Sunday, February 22, 2009


Friends have shared with me that they pack up and put away stuff that makes them think of their recently departed loved ones. I suppose they need to do what works for them. But I haven't done that. In fact, Kung-Fu Panda stares at me from my armoire, the huge photo of Bryan and our kids the last time he saw them is nearby, his memorial picture is on the fridge, his yearbooks and college writing journals are beside my bed, we have his CDs downloaded on our iPod, his face pops up continually on my screen saver slide show, not to mention all the gifts he's given us over the years, he is everywhere around here. And then there is this blog--a daily remembrance of his life. I have to look at my pictures and go back in my mind to mine for the memories so I can tell his stories. I think about him daily. Sometimes hourly. In the beginning, it was by the minute. Maybe time does heal all wounds?

I can understand why people put their dead loved one's stuff away--it hurts to look into those eyes in photos. To think again on the missing that is filling up your aching heart. To remember that he isn't here anymore to make you laugh. It is painful, I concede that point. But I still like him surrounding me. I don't want to forget him. I don't want it to be weeks or months or years without thinking about him. Thinking about Bryan and remembering his life helps me want to be a better person--more like him in a hundred different ways. So even though the price is high--that emotional rawness and freshness that comes from choosing to think about him and not just putting it all away because it hurts--I am grateful for the sweetness that comes with thinking on the good stuff about my brother. Thanks for doing that with me each day.

My kids get it. Kate wept for missing Uncle B last night. I consoled her and hugged her and cried with her and prayed for her. If it wasn't all out there for her to remember and acknowledge, then we couldn't share the consolation. Peter still recognizes his uncle's happy face on the computer and runs to point him out. Someday they will have these stories, the ones I have remembered here on this blog, to keep their memory fresh. I don't want to forget.

I was looking through his old Sadie Hawkins pictures (hi Salina!) and his watch caught my attention. It was one of those SWATCH ones with a guard on the top of the face. Again, an '80's thing. I never owned one because I am not a spatial-temporal person so time is no big deal to me. Neither is fashion. Bryan was big on both. He liked having the "latest" things. My dad has his son's jewelery box, a handsome, manly one, on his bathroom counter. I looked through it the other day. There are four watches in there. Nice ones. And rings and a dozen necklaces and bracelets. My mom wears the BK charm, that Grandma Birthday used to wear as a ring, around her neck on a silver chain. My dad wears the ring that Bryan special ordered when he was with me at the mall one day. He liked fine things. He took care of them.

All of this is so surprising to me. But not entirely, I have always known we were so different. I don't even own a jewelry box and even if I did, it would be pointless--I only wear my wedding band. But I like touching the things he took pains to chose and care for and wear with pride. It makes me feel good to have them close. I hope that someday my sons will have wrists hunky enough to wear those nice watches. Until then, it makes me happy that they are near and not packed away or given away. I guess we all grieve in different ways?


Anonymous said...

Kelly, As always,beautifully said!I really wish I was stronger when Mom died.I still have some of her things but I was asked for things that I now wish I had kept!Greif comes in different WAVES and everyone has their own way of dealing with it.There is no right or wrong way.I still have my Dad's glasses,odd to some people but to me,SPECIAL!!!!!We all have our own way.Peace and Love,Aunty Ingy

Anonymous said...

Kelly, Where are you?I miss you!!!!I hope all is well.Peace and Love,Aunty Ingy

Jennifer said...

Kelly, I would do the same if it was my sis, surround myself with her things to remember her! I'm so, so, so sorry, I didn't know until about your brother until I read your blog today. I'm glad you have so many pictures and memories to keep him alive! :) Jennifer Gerson

Lady Holliday said...

Aloha Kelly~
Lisa P. informed me of your lose.
There are no words of comfort to give ,For I wish I had them to give.We are raised to know in time we will need to say good-bye to our parents ,But never are siblings.
They are to walk long the journey with us ,together.And when they are gone....we are heart broken.There is a love that brothers and sisters way to explain just is.
And to have our brothers around in any fashion ,does keep them alive .No you are not alone ....
A big hug across the net wire...from one sister to another with the same loss.

Kelly (Klungreseter) Fitzpatrick said...

hi aunt ingy! sorry about not telling you what was up. now you know. thanks for waiting for me and sharing this with me every day. too bad we can;t share a cup of tea with our date each day :)

Kelly (Klungreseter) Fitzpatrick said...

hi jennifer. thanks for your kinds words. i know you love your sweet sister too! i pray you will not need to make those choices anytime soon--just saw marie a couple of months ago! have fun exploring distant lands. smiles and joy, kelly

Kelly (Klungreseter) Fitzpatrick said...

aloha karen. thanks for your kindness and long-distant hug. i am real sorry for your loss as well. may you be comforted by surrounding yourself with your brother's smile and stories and stuff! blessings, kelly

WARNING! Tissues Required-Video Slideshow of Bryan's Life-Sorry the music was muted!