A Brother’s Observations

Note from BHD’s twin brother (I go by “J”): I have hijacked my brother’s blog again, so while he said that “my regular postings” will resume tomorrow, I have changed that.


When you called me from the hospital just a few moments after Aunt Lee died, you sounded stoic, but just about to lose it. I listened to you say, “don’t fly back; it’ll cost too much; Lee’s sons will be here; my partner is here with me; our other siblings who live around here will be here; I’ll be alright.”

Bull, brother. I know you. I could feel your heart breaking all the way in Paris, where I work and live.

I got on the very next flight that I could, and with weather delays and whatnot, I didn’t get to your house until midnight on Friday night.

Why were you shocked to see me? I am your brother, your TWIN brother. I love you. You lost someone who you cared for so very deeply, the least I could do was be by your side.

After you regained your composure from finding me at your door, and gave your partner some resuscitation (he was as surprised as you were), we rested. Then I watched you through the weekend, and here is what I observed:

* Your partner loves you so much. He was so tender, thoughtful, and caring in all matters and in all ways in what he does for you. He has the best ability to listen and to act, without even speaking a word. He can read you better than I can. He effortlessly guided you as you made arrangements for Lee’s party, knowing how forgetful you get sometimes. He was right there, reading your mind, and executing your thoughts. Gosh, I wish my wife and I achieve that deep level of understanding each other.

You continue to say, “I’m alright, I’m alright,” but you are not alright. You are grieving. Understandably so. You say, “she died quickly, without pain or suffering, and she was able to stay in her own home for so long with such a great quality of life.” Yes, that’s true, but you watched her die. That hurt. It had to hurt. But what I observed about how you were able to talk about her last moments is seeing your faith. You have deep faith that you called to strengthen you while you told Lee’s sons that their mother’s death was dignified and peaceful. You can attest to that, as you witnessed it. Your faith is deep, personal, and abiding. I respect it very much.

* You are strong and you held others up, but this is a big deal for you, so you need to let us help you and surround you with the love and support you need. Our helping you helps us.

* Your senior citizen friends love you. Their appearance at that thank-you party to hug you and to sing for us was absolutely amazing. But you expected that. What you didn’t expect was one of your friends showing up this morning on a ruse that she needed your help getting heavy groceries. Without batting an eye, you ran off to help — then found a whole troupe of singers right at the store, assembled to sing “Amazing Grace” to you. Oh gosh how you cried (I knew this was going to happen, bro’), but how much you loved it. They love you and demonstrated that by their public display of affection. (So don’t go bad-mouthing PDAs any more LOL!)

* You are seeking a way to fill a big hole in your life. Take time: listen, look, and feel. You will find your calling again. It will not be the same. It will not be as deep. But it will fit the character of the brother I love.

Thank you for all you have done, and who you are — as a man, as a brother, as a nephew, and as a caregiver. I am so very happy you brought me over to see Aunt Lee when I came home for Christmas. We had such a great visit, thanks to you. You truly have no idea just how much we love you, and are here to support you. You will have your tough days dealing with this… remember, I’m right here, in your heart.

I am sorry that I have to leave in the morning. Know that when I say that “I am there for you,” I always am. Always. Hell, I am your TWIN brother, and I cherish the man who is the best half of that egg that split.

Luv ‘ya, big guy. Hang tough, but grieve for our beloved Aunt Lee. She was quite a woman, and you are quite a man.

PS: I hope you don’t revoke my keys to your kingdom (that is, the access to this blog), since I wrote it after you went to bed on Sunday night so you will find it in the morning, then rearranged your other pre-written posts to appear a day later each.

1 thought on “A Brother’s Observations

  1. Seldom do words escape me. Let's just say that I have the world's best brother.

    J, thanks for being one of the two pillars by my side this weekend, with my partner being the other. You held me up and you always have.

    Sempre e ore, ti amo.

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