That first walk
You have to numb yourself, when you walk with your mother and sisters to view your only brother’s body for the first time. You have to numb yourself. You won’t know it nor will it be conscious but it will happen somehow.
Because you will see your brother in a coffin and wonder why you don’t lose your mind or why you are not crying. You will wait for the emotion to build up like it has since you found out he died. It won’t. You’ll just stand there. Mind blank.
You will at some point have a thought… That’s really him. They weren’t lying to me. They didn’t make a mistake. That’s him. That’s my only brother lying in there. He looks like he’s asleep. He’s badly wounded but he’s asleep nonetheless. Maybe I can get him to wake up. Come on bro, wake up.
At this point you’ll realize that these are just thoughts. Because your lips are clamped shut and your tear ducts chose this moment to dry up.
And then you’ll hear lamenting and mourning. It’s your mother. When you turn and look at the woman standing beside you completely overcome by grief, devastation and shock. You’ll put your arms around her and in that moment realize that there is at least one thing you can’t do, no matter how much you put your mind into it. You can’t comfort a mother who’s lost a child. Her only son. A son who was intentionally taken away from her by another human being.
You will hold her for what seems like hours and try to think of ways to take her pain away. You won’t think of any. Because there are none.
You’ll expect the numbness to wear off because logic states that you can’t watch your mother cry in agony and not break down yourself. It wont.
It wont because as of now, the only emotions that matter are your mother’s. You don’t have access to yours any way. So you’ll be there, and offer everything you can. It won’t really help. Nothing will. Because, nothing can bring your brother back. At least nothing YOU can offer can.