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Loss

The book I'm trying to write is partially about a dear friend of mine who died when I was young.  He was in a car accident, suffered a head injury that caused brain damage and later died as a result of his injuries.  He was recovering well before then and his death came as quite a shock.  Before his passing, the two of us spent a great deal of time together and a portion of what I'm writing, tells our story.
I've written quite a bit about the time period, other events and people, but up until today, I have avoided writing about him.  It's hard to capture someone you've lost and you've tried to avoid thinking too much about.
Grief is a odd thing.  When we lose someone, we don't want to forget them, but remembering them is too painful.  We put them away in a box, carry them with us close to our hearts, but rarely allow ourselves to re-open that box.  As a result, the memories fade and we lose little bits of the person as each year passes.
I've forgotten so much and today, I tried with all my heart to bring some of that back.  It was a hard write.  I've taken a break now from the three pages I've finished because if I didn't, I thought I'd break down and cry.  I don't want to do that.  I want to allow the memories of him to come without the grief so I can try to embrace it and let myself remember more without the grief to hinder it.  I'd like to get to a place where I'm happy for the memories rather than being overcome with that sadness that comes with it.
I recently found out that my friend's father died.  I was once very close with the family.  His brother still refers to me as his big sister and his father used to call me his little girl, but a time came when in order to move on, they had to leave me behind.  I knew they still loved me and would always be grateful for the bond I shared with their son after his accident, but they needed to let me go in order to move on.  We've kept in contact from time to time, but I am no longer on the list of people informed during times of crisis.  I found out about his father's passing months after his death and even though it had been many years, since I had seen him, I grieved his loss.
I found out by contacting my friend's brother to tell him about my writing project.  I maybe enough time had passed that we could talk about it.  There are a few items I wanted to ask the family if I could have. I have very few photos of my friend (it's a long story on why) and there's a video of him that was filmed just before he died.  I also wanted to ask for some other items I thought might still be somewhere in storage. I was going to find a way to work up the courage to ask them if maybe I could have some of it.  It's been twenty years since he passed, surly it would be okay for me to finally make my request.
I asked his brother if he thought his mother would mind talking to me (without mentioning my intentions).  His response was, 'Since we just lost Dad, it's probably not a good time right now.'  The words hit hard.  He said it as if I was still 'in the know' and that his father's death was common knowledge. I responded with my shock and sympathy.  I asked about his mother.  He told me that they were building a house together and she was going to live with him and his family.  He said everything around her was a reminder of my friend and now his Dad and it was time to move on.  I knew then that my time to make my request had passed and on that day, I grieved the loss of not only a man who used to refer to me as his little girl and I saw as a father figure, but the loss of those precious items I knew I'd never have.

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