It’s still a shock that my brother isn’t alive anymore. I speak about him with the present verb tense even as I talk about his death. We had made a reservation for him and his girlfriend to stay here at the co-housing community guest room this past weekend… when one of our neighbors asked if our guests had arrived, I had to really think about who we’d saved the room for… and then of course there it was…. it was for my brother, who is gone.
Two nights ago, his girlfriend posted this photo, taken on their last day out in the big world together. It came up in my news feed on facebook, and the natural color, his uncensored smile, the beauty of it was just so there, so alive, that it took my breath away. I had a moment of simple reaction, of thinking it was him, alive, real. Then the tears, the heavy reality.
Since coming home from Seattle where he died, I have consumed myself with knitting. The simple repetition, the feel of the yarn and needles, the attention to tension in my hands as they pass the yarn, these all combine to numb my thoughts. I’ve finished three hats in two weeks, and last night started a sweet little button-down vest for Shoghi.
The last time I knit so much was in 2007, during the end of my marriage to D. The day after we separated, I went with my best friend and bought some beautiful yarn — consolation yarn, I think we called it — and casted on for a sweater for myself, which actually I never finished. It’s kind of a double-edged sword, making things when you’re processing such sadness. But now that I’m in it again, I can see it for what it is for me: a buffer, a means for containing my emotions while they sort themselves out from within.
Maybe when I’m done this vest, I’ll actually finish up that sweater I started in ’07. It doesn’t really matter, I guess. I’m just keeping my hands busy while my mind reforms itself around this new and very sad part of my own life – without my little brother.