Sunday 25 Sep 2016

To Grieve
AJ Robinson

I have never truly known loss in my life. I've lost my grandparents, an aunt and uncle, my mom's cousin and some close friends. I've grieved their passing.

Yet, I can't say that any of them were truly an intimate part of my daily life. I never knew my mom's parents, as they lived in Italy. Though I loved my dad's parents, they weren't a very big part of my life, as they were elderly and we didn't exactly do much together.

The same with my aunt and uncle, and cousin; they were family. I loved them, There was not a deep emotional and mental connection between us.

There was with my brother Steve, which, I guess, is to be expected. After all, when it comes to family, there is no one we are closer than are siblings. Even, in our case, brothers that are essentially a generation apart.

It was with quite the surprise that I experienced my final moment of true grief over Steve. At least I hope it was the final one. I only know I don't want to feel such pain again until I lose another close family member.

I was home alone, my wife visiting family, and I happened to tune in to the movie "Furious 7." For those of you not familiar with the film, Paul Walker died, ironically, in a car crash while the movie was in production; the filmmakers made the decision not to kill his character off. They used various techniques to insert him into portions of the unfinished scenes and ended the movie with a lovely tribute.

The tribute got to me. He stood on a beach, playing with his son. It made me think of Steve, playing with his grandson. That's when the pain began.

Yet, this time, I did not push it away or try to suppress it. Instead, I felt ready to embrace it, to deal with it. I went online to YouTube and pulled up the video for "See You Again," the tribute song from the movie.

As the tribute song played, that's when it happened. My grief exploded rending my heart and soul. My brain was on fire, my skull crushing down on it. A clamp closed about my chest. Bones broken, flesh torn, organs crushed and I issued forth a banshee wail unlike anything I have ever heard. I was glad Jo Ann wasn't there to hear it. I truly would not have been surprised to see flames shoot from my mouth.

Later, when my mind cleared and my body calmed, I felt renewed, reborn. Now when I think of Steve, the pain has eased. I don't suppose it will ever disappear, but at least I can think of him, talk about him, recall all the wonderful times we shared and the memories we created. I can enjoy them.

It is a hard thing dealing with loss, but it is even harder to never get through it and be able to move on.

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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