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12 Years 12 Reasons to love, cry, be angry, be sad and learn

The anniversary of my sister's death was the other day, March 16, 2008, so this is a more detailed version of the post I made. Instagram only lets you post so many words so I thought I would blog about what I wrote to go into more detail.

Every year on her death, I post my sentiments, thoughts and feelings about her, I cry, I think and then I go to her grave, by myself and listen to Dave Matthews- Grace is Gone and Dave Matthews- Sister. I listen to the words, really listen. I don't care how many times I've listened to the songs, I really think, absorb and swim in the lyrics. Below are some of the lyrics that really hit me. That dig into my flesh. (side note, Dave Matthews also lost his sister).

From Grace is Gone-

*Take my heart, take my eyes

'cause I'll need them no more

If never again they'll fall upon

the one I so adore.

*She broke my heart

My grace is gone

Another drink and I'll move on

From Sister-

*Pass the time with you in mind

It's a rather quiet night

Feel the ground against my back

Counting stars against the black

Thinking about another day

Wishing I was far away

*Sister, I hear you laugh

My heart fills full up

keep me please

Sister, when you cry

I feel your tears running down my face

Sister, sister keep me

And most recently I will listen to Kenny Chesney- Who you'd be today and there is one set of lyrics that really get to me pulling tears from the depths of my deep deep raw soul.

*Would you see the world, would you chase your dreams

settle down with a family

I wonder what would you NAME YOUR BABIES

Every time, tears, sadness and wonder. The pain that especially those three words produce hurts. DEEP.

It has been 12 years so for her post this year I decided to do 12 words that I associate with my sister. What I feel, what I've learned from her.

12- Love. Permanent. Forever. You may be gone but love remains. A deeper understanding of the word. A feeling. An action. Love is what is left, is powerful but not always loud. It quietly lives while anger rages, tears flood. It remains, it empowers, it warms, it is real, it is life.

11-Connection. Human connection. Deep as bones. Important. Surface breaking. Past flesh into marrow. When we connect, we feel heard, seen, loved, lighter. We thrive, we learn, we understand. When we connect, we are human.

10- Understanding. Trying to figure out why we are the way we are. Your story, the story of all. We are more than what others see. We all have scars. We all bruise, we all have broken parts. So lets understand one another. Lets understand that sometimes our faults are a result of deeper issues.

9-Compassion. Simple and deep. Understanding suffering and wrapping arms around it safely and kindly. Step into someones shoes, feel them, understand them and learn how to help them, love them, know them. Be kind, be loving, be gentle. The Dalai Lama says "Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive."

8-Suffering. Respecting it. Nurturing it. Solving it with kindness. We all suffer. We all see dark, it's what makes us or helps us appreciate the light. We will all experience suffering in our life, all of us.

7-Mental health. Researching, learning. Giving it a meaning, It is real, it is REAL. Once you understand mental health, you know its real and you know that people are suffering with their mind, it helps us better understand the world, mental health is everywhere.

6-Humility. Not one of us is more important than the other. NOT ONE OF US.

5-Grace. Living through life, through obstacles and pain. Head held high.

4-Death. Inevitable. Unapologetic. Appreciate the seconds, minutes, days and moments. We never know when it's going to happen so live in every moment. As much as you can.

3-Strength. Lies behind eyes and smiles. Lives within broken parts and shattered hearts. Strength lies in all of us. All of us facing our own battles to fight.

2-Lessons. We can learn from anyone. Listen, listen, listen. To be better.

1-You. BrIttany. You. Everything I've learned. Everything I strive to be. What you've taught us. What you've left behind. What I remember every day. You. Thank you.

I think that the most important thing that we can all take away from this is to appreciate, really appreciate our loved ones. To not take them for granted. Life gets in the way, it takes us away from what is important but always try to fight it. Fight the stress, the money, the heartache and the pain and seek what is really important. If your loved ones are suffering, truly try to understand them and know them. Learn about their suffering. Fight for them, fight with them. Life is not promised, swim in every breath.


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