My only brother is gone. He died this afternoon from a heart attack. He was home alone. His daughter and her partner came home tonight and found him. His wife just died in September from a long battle with cancer. I am feeling so sad for his daughter, Karen, and her brother, Kevin — to have to go through this so soon again.
This is a favorite picture of him when he was growing up. I often think of him looking like this. He had lots of freckles and reddish hair and a temper to match.
Frank was smack in the middle of four sisters. I think it was a difficult place to be.
Here are three of us.
Then there were four of us:
Here are the five of us all grown up, taken a few years ago at a nephew’s wedding:
It has been therapeutic for me to go through old family pictures, looking for Frank, as if to prove that he was really here. Losing a sibling is different from losing a parent. Probably because you are forced to think about your own mortality.
My sister’s think he may have been ready to go because he was lonely, but I think he had a zest for life and would have preferred more years with his children and grandchild.
We will be flying to Syracuse on Sunday or Monday to join my sisters and Frank’s children to say a final good-bye to him.