You never said goodbye. I never got to tell you how much I love you, or how much you mean to me. I never got to tell you what an amazing person you are, how you have the world’s kindest heart. I never got the chance to hug you one last time.
You did leave an unofficial last goodbye. You left us a note.
Does it make things more bearable? Does it make sense for why you left us?
No. Am I glad you left the note? I’m not sure.
There are still so many pieces of the puzzle that are missing. Pieces that will always be missing, no matter if you had left a note or not.
In your note, you explain why you chose this path. I still don’t understand. My mind is still searching for answers, answers I will never find.
The first time I read the note, I threw my phone across the room and almost broke it. This wasn’t you. This wasn’t the brother I knew. It was your illness speaking. I cried hysterically and couldn’t stop.
Your words echoed in my head. My heart ached for the pain you were in, the pain I would never know or understand.
I’ve read the note, a lot since then. My mind still tries to put itself in your place. To understand how much pain you were in, to understand how you could leave those haunting words to the people who loved you so much.
I’ll never understand. I’ll never be in your shoes. I’ll never know the kind of pain you were in, the pain that made you leave this world.
I had another dream again. It relates back to your note.
We were in my car. I was in the passenger seat, you were sitting right behind me. We were yelling at each other. I was crying.
“You only love me because you have to love me, I’m your brother.” You were saying to me.
“That’s not true Austin. I love you, you’re my best friend.” I was screaming back at you.
“You’re obligated to love me Aubrey, that’s it.” You said.
I woke up in sweat. I had to grab Rufus and pull him close to me. My mind went back to your note.
In your note, you said everyone loved you because we were all obligated to love you. This was far from true. But you couldn’t see past this.
People loved you because of your beautiful soul. They loved you because you were Austin. You were the mad professor. You were the Dino man. You loved nature, the earth and animals unlike anyone else.
You saw the world for how it really was. You saw past people’s disabilities, illnesses and struggles. You saw their soul.
How you loved, you didn’t hold back. You loved with all of your heart, all of your soul. You were so brave, I wish I could have been half as brave as you were Austin.
And you brother, were one of a kind. You touched so many people’s lives. You taught children how to swim, you were a lifeguard and saved a woman’s life.
You were meant to change this world. And while you were here for your 20 years, you did.
I wish you could have only known.
Until next time.
So it goes.