Tuesday I’m going to pick up a fountain pen to use when writing letters to my brother who called himself the Vivaldi kid, among other things. I’m not really working on grief associated with him, but I am writing letters to my Vivaldi Kid, for the violin.

It occurred to me that not seeing him at his funeral makes taking his death hard. I didn’t get to say goodbye. What did they dress him in, or did they cremate him? I was never told. Where is his grave site? Did anyone bother to take photos of the site? Is he in New York or here? He should be in New York. What happened to his body? If cremated, did they even collect his ashes?  What did they do with him after his death? Did he have arrangements in place? What I mean is, did he have last wishes for his properties? 

You know, the more questions I ask the more I realize I didn’t really know him. I followed him online for two decades and spoke with him several times, but I didn’t know him intimately, especially his .. my mind went blank. … I remember the child he was in my arms. I remember feeling the most powerful love a person could feel. I remember thinking he was the most perfect thing living, but I only got to experience that love for about three years. Everything I remember and felt is wrapped up in three years, but his life went on and I had and still have little knowledge of what was inside his head.

I no longer crumble when I hear the violin.

There’s anger directed at aunts. I hope the pain I feel is felt ten fold with no relief. I hope they hurt. I hope they lose sleep. I hope they never find an excuse to avoid culpability. I hope my mother suffered, truly suffered over his death. I hope every cell in her body strained and bent with grief. I hope she writhed in pain. I have a cousin who should experience mind numbing grief that never stops.

There was too much abuse in that family, too much. To think someone can be abused by nearly every adult family member is rather shocking, but it’s true. Abuse in my family was systemic. Everyone took part in their own way. They left no stone unturned. They didn’t let up or offer relief in any way.

It’s funny, I can’t think of another instance where I’d feel so strongly about them feeling pain. My own abuse doesn’t get that strong of a reaction. I don’t desire to have them suffer because they abused other family members, but this is different. I want to lash out at them. I want them to know they hurt him and it matters. I take it personally that they hurt that little boy.

Am I innocent? Who knows, but if grief can break a bone then my spirit is effectively  crumbled.

At least I’m now able to write without blubbering, but I want the letters written in a style used by me when he first appeared in my life. I used a Sheaffer fountain pen. There was something about that pen that made me feel like my words were important and couldn’t be erased. I wrote in black. It seemed stable and etched into reality. There was something powerful about it.

As I think about writing in permanent ink with my black Sheaffer pen, I remember feeling as if what I wrote couldn’t be ignored and reality couldn’t be twisted, or devalued. Why did a pen make me feel solid? It just did. The calligraphy tip gave the writing an elegant flair.

I’ve always felt like I’m easily forgotten, that people will not take me seriously or believe me. I still feel the need to cement my place in life and demand that I not be ignored. My feelings are valid. My understanding of the past is valid and should not be swept under the carpet. When I write to my brother or about him, I need it to feel like it matters. I also feel like I need to go back to the very first time I held him and the first time I realized I had to do something to help him which meant giving him up. All of that needs to feel valid and worthwhile. It can’t be erased.


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