Death of a Sibling

The death of my brother (Aaron Thaler) was devastating.

I was a few weeks shy of 3 years old when Aaron was born, so he was a part of my life for as long as I can remember.

My father was in the Army and we grew up overseas.  I didn’t really get to know my extended family until I was a teenager and I never had the same friend for more than a couple of years.

That made my relationship with Aaron even more special.  He was that one person I was able to play with and fight with, all throughout my childhood years.  He was my only consistent friend.

We had our ups and downs together.  Many battles were fought and a lot of blood was spilt.  However, no grudges were held.  After a few days, we would laugh about the last fight as if it was all a game.

Aaron died suddenly and I spent the first month in a state of shock.  Eventually the reality hit me and I went into a deep state of depression.

It’s been five years since Aaron passed, but I will always miss my brother.

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The Black Hole of Death

Today is Aaron’s birthday.  It should be spent having fun, singing, and laughing.  However, Aaron died three years ago.  There will be no signing or laughing today.

When Aaron died, I lost my brother, Gwen lost her father, and Mom lost her son.  His death created a black hole in our family.  This black hole creates a suction that drags feelings of joy and happiness into it’s abyss.  It only leaves feelings of despair and grief.

Our family will never be the same without Aaron.  His death will impact all of us for the rest of our lives.  I just wish we could somehow banish the black hole from our mist.  That we could learn to laugh and sing again.

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Hiking Down Memory Lane

As teenagers, my brother and I spent a lot of time playing in the woods.  We went hiking, fishing, and swimming in the creek.

We also built a makeshift fort and took some of my mom’s old lawn furniture down there.  Mom never did figure out what happened to her chairs.

We spray-painted graffiti under the bridge.  We wrote our names, the names of our dogs, and noted each year we were there.

Basically, the two of us ran wild through those woods and we were having a blast.

That was 26 years ago.  Aaron passed away three years ago and his birthday is on Monday.  I decided to take his daughter (Gwen) out there.  She heard various stories over the years, but never got a chance to see the area.  It seemed like a good way to honor Aaron’s memory.

I was surprised to see a lot of our graffiti is still there.  Each step I took, felt like I was going back in time.  Even though the terrain has changed some over the years, I could still recognize different sections and areas.  I still remembered my way around those woods.

Memories of those days flooded my mind.  It was a surreal feeling.  I could almost see us and our dogs running wild.  I was excited to see it all again.  However, I felt the grief of my brother’s death.

I was hiking down memory lane and my heart was overflowing with mixed emotions.

 

Day Spent Honoring Aaron Thaler

We spent the day honoring my brother.  We told stories and laughed, but we also cried.

Mom and I went to the Huntsville Botanical Garden to see the tree that I sponsored in memory of Aaron.  I presented the sponsorship information to Mom last Christmas, because I  wanted her to know Aaron will never be forgotten and his life made a difference in this world.

Then Mom, Gwen, and I went to the cemetery to put fresh flowers on the grave.  It was hard standing there looking at his headstone.  We all miss Aaron so much and there will always be an empty place in our lives.