I think I'm going to be okay. It's a scary thought when, after years of being like this, you suddenly wake up and realise that all the guilt and hurt and hate you've held onto for the last three years is fading so quickly and somehow it's all going to work out. And be normal, whatever that is.
I want to say it's all because of me letting go but it's not. In fact, I know most of it is because of Meg. But a person can't hold onto the past forever, it just drags you down and only you can set yourself free from it so that I'm choosing to let go is... Well, as harsh as it is, it's not all her work. Some of it's me too, but she gave me the courage to face the truth. This year has had it's ups, downs, crashes and rises but it's all been progress. I've met wonderful people, kept the important ones from before, but it's all about growing up.
I'm twenty-five on Tuesday, Noah has been dead for three years and six days. (Officially, anyway. That was when his body was found-He did it away from home so there wouldn't be a chance Eve or I would find him.) I drove out to the spot where he killed himself and sat out on the rocks for his death-day anniversary. Wrote him a letter, said a prayer. I always do that. But I did something I'd never been able to do before and I guess it shows how it's finally easing. Not, you know, so I'll forget him because I never could but just enough so I can begin to function again.
I opened the last thing he ever gave me. For three years I've kept it in the cupboard beside some of his things, never opened it and ignored it for so long that I sometimes forgot I still had it. But I opened it. A video and CD, like I knew when he first put it under the tree and I laughed and poked it and said, 'Which band?' because he always gave me band bios or something. He just smiled sadly, shrugged and said I'd have to wait. So I waited, for years longer than he planned, and finally I found out.
It's a CD of our favourite songs and sountrack to our lives. Songs we played on road trips whenever we went, songs we sang at school, songs I played to him on my guitar on summer afternoons and he sung along to. Just ones that meant something to one or both of us. And then there was the video, by him and from him and to me. I opened it in the car when I was paying my respects and played the CD in the car on the way back. I got home after Meg was in bed and watched it then. He said he was sorry, that he had to do this, that he knew I'd never forgive him and he couldn't forgive himself for it either but he had to do it all the same. But he's wrong, I do forgive him. I still wish he hadn't and sure as fuck wish I could have stopped him but I know why he did. He had to, because he didn't see any other way. I found music and Eve could never actually go through with it but something in him made him brave (or weak enough) to take the leap and do it.
Sometimes I still want to hate him for it and other times I want to blame myself. But this year, I realised it wasn't my fault and what's done is done and the story isn't about him anymore. It's about the people left behind and how they cope. And while I broke down when it happened, and couldn't even bring myself to go inside the church where his funeral service was held and even was asked to see a psychologist because I was so bad, I knew deep down it was part of healing. I might have felt like I'd never be happy again, but I am. It's slow, but after a while I began to think of something he said or did when he was alive and I'd laugh instead of cry. After that, it began to be easier.
I'm going to be 25. I should have my brother by my side celebrating how he's the older (and therefore better) twin like he always did but I don't. At least, not physically. But he lingers in my mind, in spirit, maybe even as a ghost. But I know he's happy now and it's time I was too. I'm getting there.