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My brother calls.

So i'm sitting here, sick, browsing the internet as I wait to go to the doctor for what feels like hell in my throat when the phone rings.

It's my brother. He's crying.

W never cries. W is 7 years older than me, and I've never seen him express this type of raw emotion, except for the time a girl broke his heart, and he wondered if he'd spend the rest of his life alone. I don't remember him crying after our mother died. I just remember the grim look that has remained on his face since then.

His friend, an ex who is a better friend than a lover, her father just had a heart attack, and they found him dead. EMS tried to recover him, but he is gone.

W never liked this man, for whatever reason. Nor did his friend, but it was her father, so it's that kind of complicated. I was wrong. I don't know where I got this idea, but my Dad corrected me. There was something involving the mother that was weird, and I got mixed up. I hurt someone saying this. I'm sorry.

My brother is calling, and crying-I'm sure, because suddenly he remembers our mother, remembers losing her, the heartbreak, the whimpering quiet sad that lingered, the helplessness in the waiting rooms.

Where do you go after someone dies? Do you stay at the hospital , waiting for something to change, for a past to alter? Do you drive to the nearest Tim Hortons, drink coffee blindly against your fate? Do you curl up into the smallest possible thing, and cry like a broken child?

And what can I say that he's never heard? He knows there is nothing I can say, that anyone can say. People die. Hearts hurt. We move on.

I want to be able to say something profound to him, something moving and simple that will take away the hurt. But for all my talents, all the magic I can sometimes conjure up with words and song, I find myself lacking.

And that hurts too.

What can you say?
Not much.

I will soon be going though this with my wife as her mother is quite ill.
Not looking forward to it at all. I know she will crumble after she is gone.

Ho hum.

Sorry not to have any words for you, either. You're not lacking, though. You're feeling it because of what you have.

I think a lot of people have that same feeling - wanting to say something profound and meaningful. However people rarely remember what you say, but they always remember how you made them feel. Listening to your brother and being supportive was the very best thing you could do. He was fortunate to have you.

I always end up feeling woefully inadequate in situations like this. When my best friend's mom passed away from cancer several years ago, I was at a loss for what to say. But there's no perfect thing you can say to someone that's dealing with the death of someone close to them. You just try to be there for them the best you can.

I'm sure your brother was just grateful to have someone to talk to.

It's not that words are inadequate, they're not always necessary. When my brother lost his wife to cancer I just made sure I was there for him. In the end, that's what matters most.

If you want you can always try these though:

1) I know.
2) I'm here.
3) I love you.

Everything else is just details.

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