My Brotha From The Same Motha

01 Jul

Last night, the world lost an amazing human being, and I lost my older brother, Jon.

A few things have occurred to me here:

1.) I don’t think I’ve ever really felt pain before. I mean sure, I’ve lost people, I’ve been dumped, I’ve eaten the last of the microwave popcorn and forgotten to get more… But this. This is something completely different. There is an actual physical pain in my heart that I’ve never experienced before. It’s like Jon died and left behind a tiny little man kicking the shit out of my heart, Bruce Lee-style. When they coined the term ‘brokenhearted’, I guess I know now what they really meant.

2.) The mind is an amazing thing. Memories I thought had long faded are suddenly back. Listening to 8-track tapes in my parents’ room and pretending to be The Chipmunks (He was Alvin. I was Theodore. There was no third chipmunk. We were enough.); The time he slashed his leg open pretending to be Freddy Krueger. Our family road trip out west when he ordered the Short Stack of pancakes at every single restaurant we stopped at along the way. Listening to Casey Kasem’s Top 40 together, and waiting for Van Halen’s ‘Jump!’ to be number one again for the 12th week in a row. Listening to Pointer Sisters records in the basement. Jon introducing me to the scary German music that is Rammstein. Jon’s karaoke version of ‘Big Balls’, and subsequent drunken fall off the stage at my other brother’s wedding. Watching ‘The Breakfast Club’ so much we could recite every single word. It’s either a cruel joke or an incredible blessing the things you remember when someone’s gone. I haven’t yet decided which.

3.) I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how to NOT have three older brothers. I don’t know how NOT to have holidays that include Jon piling enough food on his plate to feed a small country. I don’t know how NOT to call him to fix my laptop because I’m horrible with computers. I don’t know how to NOT to say “Awwwww Jon!” in unison with my two other brothers when Jon rips one at family gatherings. (We’re a gassy bunch.) Nothing will be the same. Ever. I know people say change is good, but frankly, this change, for lack of a better term, sucks.

4.) I’m pissed. Royally. Pissed that there are people who are allowed to live long, healthy, full lives, who are far less deserving than Jon. He was genuine, he had an amazing soul, and one of the greatest hearts of anyone I know. The fact that he never had the chance to fall in love, get married, have kids, and grow old just pisses me off. There’s supposed to be a reason for everything, but for the life of me, I can’t understand why my incredible, smart, and big-hearted brother was taken at just 40 years old.

But in the end, as angry, as confused, and as overwhelmed with sadness as I am, nothing will change the fact that he’s gone. I have no choice but to go on thinking the world and this life are simultaneously incredible and tragic, to be thankful for every single moment, and to pay far more attention to things I overlook most days- The greenness of the grass; The taste of Friday night margaritas; Sitting on the couch after a long day at work; Riding my bike down a deserted trail; How good it feels to drive down a country road with the window down and the music blasting. Because these are all everyday miracles. I don’t think a single day will go by for the rest of my life that I won’t think about and miss my big brother. And I hope I don’t. Because he deserves to be remembered.

Love you always, J.A.



Posted by on July 1, 2014 in Cancer, Life


Tags: , , , ,

13 responses to “My Brotha From The Same Motha

  1. Phil Taylor

    July 2, 2014 at 12:57 am

    I’m sorry for your loss. Jon sounds like the best big brother ever.

    Liked by 1 person

    • paulasg75

      July 2, 2014 at 5:54 pm

      He was. Who else would’ve taught me that boy bands suck? He was wise.


  2. La La

    July 2, 2014 at 1:17 am

    Dude. This was a beautiful, incredibly difficult piece to read (as I’m sure it is to be feeling). You’re a great writer, and if I’m feeling it correctly having been through something similar but not the same, you’re a very strong person as well. Xoxo, buddy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • paulasg75

      July 2, 2014 at 5:55 pm

      It was actually pretty therapeutic to write this. Now there’s a permanent record of Jon’s awesomeness. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. egayle

    July 2, 2014 at 5:18 am

    Paula Sue…

    I wish I was as articulate as you.  I just don’t have the words to express fully how sad I am that Jon’s gone.  As you know, your mother is my very best friend and has been for 34 years.  As well, I have had you and your brothers in my life for the same amount of time.  You are “family” to me and you all are like my children, too. 

    You’re right, Jon was special.  He would do anything for everyone – all you needed to was ask.  And, you’re right about Jon being smart … he completed his schooling with honors which is not an easy thing to do.  There are too many “special” things about Jon to list here.

    I will miss Jon for so many reasons.  I know that he will no longer be hurting and for that I’m grateful.  And, I know that he is now with your father – both of them looking down and acting as guardian angels for you and your whole family.

    May God bless Jon and your whole family.

    Love you all, Gayle

    Liked by 1 person

    • paulasg75

      July 2, 2014 at 5:56 pm

      He was awesome. There will never, ever be another person on Earth like Jon. I mean, who cuts the sleeves off perfectly good t-shirts? Only Jon.


  4. Teresa

    July 2, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    That was a perfect & heartbreaking snapshot of your moment of grief. I’m so sorry for your loss. Much love is being sent your way, but nothing can replace the love of your brother.

    It might seem a bit cheesy but I always use the children’s book, “The Invisible String” with loss in my practice. Think of an invisible string that links his heart to yours. Each time your heart tugs it’s him missing you, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • paulasg75

      July 2, 2014 at 5:57 pm

      Damn it, this just made me cry again when I thought I was all done. Thank you for this.


  5. Donna 'Wierzbicki

    July 2, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    i love you Paula. If I could do any one thing to erase even a tiny amount of your pain I would.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kev

    July 4, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Sorry for your loss. Sorry for your pain. Cherish those memories. They will keep you strong.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. longchaps2

    July 8, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    There is no pain like losing a family member. I’m deeply sorry for your loss Paula. There is no justice in this world. I never had a brother, only sisters. You were blessed in so many ways. The only consolation I can give you is that the pain fades a bit with time, but the memories will stay bright in your heart. Beautiful post to your brothers memory.

    Liked by 1 person

    • paulasg75

      July 24, 2014 at 11:25 am

      Thank you. Haven’t been doing much blogging lately, so sorry for the late response. But thank you for this. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person


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