Sunday, March 17, 2019

10 years

Today marks 10 years of life on earth without Brian Edward O'Neill.

Such an understated sentence.  Mostly because it's not completely true.  I was going to focus this post on the immeasurable loss of life on earth without Brian, but I did that 5 years ago.  And everything I wrote in that post 5 years ago continues to be true and amplified. However, the truth is that while Brian is physically gone from this earth, there are pieces of him everywhere.  I strive to keep his memory alive in the boys.  I share with them his little mistakes when they make similar ones.  I tell them about how proud he would be in those moments when I know he would be.  I tell them that he wouldn't want them to react a certain way when I know he wouldn't. I tell them about his love for a song or band when we hear one that brings back memories.  We have pictures and memorabilia and bible verses and even tattoos around to help us remember and to keep him with us.

More importantly, I see signs of him in the boyz' hobbies and activities.  I recognize him when I respond to a situation in a way that is contrary to myself but a way that I learned from him.   I hear him in his brothers' inflections. I feel him when his mom hugs me.  I visualize his giggles and smirks when his dad does some "Ed'ism."  I taste his tastes when I eat mint chip ice cream, a cadbury egg or  drink a nice dark beer.

So while I was going to focus on this post on "10 years later where are they now?" and share some of the heart-breaking circumstances and effects of his loss on our lives, I decided not to.  Mostly because, Brian wouldn't want us to. Yes the loss has had a profound negative effect on our lives, and we have had some incredibly difficult obstacles to overcome.  Yes, we have and continue to have issues and struggles because he is not here.  Yes, things would be different. But at the 10 year mark and beyond, that really isn't the focus anymore.  We deal. We grieve.  We process.  We acknowledge. We remember. Most importantly - We Honor the life and LEGACY of Brian O'Neill.