My big brother, Blake, was easily one of the most enthusiastic writers that I ever had the pleasure of brainstorming with. His characters and plots were often based on his wild dreams or even crazier imagination. And to my pea-green envy, he even won a brand new laptop for his writing achievements while we were still in high school! The nerve of that boy…
Needless to say, the kid was pretty good with a plot.
At some point, we decided to partner up and write a collaborative piece. Oh, how we threw ideas back and forth! He sent me articles that rang true to the theme and I sent him pictures that embodied something that we eagerly wanted to convey in our story. Nothing was off-limits and everything seemed to be thick with inspiration. In fact, we had a hard time deciding on which book series we wanted to write first – so thrilled we were at the prospect of writing together about our combined interests in the fantasy genre.
We were gung ho, to say the least.
But, then life happened. And instead of finding ourselves writing, we found ourselves stuck in the dreaming phase that oh so many of us end up being plopped into.
Relationships came and went. So did jobs and money. But the stories lived on inside of us and we couldn’t help but bring them up every time we seemed to get together. That is… until he died.
The Silence of His Stories
At some point, I was finally semi-able to go through a box of his old letters that he wrote to me. Some I only scanned, others I outright ignored, most of them I sniffed. It was and is still too difficult to even think about reading through all of them. But, like I said, I managed to get through a few. One, in particular, had me silently sobbing on the floor as it hit me that I would never, ever get to read a book authored by my brother.
All of that time spent wildly fantasizing just seemed to explode within my heart with the desolation of a thousand heartbreaks.
It wasn’t fair that the rest of the world wouldn’t get to hear his inner voice, as I did all my life. It wasn’t fair that this amazing man who thought up and wrote intensely creative works would fall into eventual silence after all of those who knew him were dead and gone.
It just wasn’t fair.
I raged at him for all those days, weeks, months, and years of procrastinating over a dream he envisioned ever since infancy. I loathed myself for not being a stronger advocate of his gift, angered that I didn’t somehow manage to pull off my own sibling version of Stephen King’s Misery. Mostly, I felt even more alone. Even more abandoned with nothing of him to hold onto.
So, I guess what I’m getting at is that now I will never know my brother’s story. I may have known his plan for one – his ideas – but I’ll never have his book to curl up with in the middle of the night when the pain of his unbearable loss is all too real.
I’ll never have that part of him that only writers know exist.
The wonder. The magic. The pure ring of truth.
And the significant loss of that gift upon the world is an excruciating knowledge to bear, especially alone.