My life can be split into two sections: things that happened before my brother died, and things that have happened since. 

Every single little thing seems to be measured by that benchmark.

All my memories, good and bad are slotted into one of those categories. When did x,y,z happen? Was it before or after we lost him?

The event is like a catalyst for my life, a time-altering, major turning point from one way of living to another.

A change in all of us, a shift from our old normal.

One minute he was here, then the next, gone.

As quickly as that.

Unexpected, shocking, heartbreaking obviously, and new. The whole thing is new.

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I questioned everything in those first few months, from the obvious to the mundane. As well as the whys there were the am I allowed to laugh right nows. As well as the how can we make this easier for his children there were the would he like this film that I’m watching type questions.

For a while, he was everywhere. And then not so much.

But music sounds that little bit sweeter if it was heard by me then, in the old half of my life. When he would have heard it, too.

Anything I’ve heard since leaves me with more questions. Would he enjoy it? What would he make of it? Did I hear this song before or after my brother died?

And I’ve changed. I think we all have. Some for the better, others not so.

But life is definitely different.

And now I wonder what he would think of me and the things I’ve done.

Would he be proud? I know one thing for certainhe would have loved his new niece. Our third baby who came into the world after he had already left it. He was so good with children, and she is such a little character. He would have adored her. I can even picture him scooping her up in his big strong arms for one of his famous cuddles.

So you see, I can’t say that life since he departed has been all bad, it hasn’t. We’ve had our third baby and received many blessings. But the thought is always there, what if he were still here with us? And I don’t think that will ever go away.

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Life before losing him was long, 38 years for me and never knowing any different. But in the three short years since that day, I’ve aged. And I’ve grown. And I sometimes don’t know what I’m doing with my life anymore.

He’s not here now. We’re on the wrong side of the two parts of my existence. But I also know I can never go back. We have memories and we have photographs. We talk about him a lot. No, it’s not the same, but it helps. And it also helps to know that he’s happy now, that he’s at peace. Without faith, there is no question that I’d be in a much worse place than I am right now.

It’s a new normal. One which requires a lot more strength to get through even the simplest of tasks sometimes. But one which is filled with so much hope.

I miss him. Every day. But he’s OK, and that makes my heart happy.

The new part of my life can still be full of joy, we need it now more than ever. And I hope I can make him proud.

It’s been three years since the switch. Since the transition from full to broken. But I am slowly allowing myself to be healed. My children need me to be there for them, so does my husband. And I’m trying really hard not to let them down.

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I’ll get there, we all will. And one day, we’ll see him again.

My life can be split into two sections: things that happened before my brother died, and things that have happened since. 

I have to choose hope, faith, and love. Only then can the second half be worth living.

Cat Borg

Cat is a 40-(something)-year-old Christian wife and mother of three girls. Her two greatest passions besides her family are her faith and her writing. You can find her blogging about family and parenting on her mummythought blog.