Today is my brother's birthday.
But he's no longer here to celebrate it.
I had to make a very sad, long, painful journey back to Iowa ~ for my brother's funeral.
A 46 year old, healthy man died on July 1, 2010 ~ unexpectedly from an overdose of antidepressant medication.
I received the call of the heavy, grievous news just after publishing my last post.
No accident. No answers. Just the remains of my embodied big brother.
He left behind eight children along with a host of many other relatives that grieved his leaving more than he could ever imagine.
This is the last picture that was taken of Rob ~ by his son ~ just days before he was found in his home.
You would have had to know him, on a personal level, to even try to comprehend why he would have thought this to be the only way to deal with the trials in his life.
I still can't believe I'm sitting at the keyboard, punching the keys that it takes to share this message.
My beloved brother is gone. Never to be seen again, this side of Heaven. He's finally free. And appropriate as it was, celebrating the passing of this man to meet his maker, freedom in Christ (in the most literal sense) ~ the service was held on the 4th of July. A day that carries meaning, not only to my brother, but to his family as well. And coincidentally, the poem selected (before we knew when the service would be held) went like this:
Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free
I'm following the path God has laid , you see.
I took His hand when I heard Him call
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day
To laugh, to love, to work, or play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way;
I found that peace at the close of the day.
If my parting has left a void
Then fill it with remembered joys;
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss,
Oh yes, these things, I, too will miss...
Be not burdened with times of sorrow
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow,
My life's been full, I savored much,
Good friends, good times, a loved one's touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief
Don't lengthen it now with undue grief;
Lift up your hearts and peace to thee
Gods wanted me now -- He set me free.
RIP big brother.
My tribute to you ~ is the life I live here while you're absent, and the Hope I hold, that you will greet me on the other side of Heaven -- when the Father calls me Home. And I'll be watching for you ;o)