Moving Forward

"There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot...

a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance..."
[Ecclesiastes 3]

It's been a difficult past two months, that's for sure. Every day without my brother I've been pained with sadness or many times even guilt. I could've done more to help him. I could've been more loving. Maybe if I had been more loving he wouldn't have felt so alone. He wouldn't have left us.

For a while, I allowed myself to feel the pain, to go back and forth between one guilt-stained thought and the next.

Yet I'm realizing more and more each day that, eventually, there comes a time when you need to move on. Maybe not "move on," necessarily, since that makes it seem like you're trying to forget all memory of that person. Maybe instead just "move forward" with your own life and try to get back to a normal, happy existence.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens...

Every day for the rest of my life, I will hold my big brother in my heart. Every day for the rest of my life, I will fight against the stigma surrounding mental illness. I will strive to love the broken, to reach out to those who feel alone, to be patient with those who feel "stuck" in life, just as my brother did. I will think twice before I overlook someone who is suffering, in any capacity, and I will bear their struggles with them...walking with them step-by-step in the darkness.

I love you Zach. It's been a long two and a half months without you. Probably the longest and saddest of my life to date. But I know you didn't leave this world so that I could stop my life in its tracks. That wasn't your intention. You simply just wanted to be free. And now you are, and I couldn't be happier for you. I wish you were still with me, as selfish as that sounds, but I find rest in the fact that I know you are happy wherever you are.

So today is the first day in two and a half months that I am going to make every effort to put this sadness and guilt behind me, and just move on. Just move forward. It's going to begin with very little things, like starting my day with a happy, upbeat song, instead of a sad song that reminds me of how much I miss my brother. Just little baby steps like that. I know I'll get there, one day, step-by-step.

I love you Zach.
Help me move forward buddy.


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