I haven’t been on in a few weeks because tragedy has struck my family. On December 18 my grandfather passed away from lung cancer. The family was sad and my dad went up to be with my grandma. While losing my grandpa made me sad it was not unexpected. The real tragedy struck on Friday morning. I woke up early because I was supposed to go to work with my mom. I heard a noise and peeked out the window. I saw my stepdad’s car in the driveway and my mom, stepdad and a friend of my brothers on the porch. I was mostly confused by my stepdad’s car parked haphazardly in the driveway since it wasn’t unusual to see my brothers friends at my house, especially since I knew they had met here and gone out the night before. I went downstairs and noticed how upset everyone was, my mom especially and my stepdad trying very hard to comfort her. That’s when my mom told me my brother had been in a car accident on his way home early in the morning and that he didn’t make it. I cannot begin to explain how much despair and loss I felt at that moment. My knees buckled and my mom and stepdad had to grab me and help me to the couch. I couldn’t stop crying. All day it was like a bad dream, I kept expecting him to come walking in the door at any moment and say “just kidding”. Even almost 2 weeks later it still almost doesn’t feel real. The hardest part was watching my mom have to call my dad and tell him that his son was dead. On top of the loss of his father his only son was now gone too. It’s all still so dreamlike. Those first few days were a blur, I remember a lot of phone calls and having to tell family members what had happened. Luckily the two people who were in the car with him were uninjured so we had an outpouring of my brothers friends at our house that morning trying to help. He crashed only a few miles from home, lost control of the car, over-corrected, spun and went off the side of the embankment causing the car to roll and throw him from the car since they rolled on boulders and it almost completely tore off the driver side door. It didn’t start to feel reel until last Tuesday when the mortuary allowed the immediate family only to see him. We were only allowed to see his face, but that is when it finally hit him for me that it was really real. On Christmas Eve CHP finally allowed us to get to his car and get to his personal effects, my brother lived out of his car and there was so much stuff in his car it took 4 of us to get it from his to my moms SUV. Christmas was a subdued affair, normally the house is full of people on Christmas, but this year it was just too hard for anyone to be at our house, to see my brothers things and know that he isn’t there. He missed Christmas last year because he was working in Florida, he only just got back in November. I’m lucky I got to spend a few days with him when we went up to visit my grandpa. Everyone was so excited to see my brother, most of them hadn’t seen them since he was home in May for my mom’s wedding. Saturday morning my cousin and I made the drive up north. My dad’s side does Christmas the weekend after when we can all get together. I didn’t want to go, I didn’t want to celebrate or even be around people, but since it wasn’t just Christmas, but also going up for my grandfathers funeral I went. I spent a lot of Saturday hiding in one of the bedrooms crying. Sunday my dad and stepmom took me over to my other grandparents who live not too far away, my mom and stepdad had gotten there the night before. They had stopped by my other grandparent’s house on Saturday before going to my mom’s parents house. My mom wanted to see my dad’s mom and even though my parents have been divorced for over 20 years the family still wanted to see her too. On Sunday we did gifts with my mom’s side, my cousin had driven up as well since her dad, my uncle, lives next door to my grandparents. We had a family dinner and then my mom dropped me back at my grandmas and her and my stepdad drove home. Monday was my grandpa’s funeral service. I was dreading this event more than any other, I knew it would be sad, but I was mostly dreading it because I knew everyone was going to want to give me their condolences about my brother. I know it’s meant to be helpful, but I didn’t want to talk about him. I wasn’t ready yet. Luckily I only got cornered a few times, others seemed to see how I felt and just gave me a hug and said they were sorry to hear before going on their way. I still ended up hiding a little bit. My cousin and I drove home after. I’m glad it was just me and my cousin, my family was worried about me making the trip in my state of mind, but it was one of my brothers favorite drives to make and I needed to do it for him and for me since the two of us were supposed to have made it together. My brother was cremated as well on Monday and his ashes are now with us. My mom asked 2 of his closest friends to come up with the place where they think he would want his ashed scattered. Now that the holidays are over and my grandpas funeral is as well it’s time to start planning my brothers service, I’m not sure I’m ready for that just yet either. It’s been a tragic December and I know that the changing of the year isn’t suddenly going to bring me peace and make everything better, but I am hoping for a better year. 2014 was a really hard, sad, tragic year and the last couple of years have been better than this year, but still hard what with my surgeries and car accident, so I could use a good year. I’ve got a couple of new guardian angels looking out for me in the new year. I miss you and love you little brother. You also grandpa. My world will not be the same without either of you in it.