On the 15th of June I held a Memorial service for my brother Mahmoud Eleleimy who passed away on the 15th of December 2013.
When I first heard the news of his death I was in shock, devastated yet functional. I couldn’t drive, or didn’t trust myself to drive but I did everything else. I called my boss to tell him I will be absent from work, I started looking for flights home, I informed key individuals, I spent the night up crying, talking to people or packing, I got help from a friend to plan how to tell my son about the passing of his uncle.
The flight home was painful, the time in Egypt was strange, it had pain, and it had laughter. over the past ten years I lived away from home, and whenever I returned to visit my family, Mahmoud wasn’t always around, he either had work, was living in a different city or a different country altogether. But then he still showed up from time to time. So it was normal to be with my parents and my sister without him around, because he will eventually show up, except that this time he didn’t.
When I got back to New Zealand I basically just got back to business as usual, work, home with the kids, the works. In the past, business as usual meant that I could spend weeks without talking to my brother, then we exchange messages and have phone calls, and then we go again for weeks without any conversation. That was normal. So, since I got back I am basically just living the “in between phone calls” life that I always lived. It was mostly easy to do that. Another name for that could be “denial”.
Since I came back I wanted to host a memorial service for my brother and I didn’t. I have a friend who persistently reminded me to host one, almost every time we met. I finally decided to host one on the 15th of June which marked 6 months on my brother’s passing. Every step I took in planning the memorial service took me to a new low, it took me out of the “in between phone calls” state of mind I lived in. looking at his pictures brought so many emotions that I didn’t anticipate nor was I prepared to handle. And it has been hard ever since.
I miss him so much, I resent the fact that he is not present in his human form, that I can’t call him. I am unable to go back to my comfortable denial and I am constantly reminded of the loss and unable to bear it.
Grieve is catching up and I don’t know how to cope, forced to learn on the go and totally uncertain how this will turn up.