The gift I didn’t know I needed

The gift I didn’t know I needed

I've spent thirty-two years with the mistaken belief that because my brother died in my childhood, he didn't really exist.  Strangely, I always had him in my thoughts and on my mind, but it was more like a fantasy life I was experiencing, wishing him to be there, but believing he was only a figment of my own imagination.  I wasn't consciously aware that I was practicing this disassociation routinely until I wrote a blog post this year about my experience living and loving a terminally ill sibling and shared it on Facebook.  The responses I received were overwhelming.  Childhood friends and my brother's teachers all reaching out to me, sharing their own memories of my brother, Mike.  I got choked up reading these online conversations reliving our experiences with Mike from so long ago.  I read stories I wasn't even aware of, because I had stopped talking about my brother in seventh grade when he died.  Only the handful of closest...
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