Until reality sinks in

by Julie Knaak
(Moline, IL)

Do you know what my favorite time of day is? It's when I'm sleeping. I remember my dreams every night- it's the gift and the curse of having narcolepsy.
During the day, I can't help myself. I think about you all of the time- there are 24 years(your horribly shortened life) of memories and inside jokes that hit me at the cruelest of times. It's still one of the first things I think of in the morning. I'll hit my groggy waking-up stupor, until my mind realizes, "Oh yeah. Shawn is still dead."


It's not that I'm in denial- I was next to you and watched you labor to breathe until no more breaths came. I was extremely involved in your funeral, the tributes, your medical journal which became my family's grief journal- trust me- the awful reminders are in my head.

Part of me, naively, wants to believe that you are just away at the hospital in Omaha. That you'll be back.

People say that being dead is like being "in the next room". That there really isn't much separating the living from the dead, and that they are just around the corner. That makes me angry. Don't tell me that he's in the next room if I can't go see him or laugh with him. Don't tell me that when I just want him with me.

All of the joys I experience are dampened because I realize you can't be there. Oh God- when we finally try for a baby, it will be so hard not to share that with you. Not to have "uncle Shawnee" hold my child.

I miss you terribly. I'm SO sorry this happened to you.

I love you. Always and forever.

Julie, Forever Shawn's sister.

Comments for Until reality sinks in

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Aug 31, 2011
Reality Can Really Suck
by: Anonymous

I lost my brother and best friend 25 years ago. The pain never goes away. We do manage to go on with our lives but things are never again the same. What we move to is different than what we had before.
Only with hard work and determination do we get through this grief journey. It follows us for the rest of our lives. I still look at pictures of my brother and my heart breaks. He was only 33. He had a rough life being so ill with diabetes.
I'm so sorry for your loss. I know exactly how you feel. There is a huge emptiness where your brother used to be. He is with you.....always.
Just take one day at a time. I too look forward to bed time so I can get some much needed peace following the recent death of my husband.
Love your children and keep your brother's memory alive. Tell your children of your brother's love. They will cling to every word.

Aug 30, 2011
Oh Julie
by: geoffrey campbell

Your letter went directly to my heart, I found beauty in how your words express your great loss, and how I feel with my loss, yet I sobbed as I read your letter, it is so poignant and heart breaking, yet it consoled me in knowing that this man named Shawn is so loved, what a wonderful person you must be Julie. I pray that God will give you strength and His presence, dear, dear Julie. Sincerely, a friend who cares in Pennsylvania

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