Thirty Years On And Memory Still Strong

IMG_0451This month marks thirty years since my brother, Joseph, died by suicide. Each year it is sad in its own way. But how that sense of loss is felt can never be predicted from year to year.  Joseph and I both had an avid interest in literature. Some of you would be aware of a post I made in a Cherished Blogfest that featured a special handwritten list by Joseph.  In that list he recommended authors to me.  Incidentally, if you are interested in Cherished 2017, even just a little bit, hop on over to the blogs of Damyanti at Daily (W)Rite and Dan at No Facilities. They can fill you in.  Anyhow, back to Joseph’s list.  One of the authors he mentioned was Robert Louis Stevenson. By way of tribute to both Joseph and R.L.S., I post one of Stevenson’s poems, pictured above.  My brother and mother introduced Stevenson to me, via Treasure Island, of course! Stevenson’s poem speaks to me of adventures he had written, of lives of many who have used this epitaph, and it has touched some of our loved ones dearly.  Also, being in the form of a poetic epitaph, it makes a fitting remembrance to Joseph, a lover of literature.

The copy of the poem comes from a very old book, scavenged from a secondhand bookshop somewhere (we don’t recall exactly). It was published by T.C & E.C. Jack Ltd. of London and Edinburgh, way back in 1917.

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Simon C.J. Falk 13 July 2017

 

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Check out the We Are the World Blogfest by following #WATWB. We post good news stories on the final Fridays of each month. Info on it can be found here.

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15 thoughts on “Thirty Years On And Memory Still Strong

  1. Hi Simon – I am sorry to read this … such a dreadful experience to have … but I’m glad you have some happy memories of authors and books he recommended for you … he will continue to live with you that way – you’ll be guided by him. Stevenson’s Requiem is a great find to use with this post … my thoughts – these happenings are never easy to understand or to live with … all the best – Hilary

    1. Thanks, Hilary. It is sad. However, why I blog such things is that grief and loss of one can add to the lives of others. Like WATWB, when one of us grows from their experience of sadness and hurt, they may be a source of good for others.

      1. Hi Simon – yes I agree out of adversity of the many sorts around does come positivity … and we think differently and understand others … it is interesting how life can turn us … cheers for a peaceful weekend – Hilary

  2. To me, the passage from R.L.S., at first, felt like a military person who was willing to put his life in jeopardy for others. That could be my mindset. It goes to show that each person takes a part of themselves along the journey whenever they read anything.

    1. Thanks , Lynn. I have seen part of that poem on a fallen serviceman’s headstone at commemoration point, Gallipoli, on the Turkish coast. The irony is he never came home from the sea. It is a very versatile verse.

  3. I understand and appreciate your memories of your brother. While a child and through my early 20s, I hated my much older (19 years) brother. He was an alcoholic. In time, I came to realize how much I had learned from him and how much of his sensitivity shared. For some reason, I never probed too deeply about the source of or reason for his alcoholism. Of course once on that path, it is undoubtedly somewhat self-sustaining. Perhaps it started from things he saw in Korea, during America’s participation in that war. I wish I had known him better. I could not have alleviated his pain until the growth I achieved in the years since his death in 1977, shortly before I found the faith that made my own path to happiness and success clear.

    1. John, thanks for taking the time to comment in the way you have and for sharing about your brother. I’m glad that your experience of faith has been a path of more peacefulness for you. Faith, at times mediated through the faith of others has done so for me as well. Like yourself, my brother was much older (16 years) and had problems with the use of alcohol. Thankfully, for my brother, it the abuse of alcohol was short lived and AA helped him to a degree. Knowing what we now know, I think we would say my brother suffered clinical depression episodes across the span of his life of 31 years. We hardly ever fought with each other and he and I had very similar interests although his need to live from his introversion was greater than mine. Thank you again, John. Your comments have struck a chord here. May both our brothers rest in peace the world cannot give. May we be at peace with them.

    1. Thank you. It was a kind of nostalgic sadness I was coming from. After all these years the grief changes. I still miss him, but it is not a raw sadness anymore. More a wistful, I wish he was here for this or that.

  4. Here we go. The Kevin Bacon effect in my life, or synchronicity at work. Just a week ago I sent a birthday pkg to my son and in it was a last minute add in of an old prinitng of Treasure Isalnd, snagged from the collection of a very dear friend’s massive library after she passed. It was one of my son’s favorite stories as an early teen. I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful poem as tribute. Hugs.

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