There is something profound about being the only one left in one’s biological family of origin. Some years I think about it more than others, but this past week I have been very aware that nine years ago my brother and I spent our last day together. It was August 5, 2005 – three months and three days get LOST in the Montana Mountains and die of hypothermia before they found him. When I visit his family in Montana, he is not there where he is supposed to be. Instead, his hat hangs on the wall.
A good friend suggested I was more aware of it now that both of my parents are gone.
My pondering led me to be more acutely aware that while I am surrounded by my own family now and many nurturing friendships, no one alive knows me “when . . . .”
Rayna Vaught Godfrey, PhD, a licensed psychologist says:
“…there is a part of ourselves missing after the death of a sibling.
Such a death leaves a seemingly unfillable hole,
both within us and within our families.
This is magnified for those
who lose their ONLY SIBLING
and no longer have someone
who shares their histories
who can reminisce with them
and can validate their family narratives.”
Last night someone asked me how I felt about that.
I said mostly sad.
And grateful I had a lovely last day with my brother.
It feels important to honor this truth by sharing it here.
And inviting you to remember it with me by reading about the last day I spent with my brother, Gordon Eugene Longenecker. CLICK HERE