With the New Year I have been reflecting back on 2011 and it has made me start to think about the people that will be missing at our wedding.  This might be a bit heavy but reflection has a way of doing that to me.

Loss is something I have dealt with most of my life, and while the initial sting of grief has dissipated I still wish I could celebrate with my loved ones, especially my brother and my cousin.

My brother was my closest sibling in age, he was my big brother and my partner in crime.  21 years ago we lost him, it shook my world and gave me a whole new perspective on life.

All photos are personal

On the night we lost my brother my cousin (much older), stepped in and helped to comfort me while my parents were trying to figure out what was up and down.  She was my after school daycare, the woman that picked me up from school when I was sick, held me when my world fell apart, and brought me back home when she got sick.  She had a major influence on who I am, and her illness changed my life plans pretty drastically, it changed my trajectory and ended up leading me to where I am today.  I was blessed to be with her until the end, but it still stings to realize she won’t be with me on such an important day.  I only have a very old picture of her on this computer…

Along with my cousin and my brother are 2 of my grandfathers, 1 of my grandmothers, 2 uncles, and several more cousins.  Needless to say I really have to work on remembering my loved ones, do you have any ideas?

I want the memory to be there but I don’t necessarily want to trigger the sadness…I have been tossing around a couple of ideas but I am not sure how realistic they are:

1) Lighting Memory Lanterns at night

2) Sending balloons off (for special occasions we send off a balloon to my brother…do we expand the tradition to everyone?)

3) or something totally different…



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