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Sometimes when we are sad we pull up old music playlists to take us back to a previous time when things were easy and free. Other times, we might pull out an old photo album and run our fingers over the disposables, wondering what it was like back then.

As humans, we remember. Our memories carry us to the present moment and help us piece together our life. Some memories are happy. Some are sad. Some just simply don’t feel like they should be memories.

Hugging my brother is a memory.

At a former moment in time, he was a vessel made up of pumping blood, strong bone and thick muscle. We shared the same curly brown hair and long eyelashes.

I’d do absolutely anything to go back in time and save him if I could.

But here in the present, all we are left to do is keep on living and part of living is also remembering.

Next weekend, my mom will be attending an event for people who have lost a loved one and will release a butterfly in his honor, watching it fly off into the blue skies.

At the end of the summer, we will ride out into the ocean and sail with him, holding his spirit in our hearts. This is just the beginning of honoring him and it will be a lifelong process. I plan to climb mountains and run obstacle course races for him. I plan to write him a song and sing it to him.

I have another friend who lost a brother, too. An avid rock climber. On the one-year anniversary of his passing, she climbed 21 routes for her brother, which also happened to fall around his 21st birthday.

When the ones we love are gone, we have to continue, no matter how much it hurts. We will push the limits in pursuit of our passions. We will fight for those struggling. We will honor and we will remember.


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