They say parents shouldn’t outlive their kids, but should an older brother outlive their younger?
Much like a parent, the older brother directs, and protects the course of the younger.
Unlike parents, the older brother can also be a partner, a fellow perpetrator of many a fun misdeed gone awry. That is where bonds lie deepest, where intimate secrets are kept and held between a kin closer than that of the mother or father.
Sharing of sins, and the punishment of those sins, sharing in the joys and adventures that is youth in its whole.
You share a core with that little brother that none may know. It’s unspoken but known to the bone between you two.
To the Bone.
It’s honored, it’s delicate. It’s something that always dwells.
So when you see your little brother, dismal and seemingly damned, fallen and fragile, raging against an unknown foe and miles from the place in him from where he was once was, you know.
Where in the core that you share, now only dwells despair, you weep, and you weep, and you weep in the silence where no sees, because a man doesn’t cry, they simply don’t.
You know you won’t cry as he lies in a casket, all dressed and prettied up. You know you won’t cry when other’s speak of him in passing or come up to you with a hug, and “I am sorry for your loss”
You know you won’t cry simply because you have already cried so much as bit by bit of your little brother was pulled from you, excised with a sharp knife, and put into a blender and pureed to mush.
By Philip Wardlow June 2021