Sunday 15 November 2015

Dear Joe...

It has been a year since I’ve seen you and sadly I’ve had to face the reality that I won’t ever see you
again. I still can’t believe you’re gone and in a small way my heart won’t allow me to believe it.

My mind wanders to the days before you were sick, to the jokes, the funny faces, you teasing me with
My Best Friend
food in your mouth at the dinner table and the way you’d stare off into space pretending not to care about what I was saying. Even though it all annoyed me at times, and on rare occasions pissed me off, I’d give anything to have one more dinner with you, one more joke, one more funny face.

The Holidays and your Birthday came and went without you stealing my beer, pulling my hair or watching hockey with all the guys. I didn’t get to buy your Homer Simpson slippers like I do every year for Christmas and watch you shuffle around mom’s kitchen with them on.

To say I miss you cannot touch on the deep loss I feel within my heart from your absence. Oh, I know you’re happy up in heaven, and you’re not in pain anymore, but I’d rather have you here with me.

Joe & I
Death is a peculiar thing. You see, before you passed we experienced it with our Grandparents, and though sad it was bittersweet. They lived good lives. I miss them, but in a different way. My body and mind accepted that they were gone. I’d said my goodbyes to them both and was okay with it. But you were different. You were my brother, my friend, the one I joked around with…you were always there.

I didn’t want to say goodbye and if you remember, I didn’t. No one expected you to go so soon, well at least I didn’t. When you were sick, which was such a short time, I didn’t want to miss a minute with you and even though I’m sure I annoyed the hell out of you some days, playing all the songs you hated and singing them down the hospital hallways, all I wanted was to make you laugh, and most times I did.

Lori-Ann and I were at the hospital everyday…except one. I was even there on the last day. Do you remember? I held your hand and I told you I loved you and that I’d see you tomorrow like I did everyday before I left,
Skylar & Joe
but you shook your head and pointed up. You were telling me something I know it now, but I refused to believe it then. I didn’t want to let you go…and now you’re gone and I didn’t get the chance to tell you everything I wanted to.

So here goes…

You were a great brother. 
You were always there for me no matter what, even during those times I pushed you away. We had a fun, charismatic relationship where teasing each other became a game. You instigated food fights at family dinners and afterward dish-towel fights. Being with you was always a blast. 
I will never forget your presence at the hospital when my first son, Skylar was born. You were so proud to be his Godfather, and you formed a strong and unforgettable relationship with him and....I know Skylar misses you every day.

I know sometimes we didn’t agree, especially when it came to the women in your life, but you need to know I was always looking out for you. I only wanted the best things for you. I would’ve knocked someone out had they ever hurt you… and believe me, there may have been a few times I almost did.

I have regrets that we didn’t spend more time together, that I didn’t have you over more, that I didn’t come and pick you up and take you to more
The four of us...

hockey games, or have you spend more weekends at my house. I was selfish and I’m sorry. I guess the saying “you don’t miss something until it’s gone” rings true here…and I miss you so very much.

I see the signs you leave me and I know this may sound weird, but sometimes I swear I can feel you standing next to me. I know you’re there. I cannot explain it, nor do I care to, but I want to thank you. It’s those times I don’t feel so alone. You showed me what true faith was…and I will never forget that. I will always remember your strength; your courage, your smile through it all and your faint whisper telling me you were going home to Jesus in heaven.

It was tough watching you fade away, and even though my mouth said the words terminal, my heart
Mom & Dad with Joe
didn’t want to accept it. Now that you’re gone my mind gives small doses of the reality I’ve had to face, so my heart won’t break forever. I find it fascinating how that works. Some days it feels like you’re a phone call away while others I face the truth and know I’ll never hear your voice again.

You took a piece of mom and dad with you when you left, and I know they will never be the same…none of us will.

Jan. 23 1975 - Nov. 15 2014

Christmas is coming soon and unlike all the years before I won’t get your phone call asking if Lori-Ann, or I are having dinner. You loved to eat and you loved those family events. Your laughter, jokes, and demand for Budweiser in the fridge will be missed.
We will always save a seat at the dinner table for you with an unopened Budweiser, and no matter how much time goes by you will always be in our hearts, never forgotten, and always loved.

Today friends and family will remember you in their own special way...but, today I will drink a beer and know you're sitting right next to me.

I love you, Bro!



  1. Beautifully written, Kat. I'm sure your brother knows how you feel. I'll bet you were an amazing sister.

  2. Powerful writing can make me cry and that's what this did. Not only that, you touched on so many universal truths and emotions. I lost my sister far too young, suddenly, as well, and believe me, in the 12 years since she's been "gone", there are many signs that she, in some way, remains by our sides. So I know Joe is listening and he understands completely.

    1. Thank you, Cathy. Writing sometimes is the only way for introverts like myself to express my feelings. I am so sorry you've had to endure the loss of a sibling, it is heartbreaking especially when they are so young. Your sister is definitely by your side, and they let us know it once in a while. :)

  3. Heartfelt, effortless, unapologetically and simply beautiful. Brought a tear to my eye. Thank you for sharing. Wherever we go after here, rest assured, he waits for you. I just know this. You have such a beautiful soul, Kat, and I'm honored to call you a friend.

    1. Thank you, Jess, means so much coming from you. As you know how private a person I am, this post was very difficult for me to publish, but I felt I owed it to my brother, and I know I will see him again. Knowing I have wonderful friends all over the world warms my heart. :)

  4. Kat, I read your beautiful tribute with tears in my eyes. Your love for your brother shines through so powerfully. Thank you for this. It makes me look at my family relationships and treasure them so much more.

    1. Thank you, Margaret. He was a very big part of our lives, and I will miss him forever, but I know I'll see him again. I do appreciate the people around me more than ever now that I've experienced the loss of my brother. I strive to show my love to those around me now more so than ever. :)

  5. Kat, that was sooo touching. I hear your love for your brother and his love for you. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you, Deb! My brother knew how difficult it was for me to show my emotions and I'm sure he's up in heaven smiling with approval. Hope you have a wonderful day! :)

  6. Very Touching, Very True. I couldn't stop crying myself, thinking how I would feel in this situation. Death is only the Body. We do not die. We live forever and some are more fortunate to talk to them. He is there with you all. He's hearing and watching. He knows ;) (that's how i believe it goes)
    Thank you Kat for sharing :)

    1. Thank you, Jozy for your kind and heartfelt words. ((Hugs))