My step brother went missing May 17th. Then on Friday this week a body was found in the river and they matched his tattoos, but have yet to confirm with dental records. It took till today to match his dental records. We knew something was wrong because the police had confirmed he had not accessed the funds in his account since he got his support payments. Plus he has not contacted us at all or walked into a hospital. Very unusual behavior for him. But had to wait for official confirmation for closure so we could properly grieve without that sliver of hope that slips in making you wonder... maybe it isn't him. But it was.
I have never lost anyone in my immediate family and the grief is almost a tangible thing. My mind keeps going to the day he must have died. How he died in particular. He was found in a river which meant he drowned. When we were younger he always used to tell people how I saved him from drowning twice. Once at a waterpark when we both went down a slide with a large drop and deep water and he didn't pop up like he should. And the second time at a lake that has shallow water for a long distance then abruptly goes deep; he was following me and my older brother, even though we warned him not to, then he was just gone and I pulled him up and into the shallow water. In neither case do I believe he was in risk of drowning really, but he used to tell people that. But I was not there this time.
It also travels back to when we were just kids together and that at least is a happier time. Almost everything triggers a moment. Every quiet moment I find myself thinking about him. Every song in my playlist reminds me of a time.
Here are some pictures I took of my brother when he was young and I was in a Visual Communications class in High School.
He was only 32 when he died. I know that I should think that at least his struggles are over. That he will no longer be haunted by his delusions. But it is so little time. So little time.
From the moment we learned of his death, if it is in fact him they found, I have been ill. Grief and stress do not work well with chronic illness I have discovered. Having never gone through this process to this extent it caught me off guard how quickly it affected me. Constant migraines, increase in vertigo instantly, IBS flare up, troubles sleeping and eating. Literally sick with grief.