Losing loved ones might be the most difficult thing we ever deal with in life. It’s something we all face, but the emotions that accompany loss are hard to put in words. No matter what our words may be, they will always be insufficient to express how we actually feel. Despite the impossibility of the task, I want to share a few thoughts about losing my younger brother to brain cancer earlier this month.
My little brother, Marty Zieger, passed away on August 8th 2017, just after his 80th birthday. He has been a part of my life longer than anyone else. That’s the way it is with siblings. Parents welcome us into the world, but by the time you’re my age, they’ve long departed. With siblings, you have a relationship that lasts from your childhood until your old age. They know you better than anyone else. It was that way with Marty. Despite our childhood spats, and occasional disagreements in later years, he was my friend for life. Nothing can replace that.
One piece of solace for me is that Marty isn’t in pain anymore. When I visited him this summer, it was clear to see that the cancer had taken its toll. He was in severe discomfort. I’m glad that he doesn’t feel that pain anymore. Another piece of comfort that I take in all this is that Marty lived a full life. He had a great marriage with his wife, Ellen. He leaves behind a legacy of wonderful, accomplished children and grandchildren who loved him dearly. He was so proud of them. A surefire way to light up Marty’s face was to ask him about his kids and grandkids.
It’s difficult to say goodbye. But, death happens to all of us. It’s just a part of life. All we can do is make the most of our time with our loved ones while were here. Marty did that. I’m proud to be his big brother.
I love you, Marty. Rest well.
PS— Sadly, last week, we also lost our family dog, Biscuit.
He was a beautiful Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and the kindest dog you could ever meet. Not the best guard dog, though—if a burglar were to break in, Biscuit would’ve pointed him directly to the jewels.
But we loved him, and we wouldn’t have wanted any other dog.
He has been a permanent fixture around our home for the last 9 years. We will miss him dearly.