Friday, November 8, 2013

Honor thy brother....

Not a day has gone by that I have not thought about, longed for and felt pain from the loss of him. Daily, I fight back tears....and sometimes, the tears win. Sometimes the tears drop, like a leaky faucet and clear up quickly, like a teasing sunshower; sometimes they run like a silent stream, with no end in sight; and sometimes they fill my eye sockets like liquid fire and burst through as a raging storm, causing sounds like thunder & lightning to escape my throat. Five hundred and sixty one days later and the death of my baby brother still hurts like hell.

I won't rehash the story, but for those who are new readers (or simply passing through), my youngest sibling, Terryn Clevon Pringle, committed suicide on April 26, 2012, at the age of 24. His death was unexpected and the impact on my family has been tremendous. My brother was deeply loved, cared about and adored by many. Yet, for some reason no one can fathom or begin to understand, he didn't feel it..or believe it....deep down in his heart. He didn't think his presence in our lives mattered much and he believed we'd all be just fine without him. He could not have been more wrong. He was my mother's only son and his father's only child. My mother cries for her son, every. single. day. She blames herself for his death, every. single. day. She believes that 'if only she...' did 'something' different, he would still be alive and she tells herself this untruth, every. single. day. My siblings and I have unsettling dreams and startling visions of my brother; we have nightmares about his death and sleepless nights filled with anger & frustration. We've blamed ourselves, at one time or another, thinking we could have, should have said or done something that may have saved our brother's life. We don't like to talk about it though. We don't share our feelings and experiences too often because no one wants to be the person to 'get everyone else started.' No one wants to be the one to spoil a good mood, make somebody cry or get a conversation going that will send someone into a dark place. But, at certain times of the year, like holidays, milestones and birthdays, it's impossible not to acknowledge the void we feel, or to express what's in our hearts and on our minds. This weekend is such a time.

Terryn was born on November 9, 1987. He wasn't into big parties and never wanted us to spend money on or make a big deal over him. He didn't like to go out to bars & clubs but he loved to have a good time. To him, a good time was hanging out with family and close friends, playing card games or board games, listening to music, having dinner, drinks, etc. He warned us not to do anything special for his 25th birthday but we ignored him (like we did for his 21st birthday) and, unbeknownst to him, we had big plans in store. Well, I guess he fixed us. We spent his 25th birthday mourning his memory instead of celebrating his presence.This year, however, we are going to celebrate Terryn's birthday in a way he would want us to; having fun, finding reasons to smile and celebrating good memories of him. He would want us to tell stories that will stir up laughter and warm, fuzzy feelings. Terryn would want his nieces and nephews to remember him as a good uncle who loved them, cared about them and always wanted the best for them. He'd want his mother and father to know that it was no fault of theirs that he chose to say 'goodbye.' He would want his siblings to know that he loved us and appreciated all the time we spent together and everything we've ever done. He'd want his cousins, other close relatives and friends to know that they were special to him. He'd want all of us to remember that his legacy is one of love and joy, not heartache and pain. So, dear brother, although there will be tears and moments of sorrow, we will not focus on the pain. We promise to spend the day honoring the goodness, happiness and joy you brought to our lives............

WE LOVE AND MISS YOU TEE.......may you continue to rest in everlasting love, joy and peace.

*in the picture, Terryn is wearing the hat