This buckled road at the corner of 9th Avenue and 7th Street SW shown here in Rochester, MN (near the Mayo Hospital and Clinic-St. Mary’s Campus) was taken the day after my 47 year old brother’s death May 22, 2015. It symbolizes the beginning of a healing process for me and my family. I thought this was going to be the biggest hurt of the year honestly and the summer would be a summer to start healing the grief of a wonderful young son, father, husband, brother, and friend to many. That is not the case. The death of my sister-in-law at the age of 48 due to leukemia two weeks ago has added a blow to living with grief and loss to our family restarted the cycle and process of healing. Namaste While summer has brought some healing and growth, the added loss has been tagged onto the road to recovery. The initial anger resurfaces like a lightening bolt and start to process living with the loss of yet another significant family member’s death. A beautiful and warm-hearted young daughter, mother, grandmother, wife, sister, and friend to many was lost too early.
The wheel of grief resurfaces. And so today is filled with sadness in my eyes and heart thinking of moments lost for today and the future. Lost daily routine activities, phone calls, hugs, smiles from grandkids being picked up from school, and soccer games unattended will be a part of the future for my two older brother’s families forever. There is a new normal of living without a loved one present on earth that is painful and very different from before. The milestones in life like graduations, weddings, birthday celebrations, and holidays are going to be very different than envisioned just one year ago. While I cannot control the future, I can be there to support the family, listen, hear, hug, and remind those younger of the beauty Greg Romenesko and Nancy Lee Romenesko brought to the world and their legacy.
As I try to stay focused on my nuclear family and the tasks of moving forward: from taking care of essential needs, soccer games, music practice, homework, grocery shopping, taking care of my garden to unplanned family fun time, the impact of death on these two families is a constant thought. The pervasive thoughts of survival guilt returned very quickly. I have a spouse to return home and talk, hug, smile, laugh, cry, and share a bed at night. In my brain, my thoughts are wrapped around living life to the fullest, but equally competing with those thoughts is guilt. Life is uncertain and may change at a moments notice. In time I will learn to cope and move forward, to live life to the fullest, and to be 100% present again. In the meantime, patience, self care, and mindfulness will be a focus and truly grateful for my compassionate and empathetic family for their support and comfort along this journey.