I went to a wine tasting a few nights ago with Million Dollar Brother and for a hot second, Big Bubby came up. I know that Million Dollar Brother doesn’t like to talk about his brother and I try really hard not to bring Big Bubby up when the kids are around. Sometimes, there is no getting around it when certain questions are asked. So I tried to answer as quickly as possible and move on to a different subject so that Million Dollar Brother wasn’t uncomfortable for long.

Looking at social media lately, there have been a lot of triggers, sucker punches (that I knew someday would come), unexpected tears falling, all while trying to keep up my “OK” face. Trying hard to show unending support for the great things that are happening, all the while knowing there is a breakdown coming because of it all. I am always aware of the breakdown. No one really knows when one comes and goes now except for me. I try hard to keep them private and personal. If I should happen to start to have one, I try desperately to stop it until I can find a quiet place for a bit.

I didn’t ask for any of this, none of us did. We were all happy and healthy one day and the next, it was all gone. A split second and our world changed forever. The life that we all took for granted dissipated like an atomic bomb had hit the house. Survival is what I do now. I try to survive and be happy for those around me. Some days are days I can accomplish this without any trouble, others it is a true blessing to just get in my car at the end of the day and go home to an empty house where I can take a breath and remember its OK to not be OK all the time.

The ten year challenge – everyone has seen this on Facebook recently. I didn’t do it but if I would have, I wouldn’t have posted pictures. Mine would have been a story. All about a family who had been whole ten years ago, living the American dream, loving each other, and taking every minute of life for granted. Then fast forward ten years and we are here, a family torn apart by the worst imaginable thing that could happen to them, no longer steady on their feet, no longer able to say what their place is in the world. Some of us, the ten year challenge brought tears of sadness for what no longer is but also tears of remembrance for what we have lost but treasure dearly.

All of the above? I didn’t ask for this life. When I see where people have said your strong, your brave, they couldn’t do it, I think to myself that was me four years ago, before the accident. I would say I couldn’t do what these parents are doing. Then here I am, didn’t ask to be put here but I was, and I have no choice but to survive now. To be honest, I want to go back to the way it was, before our loss. Something that we can’t do. Only God knows why as I have said before, but OMG the pain that comes with every sting, the heartache that I feel every time social media cries out “Big Bubby is gone”, every new adventure the family takes that I know he would love, breaks my heart over again and again.

So when you are put with a family that has had the unimaginable happen to them, remember, they didn’t ask to be there. They didn’t ask for this life. And they sure didn’t ask to lose their version of “Big Bubby”. Remember to be there for them in the years to come because in the beginning they are in a fog of grief that will fade in time and the real grief journey begins. That is when families need their extended family and friends to get them through those dark hours of when life brutally reminds them their child is gone.


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