Time heals all wounds.
My brother told me that years ago…before he died. He told me life always moves forward…that time won’t stop because he’s gone. He told me that no matter what…I’d never have to relive this pain. The pain of watching him slowly slip from this life into the next. The pain of coming of age…coming to the realization that once you’re gone…there is no coming back.
So you HAVE to move on. It’s not like when your parents leave you home alone for the first time. It doesn’t just seem like a life time before you see them again…it IS a lifetime. It’ll be a lifetime before I see him again.
A year after his death…a year to the day…I started having these weird dreams. These dreams about…random people, places…people I’ve never met, places I’ve never been, but yet seem all too familiar. Each dream felt like an epiphany, like I was discovering something. Every night I’d be somewhere new, somewhere more important.
One dream in particular stands out above the rest.
I was on a beach off the coast of some secluded island, looking far out into the nothingness that surrounded me…the only sounds coming from the sea herself, and the breeze she caressed me with. It was the most peaceful of sights. But, as if straight from Heaven itself, I heard his laughter. Still though…I was alone. I looked desperately around the island; through the jungle just off shore…to the caves where Prometheus hid his fire. I heard his laughter grow louder and louder through my desperation.
Then I saw it…
On the other side of the island, across the water, stood a small islet…bare as a new born. My brother stood on one side, looking out at me, as if beckoning me. There were others with him, but I paid no mind to them. I did the only thing I figured to do…I ran. I ran as fast as my legs could carry me…as fast as the wind would push me…as fast as any man could run to anything in his life.
But…I never felt the water’s touch. The further I ran, the further my brother drifted. Soon, his islet was out of sight. His laughter…gone with it.
Then I awoke.
But night after night, more dreams came to me. And each time, more and more vivid. It got to a point where I couldn’t tell the difference between reality, and my dreams.
My brother often showed up in my dreams. Almost as a reminder that he was gone. To tease me with the possibility that he was there…there to be here for me…to tell me things were going to be alright, to let me know this wasn’t something I had to accept.
I fought through the pain of being awake just long enough to go back to bed. My dreams became my reality, and with that, I traveled further into my slumber.
He grew closer with every dream. His laugh grew louder, voice became clearer, but his embrace was always just out of reach.
I was done with reality. I was done with fighting a losing battle…as my brother was before me. It was only in my dreams that I felt awake. Only in my dreams where happiness and I were one in the same boat.
And it was only through that boat did I reach the lonely islet, just off shore. Where time heals all wounds…where my brother sat waiting.
And it was with a wink and a hug that I accepted the only fate I wanted to accept.