When I think back on my brother's death, one thing that continues to stick out is the weather in the week that followed. Ben died on March 6th, 2011. During the next week the skies were a perfect blue, no clouds, and the temperatures remained in the high 60's. Basically, it was perfect, spring, Texas weather. It struck me at the time as wrong, so opposite of the feelings surrounding my family. The morning my father told me that we had "lost" Ben that night was a bright, cloudless sunrise. That day I wished it would it rain.
I clearly remember standing near the grave-side of my brother shortly before he was buried with the wind blowing my hair, looking up, and wishing to see gray clouds that would block the bright sun that shone that day. I could not understand how the sky could be so bright when the world seemed to be falling around us.
After Ben's funeral, I was standing outside the church speaking with Steven and Halie. It was extremely windy that day but again a perfect, clear, blue sky. Why wouldn't the skies weep with our family?
Remembering the entire week continues to seem like a movie to me. It was a perfect scene with the brightest blue sky against our black dresses. And like a movie, unreal to me. How could this be? Did I really throw a long stem red rose on the light brown casket of Ben? Is he really buried in a cemetary a few miles from my home? The answer is yes. I ride my bike by the unmarked grave of my 22 year old brother. His grave remains unmarked. The suddenness of his death leaves us all unsure of how to commerate his life. The suddenness of his death leaves us all putting off this final marker.