right now i am
a personal essay
right now i am sixteen years old, four years older than i was when phillip died.
i cried a lot when he died. that's one of the few things i remember. my old therapist, jane, said that i just blocked that time out of my mind. but i remember that i cried a lot, and i remember at his visitation when a piece of gum slipped out of my mouth when talking to a stranger who probably never even met phillip. i remember the way his face looked and if you looked close enough, you could see the hole in the side of his head. i remember seeing my aunt emily's face for the first time after she found out that her oldest son was dead. lastly, i remember each holiday following his death, my family thanked their god less and less during prayer.
i didn't cry because i missed phillip- we were never close- but i did love him, and i cried because for the first time in my life, i realized there was a sadness violent enough to kill.
now, i understand that feeling all too well. his younger brother, andrew, turned nineteen in february. as he blew out his birthday candles, it hit me now that andrew was older than phillip ever got to be. i have moments often in which i feel so close to him because i, too, have deeply wanted to die. it's the only thing we will ever have in common. he believed in the god my family prays to and went to college on a baseball scholarship. i am a communist. if the only thing we ever get to share is a killer sadness, i don't really mind. i'm getting used to living with it.