Sometimes still, after all this time, it is too much. I sit and can't understand what happened, how he could really be gone, and how I am never going to hear his voice again.
To make it real I inevitably think of seeing his body, which is horrible. Horrible that it was a body, that it was my brother's body, and that my mind goes there because that was the most real moment of his death. It was a nightmare out of a poem that we stood in the morgue on Father's Day and looked at his face hovering in front of us on the closed captioned TV screen they now use for next-of-kin to identify bodies. We knew cerebrally he was in there but before the screen flipped on I know our souls were screaming for it to be a mistake and to see some other young mans face appear. It was Brendan, unmistakeably B with his messy curly blonde hair. He had a bruise on his cheek, his mouth was slightly open, as were his eyes. He didn't look asleep, as processed bodies almost do, he just looked dead. You couldn't see the bright beautiful blue-gray color of his eyes, but they weren't cloudy or creepy. They just weren't anything.
I had to eventually ask the old sad man who was working alone in the morgue on Father's Day to please turn it off. I was crying and I said something about yes it was him and what were we supposed to do and please turn it off, and I remember feeling like I had to because I was the only one not sitting on the couch in the room and I could feel my family crumbling behind me. Later in the car my mom said she though Brendan looked like a picture of Jesus on the screen, because his hair formed this gold halo around his face. He did. He'd laugh at me for saying that.