Today when I was leaving my work, one of the custodial ladies who hasn’t seen me since I switched to overnights began questioning me about all of the visible tattoos she could see. I had pushed the sleeves up on my sweatshirt since it was a beautiful day.

“What is this for?” She asked as she pointed to a key on my wrist that is a matching tattoo to my best friend.

“What about this one?” She asked pointing to the owl pictured above.

Self consciously I rubbed a hand over it. “It’s for my brother.”

“Oh your brother?”

“Yes. He passed in December.”

“How many years has he been gone?”

“It was this last December. Just a few months ago.”

She gave me a look of pity and horror at the subject. She began to apologize profusely. I told her it was alright. I didn’t mind.

I’m okay talking about my brother. As several people have told me, not everyone will know the situation and what happened. She obviously didn’t and felt horrible for bringing it up.

The wound is still very raw. It’s barely been two and a half months. Sure I’ll have days that I just want to curl into a ball and cry the day away. Mom, who lost a brother herself when she was around my age, told me some days will be much worse than others. Now that she’s lost a son it’s much harder to deal with.

I feel that talking about what an amazing asshole my brother was helps to keep him alive. I love talking about things that happened in our childhood and our conversations. Sure I miss him a lot everyday and I’ll always miss him. I mean I thought we’d have a lot more time to grow up together and annoy the hell out of one another into our 40’s and 50’s but that didn’t happen.

I will never mind talking and remembering him.