I made a conscious effort to start blogging more often in mid-December and even wrote a couple posts within a week to get back into it. The day after my last post, and the morning of my flight home after visiting my brother in San Diego, he told me that he was just diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and that he wouldn’t be around to see next Christmas. Here I am less than 10 weeks later and he’s gone.

So needless to say, it’s been a really rough couple of months for my family and I. I don’t like to get *too* personal on the blog, not because I’m afraid of putting stuff “out there” but because that’s just not my personality. I also don’t want to not write about him because he’s on my mind all the time. So I decided I’d put together some of my thoughts:

I’m heartbroken that your time was cut short.

I’m heartbroken that you were in so much pain.

I’m heartbroken for your three kids that lost an amazing father.

I’m heartbroken for my mother who had to outlive her son.

I’m amazed you were able to become an ordained minister (what?) while you were sick to officiate your best friend’s wedding.

I’m amazed by the outpouring of love and support you had from your friends and family near and far (that even the hospice nurse couldn’t believe).

I’m happy that I was able to spend the past month with you.

I’m happy that you we’re able to keep your sense of humor somehow through the whole thing.

I’m happy I was able to tell you how much I love you.

I’m happy I had the chance to say goodbye.

I’m happy I was with you for your last breath because I know you would have done it for me.

My brother wanted his life celebrated, not mourned, so I will remember you, not as someone who is sick and in pain, but as the fun, funny, intelligent, level-headed, advice-giving, concert-loving guy you were.

I will remember you for all our fun evenings together.

I will remember you for giving me away at my wedding when Dad couldn’t.

I will remember you as the guy with an amazing sense of patience and giving. (Where did that come from? Because I certainly don’t have it.)

I will remember you as the guy that always took care of me when you could.

I will remember you as the guy that took care of everyone else.

I will remember you as the guy who loved his family more than anything.

I will just always remember you.




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25 responses to “Bittersweet

  1. Melissa

    This is beautiful, Paula. Love you. XOXOXO

  2. Jackie Jovi

    So beautifully written. I’ve been thinking of you so much. It’s unimaginable what you’re had/are continuing to endure. No words can help but just know I’m thinking of you.

  3. Jackie Jovi

    Beautifully said. I’ve been thinking of you nonstop since I heard the devastating news. I know no words can do anything to ease your pain as you cope with the unimagineable. I’m so glad you had the ability to spend that time with him. That is such a gift, albeit a painful one. Just know I’m thinking of you and your entire family.

  4. Jackie Jovi

    DAMMIT! See how bad I am at blogging now … I can’t even leave a comment correctly. Sorry for the comment spam. I’ll get off the Internet now.

  5. Aww Paula, this is beautiful. He seemed like such an awesome brother (and guy in general) who would be so fun to hang around. Also I can’t lie, whenever I saw photos of him I always thought he was so handsome.
    I am so sorry for your loss. Love you!

  6. I’m so sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful post. I hope remember the good times help during this difficult time.

  7. Laura WL

    I am so sorry. My sister died suddenly in December of 2015 and my husband’s mother died 4 months later in April 2016 after suffering a long struggle with cancer and then a rapid decline in her final 6 weeks. Losing close family is the hardest thing I have ever experienced and I don’t wish watching someone you love slowly die on anyone. I am so so sorry. What they say about grief coming in waves is very true. Eventually you feel fine, almost normal, and then a wave with cross over you when you smell their perfume or cook their favorite meal (this weekend it was inadvertently making my sister’s favorite cookies) and its like you’re there all over again. The understanding of good friends helped us enormously (as did cute pets and small innocent children).

  8. Denise G.

    This was a beautiful way to celebrate him. Damn I just hate to read this news. I watched my mom lose her battle with cancer in October 2015, it’s still such a difficult topic. But I try to remember the good memories, like you are doing for your brother.

  9. Jane Franklin

    This was such a beautiful dedication to your brother! I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Sending love to your family and you!

  10. Angie

    I am crying. How lucky that you had him in your life and he had you.

  11. Dave A

    What a wonderful tribute to your brother. Dar and I send comforting thoughts to you.

  12. Verlin

    Damn, Paula, I’m so sorry for you and your family. What you’ve written is beautiful. Internet hugs to you.

  13. Amanda Bonofiglio

    There really are no words when something so unfair happens. However, you found some that were absolutely beautiful and heartfelt.
    So much love and light to you and your family. ❤

  14. Nicole

    Internet hugs.

  15. Gah! This is my first visit to your blog and I’m in tears. Beautiful memory of your brother and I’m so sorry for your loss.

  16. Melissa H

    Paula, This was a beautiful tribute to your brother. It’s so unfair and so hard watching someone you love go through this. I lost my mother to pancreatic cancer a year and a half ago. It’s not easy watching a family member deal with with this type of cancer. I’m so sorry for your loss and for your family.

  17. Kashi Davis

    I am so, so sorry to hear this. It was a beautiful post but I really wish you did not have to write it. Peace to you and your family 😦

  18. Linz

    I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute to your brother. Thoughts, prayers and hugs coming your way from Texas.

  19. I’m so sorry that your brother was taken from you and your family way too soon 😦

  20. Kate

    P, this is probably one of the best memorial posts written. You are so strong! I’m glad you had a chance to say goodbye. Or maybe just a “see you later.” 🙂

  21. Marilyn

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing such a personal post with us. Your love for your brother shows here and it is beautiful.

  22. Ali

    This post is awesome – I’m so glad you wrote it and thank you for sharing. Your brother honestly sounds amazing and if his sense of humor is anything like yours, I can only imagine the laughs around your family gatherings. I’m so, so incredibly heartbroken for you and sorry for your loss. I’m sure I’m not alone in hoping that you keep sharing about him. There really are no good words for this part of life – I just hope the good energy coming your way can be felt. ❤

  23. trish wurth

    your brother was one of THE COOLEST people i have ever met. i hope you’re hanging in there and find comfort from all of his friends who loved him so much. i think it’s safe to say, if you need anything, just ask❤

  24. Monaka

    That was lovely Paula. Thank you for sharing. Please reach out when you come back out West. Kraig and I would love to see you.

  25. Linsay

    Cancer fucking sucks. Thank you for celebrating his life and sharing it with us.

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