Ramble On

All of my male family members are gone. In the space of 11 months. How do I make sense of this? I don’t. There is no meaning or explanation. Everything does not happen for a reason. It just happens. This universe is random. There is no grand plan for any of us. We are not predestined. My brother did not die Monday because we needed to learn some lesson.

My brother died for no reason other than he had leukemia.

It would be easier if I believed a god orchestrated this. I would have something at which to direct my anger. But there’s nothing. Nothing other than the arbitrariness of this world.

Yes, there are things to be grateful for in the midst of my despair. His agreement to enter rehab in late December gave him three months with his children. They have those three months to remember their dad as he really was. He died of leukemia, rather than an alcohol-related disease. (There is no connection between alcoholism and AML. I checked.) He didn’t kill himself with alcohol.

I thought with the intervention I had saved my brother. I thought I had helped him save himself. I had fantasies of spending time with him when he was feeling better. I wanted to take him for long healing walks in nature. I wanted to help him heal his heart. I wanted to talk with him about all the painful things that happened as we were growing up to help him lay them to rest. I dreamed of being close like we were as we were growing up and in the early days of our adulthood, before the alcohol came between us.

I had dreams that he would finally get some happiness.

But life is not about happiness. It’s not about anything. There is no reason for any of this. Or if there is, none of us know what it is. Will we find out when we die? That’s a nice thought. And it’s quite possible that’s all it is. curse

My words aren’t profound. Countless people have lost loved ones under tragic circumstances. Countless people have shaken their fists and cursed the universe. Or god. Or cancer. Or alcoholism. So what? People will continue to be born. And then each of them eventually will die. Some, like my father, will have long full lives. Others, like my brothers, will die much too young.

(I chose the cat photo not because of my love of cats. Well, that too. But it neatly shows my irreverence for all of this.)

I wonder if there’s another solar system out there where people (or some type of conscious beings) know the day they are born that there is a meaning for their lives. I wonder what it would be like to live knowing what that meaning is. I wonder what it would be like to know exactly how long we all will live and why we are here. Some of you might be thinking, “Regardless, you should live like today is your last day.” But I can’t really do that. I have to plan for the future in case I’m still here. And what if all that planning is for naught? What if I’m worrying about paying for retirement when I’m going to be dead next week? I should be out looking for a new home for my cats, not worrying about paying my bills when I’m dead. I should be eating Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk, and not worrying about my expanding mid-life midsection. I should be sitting outside watching the birds in the feeders, not sitting in here fretting over the box of work the office courier dropped off earlier.

This post has devolved into a meaningless ramble. Which sums up nicely how I feel about life right now.

Yes, I do realize I’m in the anger stage of grief. And that matters because?


  • Your anger and grief matters! I hear you! I’m sorry you are hurting. Infinity; birth, death, rebirth…that’s the nature of the human condition. That’s not going to lessen anything or change anything. Just thinking out loud.

    Currently there’s a 21 day meditation series that I’m doing, you have to sign up or you can get in all in one…check out this site…if you are interested..

    in the meanwhile…keep expressing yourself…it matters!


  • I was wondering how you were getting on? You ramble on! Blogging is strange, the people you follow you begin to care about. I will not begin to insult your intelligence by posting platitudes. I just send you my love and let you know that I will be thinking about you.


  • Sometimes the only order is chaos.
    It’s hard becoming an orphan. Anger is normal.
    You just do what you can do.
    Play with the cats, eat some ice cream – and get out of the office when you can…everyone needs to laugh and play.


    • I had ice cream for dinner last night. And watched several episodes of Downton Abbey. And now, I am working on the kitty introductions. They are coming along slowly, but without major incident.


      • Sounds like my favorite activities….our cat is has become quite brave with the dog …or at least she is stomping ( stealthily) around the house reclaiming spots…and looking annoyed) but often the dog doesn’t realize she’s over the child gates and about…at least they are almost nose to nose glaring at each other through the gate frequently without lunging or claw swipes…we’ll see.


  • I am glad that you have some things to be grateful for, during this shitty time. I was pulling for your brother and am saddened for you and your loss.


    • I feel the same as good2begone. This whole sequence of events with your brother just sucks. Sucks, sucks, sucks. I feel anger right along with you. I can’t answer why anyone has to die so young. My dad died at 52 and I missed out on so much without being able to develop an adult relationship with him. Sucks, I tell you. xoxoxFern


    • Thanks, good2begone. Reading your blog helped me believe it was possible. He had three months. We had three months. There was healing during that time for him and for his children. They were proud of him when he died. That is a gift.


  • I’m not going to blow wind up your skirt and tell you that there is some greater purpose to everything. After nearly 50 years on this earth, I’m not convinced that there really is a meaning to this arbitrary existence either. I think that things happen too randomly for that to be the case. However, given the choice between life and the alternative… I’ll pick life every time, even if no true meaning exists. Grieving and questioning the meaning of it all is natural, especially after a loss (or several of them). Feel free to ramble on as much as you need to, to work things out. We’ll still be here listening to what you have to say, and hopefully offering our support and words of encouragement.


    • Thank you, blueviking. I’ll pick life, too. Right now that means watching Sadie sniff Sophie’s squirrel toy and then hiss at her as she stares back from the closet with indifference.


      • As long as there’s no fur flying or blood, it’s all good… sounds like progress is being made. 🙂


  • I don’t know I just got diagnosed with AML and I do believe that there is a meaning to it. But I understand your grief and your sorrow, its just too many negative things happening to you in a very short time. Hence my feelings are with you.


    • I absolutely agree that you will (and have) find meaning in your diagnosis and that I will find meaning from my brother’s death. But I don’t believe someone waved a wand and killed him with leukemia to teach me or anyone else a lesson. The meaning we find in the rubble of these random events is as beautiful as the events themselves are mysterious. I am so gladdened to see your sister is a perfect match for you and I wish you all the best in your healing.


  • You’re still in the fog. You will be there for a while, and that’s okay. In the fog, thoughts and insights swirl past, but it’s really hard to grab them and figure them out.

    As you say, there probably is no “meaning”–other than the meaning we create for our own lives. I wish you peace…


    • Thank you, Karen. I try to grab them and write them down, but they do keep slipping away. I want to make sense of something that is senseless. It’s like trying to catch a cloud in my hands.

      There is meaning napping safely in the closet next to me.


      • Don’t worry too much right now. The human mind can only cope with so much at a time–your hard drive is overloaded. I don’t pray, but I’m sending warm thoughts your way.


  • I am so sorry to read of your losses and hurt. I know all too well about losing loved ones much too soon. The loss, the pain, the anger…it never really goes away, at least it hasn’t for me so far.

    Take care, sending hugs, G


  • Write, scream, eat, stomp, cuddle, call, play, simmer, visit, punch, cry…do whatever it is you need to do. Ramble – we’re hear to listen. The healing will come.

    Love and light,


  • As mumsthewordintheuk says, blogging IS strange… but interesting as well…. I too have come to care for you through the universe called The Internet.


  • Thank you for reading my blog today. It gave me the chance to put yours on my radar screen and what I’m reading from you so matches the feelings of grief, sadness and anger I am having at it all. One of the things I’ve been grieving besides all the deaths over the past 2 years, is that when my husband finally got sober at my insistence, after many years of alcoholism, he had his first (and hopefully, only) extramarital affair (ironically, with the good, married, born-again Christian woman who was “helping me” in getting him sober!) after 29 years of marriage. Can’t write about it in my blog as my husband follows it, and the pain of the ‘lesson’ is something we are working on to try and keep our marriage together. I am like you, very unsure of any afterlife, or any god orchestrating all of this, while my husband has turned to his faith in Jesus to keep him sane. It’s all just so crazy. And random, And nice to know that our ramblings bring us in touch with people who are somewhat like us and we are not alone. Namaste.


    • That had to be so painful. Don’t get me started on the hypocrisy of (some of) the religious. I’ve got a brother-in-law who molested his daughter (my niece), my sister didn’t leave him, and they say it’s all okay now as they thump their bibles. Sadly, she is the only sibling I have left. I understand having to self-censor. I made the decision to write anonymously, or there would be much I’d feel uncomfortable writing about. You could start an anonymous blog about healing (or not) after infidelity. 😉


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