My brother was one of a kind. He had energy that took over a room and could not be denied. He was unusually tall, with a booming voice, and a sharp sense of humor. But he had a dark sadness in him that he fought so hard for over a decade. His struggles with addiction stemmed from untreated mental health illness. He was always so sensitive, like he felt everything more than anyone else, which fed into his addiction disorder.
I miss all the little things. Talking about new music. Fart jokes. Ripping on our parents for being lame. But I mourn all the big things that will never be. He'll never see his kids grow up to be the wonderful humans they have already become, he'll never meet my dog who he would adore as much as I do, he'll never be a shoulder to cry on when our parents are gone. And I'll miss seeing him smile again, miss hearing his dumb voice, miss feeling the sharp pain as he knuckle punches me in the tricep.
It is truly unfair that he is gone. The world deserved to know him better, the real him. He deserved better than the cards life dealt him. My parents deserved to see him happy and healthy. My sister and I deserved decades more together with him. Unfortunately, addiction doesn't care what you deserve, it only cares about feeding itself at any cost. It doesn't care about burning bridges or breaking hearts or destroying lives; just like a parasite, it only cares about its own survival even if that comes at the cost of the host.
I cannot wait for the day where stories like this don't exist. Enough is enough.