Yesterday marked five months since I got the phone call from my mother. We lost my brother on Sunday, September 22nd, 2019. 40 years and 5 days after he came into this world.
We buried Jonny’s ashes on October 5th with great love and support from a community of friends and family. It was really wonderful to see so many attend his service and to honor the relationships that Jon built over his life. We saw friends of his from grade school through college. And friends that he made later in life, including a great group of his Masonic brothers from Colbert that came to provide services and honor him. I’m grateful for all that participated and I’m happy that we laid him to rest in that way, on that day.
Weddings and funerals are such a blur of emotion and relationships. I loved seeing so many of my mother’s friends at Jon’s services. Even some relationships that carry back to my father. Those are friends that hold old memories and bring big smiles from our youth. It’s striking that we had so many of our extended family together, some that probably hadn’t been in the same room in far too many years. I also loved seeing so many of my friends, spanning from grade school to business school. It’s comforting to feel that support from this community and yet painful that we don’t have more time to share. I suppose it takes a wedding or a funeral but I certainly wish that we all had more cause to be surrounded by our loved ones more frequently. And to spend time in a deeper way that allows us to share those memories and those feelings that brought us all together for Jon. Thank you all for being a part of our larger family and supporting us as we began to process and grieve for Jonny.
Five months later and it’s only begun to sink in and feel very real. I think of him often even though he wasn’t a fixture in my daily life for the last many years. We lived apart and were on different life trajectories but had the history of youth together. His passing has prompted me to talk more about Jonny with my own family and to tell funny stories (there are plenty of them) from when we were young. It’s nice to be able to smile at those memories.
I certainly missed him this week when our mom pulled a very humorous stunt. We both would have worried about her together while also laughing at her misadventure. It was the first time that I’ve missed him in a happy way, able to acknowledge that he’s gone but still very much with us as we go through life. I hope that his extended community feels the same way.