep positive breath. “Breathe.” This morning I stand looking at this near empty tree and I smile. I don’t know why. Yet I also want to curl up in the middle of my driveway, clad in my ratty pajamas, and just sob — neighbors be damned. The internal connection I have with the beauty, and bare, and the ugly, and the death, and the belief that eventually Spring will come again, runs through me today beyond what can be understood or express. Breathe. Today I am thankful for the tree outside my house.

~~ Joel Mains

One thought on “Words fail me

  1. Rosemary

    This is beautiful and heart-wrenching. I lost my brother when he was 30. Cry on the lawn if you need to and definitely keep writing about it if you feel inspired to do so. I am so, so sorry for your loss. To lose a brother is just terrible. The intersection of pain, shock and gratitude is too much to bear sometimes.

    I’ll pray for you. I am already praying for your family I should say. Soren Johnson is my brother-in-law and shared Jeremy’s story with me.


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