God is what you make of it. When I was young and impressionable, I chose to make much of god. When I was ~17, I chose to abandon god and all who would claim to know and walk with him. I have since learned to pity those who claim to be sheperds of men for any deity, and excuse the trespasses of those who would bother me with their beliefs. I felt that, for me, god had died a long time ago. Or, just to be pithy about it, god transended to a state where I no longer dwell on his existance, and he returns the favor.
I don't call myself an athiest because of the association; it's like calling yourself a trekkie. Some wear it as a badge of honor. I'm content to say that I enjoy watching Star Trek. Once a brotherhood of sorts has been established in a realm of belief, the members of the group can always find comfort in that brotherhood. My problem is that I reject the brotherhood out of hat - there's always an ideology to the group dynamic that always falls short of cold reality. Then the purists arive . . .
I'm writing today for no particular reason - I read some of the blogs my younger brother today wrote, and I wondered about what he felt when he wrote those words. They were words of encouragement and of the promise of god's love, but, as the chain of events played out, my brother was deaf to his own words. He took his life a month ago, and the act took everyone around him by surprise. He feigned an artistic interest in the darkness of man, while all the time feeding into and expressing his own. I'm not sure if he sought council with god, or whether or not the words of his blog were truly felt, or part of his shadow persona. I know that a little boy lost his mother when he was 10, and his life was turned upside down. Where he expressed joy, there was a hole that he was never able to fill. And as he gazed into the abyss, he turned his back on the world, and stepped within it.
Little brother, I wish I had gotten to know you. We spent so many years on the wrong foot, and I judged you as an adult for transgressions of your youth. I can not help but to see you as the litte boy who'd lost his mother so many years ago, whose mother killed herself trying to fill her void with alcohol. As I look back at the part of your life that I nedver saw, I see a boy who grew into a man, but could not overcome the sadness of that little boy who lost his mother. She was my mother, too, but the bond was stronger with you. You were still her baby.
I'm sorry that I couldn't be there more for you as you grew into a man so long ago. At your funeral, I heard your dad cheer you on in a game. I knew he gave you a love that you was hard to interpret from mom, clouded by the alcohol. I wasn't able to care for you then - I could barely care for myself - but I wish I was stronger then you you when you needed it. The rift grew between me and mom to the point that I had to leave that house. Our sister was away at college, and you were alone to watch our mother kill herself ever so slowly. For her sake, I am sorry for the pain she caused you. She held her own lonliness in her heart, and tried to bury the pain with a bottle, leaving only hurt behind.
I'm sorry that twice you gave your heart away, and twice it was thrown aside. But you surrounded yourself with love and those who loved you. I am sorry that the love you sought was not what you could find. I saw that you gave comfort to others in the words of god, but found no real comfort in them for yourself.
In your last words, I felt a pain that I knew in my youth, when I had contemplated suicide myself. I could feel the blackness around me. I remember how I kept my secret desire from everyone close to me. I remember how I rationalized the pain I would leave behind, as I began to push the people I loved from my heart. It was easier for me, I think. I was always guarded, and I always felt alone in my heart.
You were always able to make friends easily, but I have seen that your heart was very lonely. And that pain is so great that you can physically feel it. I believe that you felt that void was filled long ago, only to find it opened again. You were desperate to make that pain go away, and took the only way you thought you had left.
If I believed that there was a god that watches over us, I would thank him for the night that I met my wife. I am glad you were able to meet her; I wish you were able to see how big her heart was, and that maybe all you needed was someone to share their whole heart with you, and love you the way you needed to be loved. I would tell you that it is worth waiting for, and once you know what your heart really wants, not to settle for anything less. I read your words, and I cried because of the complete waste of a life that felt so much, and lived his life that he felt others percieved him.
I read your last words, and I felt that I knew you better than anyone, even though I had not seen you in years. Your pain was real because you made it real. It was deep because you kept it hidden. I wished I could have told you something - anything - that would make the pain go away. I know that there was nothing that could be done. Your mind had been made up; you would sit on the edge of the void and allow yourself to be swallowed whole.
But we are here. Yuu have left us behind with pain of our own, and questions that will never be answered. We can only console ourselves; we embrace each other with a longing for answers and an appreciation for the love that surrounds us. We will spend our days appreciating the love we have, and making sure that those around us feel the love we hold.
I just wish we could have done the same for you.
Goodbye, little brother. I love you and will forever miss you.