Thoughts From Andrew’s Sister

Even before Andrew died I was on a spiritual journey towards being able to ‘just be.’ I wanted to be content… despite low valleys of sadness and high peaks of excitement… simply to be content to exist and to love others. Andrew’s death, though painful beyond belief at the most inconvenient of times, has really pushed me along a path towards just being. People ask me how I am, and I often do not know how to respond other than to simply say ‘I am.’ And I mean it. There are moments in which I feel neither pain nor happiness. I just feel the incredible beauty of existing in this divine universe. I suppose that is part of the gift Andrew is giving me now that he is in another world, with access to infinite wisdom and understanding. He is helping me, his ‘big’ sister work towards true inner peace. It’s funny, because I was always the one looking after him, helping him with problems, helping him navigate this big wide world… but now I feel like his baby sister, vulnerable, and needing his help to get through things.

I just wish he had shared with me how much he was hurting so that I could have made it better for him and we could have lived together on this beautiful earth until our old age. I am so saddened by the fact that my kids won’t have a ‘cool uncle Andrew’ to come and spoil them and give them a different perspective on life. He had assured me that he would come round and ‘corrupt’ my kids. He’d take them out on his bike, give them way too much candy, and just generally expose them to things that I wouldn’t really approve of. Instead now all my children will know of their uncle Andrew are the stories I’ll tell them of our wonderful childhood together. Those memories are all priceless to me, but I feel so robbed that I don’t get to make new memories with him. I would have loved to bring him with me to Saturday Night Live last week, or to the Nutcracker with Robert, or to just hang out at home with the family and make jokes about Daddy’s ridiculous sense of humour. I’m so sad that I won’t be able to go and have tea with him in his dorm room next week and that my little brother Robert no longer has an older brother on this earth to look up to.

I find myself talking to Andrew as I brush my teeth or shower in the morning. I ask him what he’s up to, talk about what I’ve been up to, tell him things I think he’d find amusing. I know he probably chuckles at my mindless rambling, but always looks back at me with a loving smile and a light in his eyes.

I miss you so much Andrew, and love you even more.

Your sister, Florentina.

Below, a couple of my favorite photos with Andrew.

With Andrew in Philly outside the museum of art

Jarping eggs at Easter... google it, it's a British thing

Together on the beach in Sicily... we are the king and queen of photos like this 🙂

With Andrew at his high school graduation

About to go and celebrate my Dad's birthday this past summer


12 thoughts on “Thoughts From Andrew’s Sister

  1. Oh Florentina……A better sister Andrew could have never had. I talk the talk you walk the talk. Oh Andrew….our love

  2. Hi Florentina,
    Your thoughts are good. My daughter is 29. She was 3 days short of her 27th birthday when her brother Bruno killed himself. She has a tattoo down the inside of her left arm which says ‘to my beloved brother’ in German and Russian which were the two languages that he loved, apart from English. Love the photos.
    Love to all the sisters who have lost their brothers.

  3. Beautiful Nanny … and I know what you mean about the lost future, the moments that have been stolen that we could have shared: BUT Tigs is a guiding hand now, I feel sure of it. I can’t claim to have had the road to Damascus revelation, but if nothing else Tigs leaving us for the time being has put a lot of other things in perspective. Silly things really don’t matter now, do they. You might get a shadow of the irritation they would have caused in the past, but then it all falls into place.

    Keep looking at the stars and the sun, and if you trip now and then – well what’s a little bruise compared to the glories around us.

    Nanny, you know I think you are a splendid chap! x

  4. I’ll never steer you wrong.. just keep writing.

    This universe couldn’t have unfurled any other way yet the possibilities from this moment on are beyond our comprehension. Such is the beauty, or at least its potential, manifest in each moment.

  5. Florentina, you write as elegantly as your beautiful name. I’ve read your post over and over knowing I wanted to respond but I am uncharacteristically without words! What you shared is so authentic and unforced. I already knew from Esmeralda’s posts that your Andrew was truly a loved and loving beautiful young man. You are so blessed to have such a brother. And your brothers are so blessed to have such a loving, caring sister. 🙂 Thank you for sharing from your heart. May you know the true inner peace you desire. Aloha~

  6. Florentina ~
    Beautiful. You and Andrew share an amazing bond. He guides you in your journey and fuels your inner peace. YOU are so loved! and wise…

    My daughter is 12 years younger than Kerry (my son) so although they were very close, she only saw him from a childs eye. Like Andrew, Kerry did not share his pain – his way of wanting us all to remember and focus on his goodness.

    REALLY enjoy your writing… tell me more!

  7. Florentina,

    I have so envied those with brothers–those with any siblings at all! Your beautiful poem kept me awake last night, evoked my own deepest grief. I kept thinking of something though that Stephen Levine said to parent/survivors. I believe the passage is in one of his books –anyway, I won’t paraphrase here until I find it.

    My personal belief and those from people a great deal more enlightened than I, as well as those who have come very close to “the transition”–your brother is still with you Through this terrible pain, you are finding that out. It’s quite an adjustment. Not only do you know people who, as your mother said, live in both worlds, but truly, your brother is now living in both. It might seem hard to find him. He is not in his familiar form. And for now, there is no comparison between that alive and vibrant and individual and passionate and intimate form, just who HE was, to now, the new form. But he does continue as does your relationship with him. You will get used to this new and continuing brother, despite the awesome pain. You will one day feel less alone because of his presence. For now, grieve, and let us know–many here have a great deal more experience and wisdom than I do.

    Though you have a wonderful mother, we will adopt you if you allow it. In faith. On the road we all travel, which at times seems to disappear. As a bit of our daughter, a lot of our friend, and because we have come to love Andrew in some glimmer of your own love for him. In that, he has more life than most of us will ever know, and gives life to more…

    Whether these are God’s mysteries, our own, Buddha’s, I do not know…”Whose woods are these? Promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep.” Now you make me think I know what Robert Frost(whom I once thought corny) meant–I know you have promises to keep, miles to go, which does not make it easier, but we will (in addition to your “normal” family and friends’ circle, “travel with,” as the Pennsylvania Dutch say). Virginia

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