My hand sits in a box of change by my bed.  I move my fingers around the coins and the motion is calming and I can relax and breathe.  A Lady came to my house and she said that my brother still lived there.   She said he was bouncing off the walls, so excited that she was there, a medium, we got her to find some answers as to why? Why would god do this? Why is my family sitting and crying? Why? That was all, we just couldn’t understand.  We sat in a half circle in my family living room and waited for answers.  A few things stuck out, he died doing what he wanted to do and that we could always find him in coins.  Its small comfort to me but the motion of running my fingers through the change reminds me of him.

My little brother loved money, I guess that all kids do, but he was always saving his money and changing coins in for bills.  He died before his 18th birthday; it has almost been two years.  He planned to help people; he wanted to make changes and was training to join the navy.  He was swimming and he never came up, he never woke up, we sat and watched for a week in the hospital but nothing could open his eyes again, no matter how many test were done and how many tears were shed, curses yelled, nothing changed.  I sat at night by his bed in case he woke, even just for one second so he wasn’t alone.  I will never be the same, never be who I was before.

For many months I wandered around barely aware of where I was, who I was or what I was doing. I would go through the motions of my everyday life but couldn’t remember where I went, what I did or how I lived before.  I spent most of that time completely out of my mind, like in a dream where you are above yourself and all you keep doing is screaming at yourself to wake up, wake up, wake up from this nightmare. I slept only when the pills mixed with the booze and the smoke and left me in a delirium in front of the TV, after yelling at my partner that nothing can help, that talking only made it worse and that I would never be who I was again.  The person I was, was gone.

I waited a long time to snap out of it, I told myself that only I would know when that time came and was fine living in a cloud. Living seemed like a joke. Everything was pointless and I rode around in an angry bubble that affected every situation.  Sitting in the subway in the morning would restart the cycle over each day.   Seeing teenagers on the train, acting the fools would make me the maddest, and I walked allot of places during that time. TV would make me mad; hospital shows and fake families full of joy and trivial problems resolved in 30 minutes.  I tried very hard to find comfort anywhere I could.  God only made me mad so he and I are taking a break because my God wouldn’t have done that, if he woke and was fine then it would have been a miracle of god, but he didn’t wake up so where was God then.  We would have praised god had my brother woke up, so who do we blame since he didn’t.

I can remember waking one day and deciding things would change, that it was time for the old me to step back into this body and start living the life that my brother would not get to. Some days it worked some days it didn’t and for the most part I started to live a normal life again. I say normal even though I am far from normal and find it hard to remember who I was and learn to be who I have become.

My fingers sift through the loose change, some are smooth and sleek, some are dirty and rough some are foreign and misshaped and all are cold.  They remind me of myself, how I feel daily and it is small comfort to me.


                                                                                                            J. D.