His Beautiful Life

Sunday, November 21, 2010

changing.


About a month ago I checked my email like I normally do every hour or so, but this day my inbox had a special message waiting for me. A girl stumbled across my blog and decided to message me. She hadn't lost her brother like I had, but instead she had two brothers currently alive and healthy. She just wanted to let me know that I had touched her to point the she wanted to be a better sister. To be able to make the most of the moments she can still have to spend with her brothers and family because like most of us do, she had been taking for granted the fact they live so close to one another and rarely see each other. Sometimes a phone call of text message is just not enough.

I haven't made a blog post in quite some time but this email gave me some inspiration to document more of my coping. And missing and loving and tears. of joy and of pain.

Thanksgiving is this week and Christmas just around the corner. This is a special time of year for our family. A time where we are all together and even though we may not be doing anything more than playing with our dogs or watching a christmas movie our parents are forcing us to sit through, its a time we all could count on and look forward to each year.

This year will be the first of many very different and difficult holidays to come. Playing cards at Papa Sue and Papa Clayton's house will always be a moment when i can picture Jason sitting on a chair at the corner of the table, cracking jokes and smiling and trying to beat everyone to a Jubile. And when papa Clayton lets all of us grandkids play for all of his money, I don't think i will even want to compete.

I thought you might be lonely, so dad and I brought fall festivities to you out by the water. Im sure your pumpkin is spoiled by now and your flowers dead, but I know you and Smokey can plug your noses and just laugh. I am still so overcome with sadness. And miss you entirely too much for my heart to handle. And even though its now nearly December, my memories with and of you have only grown stronger.


I have so many things to tell you and show you and so many places I wish i could take you. And One day... we will do it all. I know it.

More posts to come.

Friday, May 21, 2010

I hate that forever is forever

Your birthday is next week. You turn 22. And I don't know if I'm supposed to get you a present. Or a card. Or take flowers to your grave. Do I sing you happy birthday? Do I leave you a voicemail or write on your Facebook page? Because I can't give you a hug or a high five or birthday spankings. I can't watch you open presents or eat birthday cake. I can't buy you lunch. I can't even see you. Forever. I can't even see you forever. And I drive in my car everyday and torture myself by listening to sad songs. Or your favorite songs. Just so i can feel you some how. I cry. I cry so much. Because I love you so much. And I miss you so much. And I need you so much. We all do.
It has been just over three months since we lost you. And it feels like an eternity. The days are longer. The skies more grey. And so many things remind me of you. For which I'm thankful and resentfull at the same time.
It took me three months to get enough courage to go to your grave. Three months. And I will admit that the moment I turned my car into the cemetery I cried as hard and as loud and as long as I did back on March 9. I just laid in the grass, nearly hyperventilating, my emotions had taken over me so strongly. I haven't been back since then either. It doesn't feel beautiful or peaceful or a place of mourning. It felt terrifying and real. And I know it's real. I still don't want it to be. I wish there was still a chance. For a miracle. For anything. But I know there's not. It's really forever.
One night I was thinking about how one day I will have my own kids. Kids who will never know you. Never know their uncle Jason. And I see uncle Randy now, more often than ever before and he reminds me so much of you that it stings sometimes. Your voice is the same. You ask the same kinds of questions and get excited the same way. And he is so cute with maddie. I bet you would have been such a great dad, just like he is.

I love you. Be with me always.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Happiness. feels a lot like sorrow.

I have taught this combination twice now, and each time I have broken down. crying. everyone cried along with me as well, either for my story or a story of their own buried within. The song Happiness is one my brother Brian and I chose to be played at Jason's funeral. the lyrics say what i want to say, It will be three weeks tomorrow that he passed away. And for a moment last week things seemed to get easier. no crying in fact for two days in a row, then Thursday day night in dance it all caught back up with me. I cried enough their to make up for those two then cried on my way home then again at home on the couch then again in the bath. And while i have never considered myself to be a crier... sometimes we just need to cry. to feel the way we want to feel. because its OK to not be OK.

Happiness, feels a lot like sorrow
Let it be
You can't make it come or go
But you are gone
Not for good, but for now
But gone for now, feels a lot like gone for good.


Monday, March 22, 2010

mising him.

It seems as though some progress has been made over the past 4 days. I don't cry as often and I find myself able to smile again- which i can't help but feel guilty for. This situation is one I have never experienced before. My brothers funeral was the only funeral I have been too (with the exception of my grandpas but i was three so i don't think it counts). But i do think we have began the initial stages of "coping". I do worry about my mom though, she is still as emotional as two weeks ago, its so hard to see her so sad. I hate it, but I know the pain of loosing a brother- I cannot imagine that of loosing a son.

Tonight at dinner with Brett's family, he was talking about shooting guns and how fun it would be to take my brother with him. Seems nice right-except all i could focus on was the singular use of the word brother. My heart stopped, eyes watered, my smile and laugh simmered and my stomach hurt. All of a sudden i was back to that feeling of hurt and sadness. I only have one brother now. Jason can no longer shoot guns or go to movies or eat dinner with me. The reality grows more and more with each memory of him I come across.

I saw She's out of my League tonight and the entire time i laughed and thought man he would love this movie so much, he would quote this or quote that. I will never get to hear him do it though. its so hard to except that.

School starts back tomorrow and I am thankful for timing, as I had spring break to deal with my emotions- however I feel like i'm supposed to speed up my mourning process and jump back into my life like its normal, like its going right back to how it was two weeks ago. I have to go and sit in the classroom i ran out of as soon as I found out. The last thing I want to do is relive that moment and until May 15, I must go every single week.

I have been leaning and my family and friends and God and I know with time we will all be OK. I just wish i didnt feel like i HAVE to be OK, starting tomorrow...

on a lighter note... Mom let me borrow her mink.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

keep breathing,

we just celebrated Jason's life in the most beautiful and meaningful way possible. Thank you all who attended. It meant so much. I was terrified to go and to watch and most especially to speak but I thank God for the courage to step onto the stage with Brian and talk to my little brother once again. i said...

Jason…

I am standing here today with all of your friends to tell you how much we all love you. Billy Joel said “Only the good die young” and I guess he was right. You had one of the biggest hearts God ever made, and I think He gave it to you so you could share it will all of us. I hope you know there are hundreds of people here in this room right now- hundreds of lives you touched. Whether you were striking them out or pinning them to the mat, or helping them move into their apartment or pulling a prank on them, they are all here for you. We are all here because we love you.

Nobody is perfect. We all have our battles to fight and I’m so proud of you for never giving up. Some people say its not whether you win or lose but how you play the game…and you never quit the game, you never folded your hand, or waved the white flag. You fought- and you fought hard. and I hate it so much that you lost this fight. I hate it so much- but you were such a soldier along the way. You trusted in God and helped so many other people find their path, you were a leader and an inspiration. You changed lives and saved lives and made the life of someone like me worth living.

You will always be my charming, witty, talented, loving baby brother. And I know today is the last time I will get to see your body, but its not the last time I will see your heart or your life or your story. I think about you every day, please reach down and give me a hug soon and let me know you are ok. I will see you again one day, and we can eat all the buffalo wings you want.

i try to say goodbye and i choke
i try to walk away and i stumble
though i try to hide it, its clear
my world crumbles when you are not here



we let balloons go in his honor, each one carrying a special message from our hearts. The balloons will fly further and further and even though we can no longer see them, they still have their wings. So does he. We love you Jason. Rest in peace.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

tomorrow.



i saw Jason tonight. at the viewing. and i lost it. I knew i was going to be upset, i knew i didnt want to see him and be forced to face reality but i did it. And honestly it was worse than i could have even imagined. He just laid there. holding his hands. eyes shut, with the air vent blowing above him, moving his shirt- like he was really breathing- like he would open his eyes at any second and jump out and yell GOTCHA. but it never happened. For nearly 3 hours tonight i greeted many friends and family who came to pay their respects and i even found myself discouraging many from even going into the room he was in. I have never ever ever faced something more difficult than staring at my little brother as he lay in his own coffin. and the worst part is I have to do it again tomorrow. then go to his funeral. then to his burial. I know last Tuesday night was hard and devestating and I thought nothing could compare to the moment I found out. but tonight compares, tomorrow morning will compare and there is quite a good chance that tomorrow afternoon will surpass the pain i have felt so far.

I am sitting here trying to decide if I am strong enough to speak at the funeral. to share with everyone what i loved so much about him. what i will miss about him. And i can do that so well here on this blog. But i don't know if i can do it tomorrow. speak when i want to cry. Share his life when i now want to die. I want to prepare something and have it with me just in case. maybe hold Brian's hand and attempt to take the stand. but i need the right words, i want it to be perfect. the very last time i will ever see my brother is tomorrow. the very last time i will ever get to talk to him face to face is tomorrow. i want it to be perfect.

im so scared.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Today is Sunday.

Today is Sunday, 5 days after he left this earth. 5 days after our world changed, and it is still as devastating as the moment I found out. My mom only knows how to cry now, my dad tries to be strong. Brian is my rock and I am trying to be the glue. Hold everyone together when all we want to do is fall apart. His obituary was in the newspaper for the first time today and even saying those words puts huge knots in my stomach. Reading it is an entirely different story. But in the midst of this darkness our family had the chance to hear from so many people about the memories they have of our Jason.
A visit yesterday from someone so special to him may have even changed my life.

Chris Flanary had been there for Jason over the past year on such a deeper level than our family even could have tried to be. Their relationship had so many commonalities and they grew to become brothers and though yesterday had been my first time meeting him, i know he already he will be in our family forever. He was with Jason and gave him encouragement and support and accountability when he needed it most, he helped lead Jason the God and was there when he was baptized just a few months ago. He told us how involved Jason was in church and in their life groups and how much he loved Jesus. a side I wish I had been able to experience with him. I sit here and regret missing his baptism because I had to teach, and i regret living in new york because I was never able to see him at Clay Crossings, I couldn't go to his transition or graduation, I never went to Choctaw- all I can think of are these moments I missed and didn't have to. All I can think of is why did I think anything could be more important than him. than family. Chris told us how much Jason helped people fight their own battles and find the Lord and showed patience and kindness to anyone who wanted a second chance. I think he did it because he knew how important that second chance was. is. I couldn't be more thankful for our conversation with Chris. to learn of this special side of my brother. I hate that i didn't even know. none of us even knew. but i believe God gave him his personality and kindness and charisma to make every person he met feel at home. feel comfortable. and he cared so much for his friends and family, even those he had only known a short time. My mom keeps saying "he never met a stranger."



People like Chris really brought out the best in him, even when the situations were the worst. I think he was here on this earth and in our arms even longer because of Chris- and Jeff and LifeChurch and Clay Crossings and anyone else out there that we have not had the chance to meet and thank. We love and miss him so much but our family is so thankful for the 21 years and 10 months we had with him.

In church this morning i felt like the message was saying dont take our time here for granted because we dont know when He is coming back. We dont know when the moment we are living in will turn into our last. and are we ready. have we made our mark? have we done our job? have we served our God they way he designed us to? I know Jaosn did. i know he was ready, and even though we are selfish and miss him and we were not ready to say Goodbye-because of course we never wanted to- Jason was ready. I know he was. i know he is heaven. i know he will guide us through this time. forever. He was such a special person. We are all so lucky to have known him.

feel free to share your memories and sign the guest book
http://www.legacy.com/gb2/default.aspx?bookid=1258566108847

Friday, March 12, 2010

Funeral Service/Celebration of my brothers amazing life



In loving memory of my Big Brother, The funeral will be held at Southern Hills Baptist Church (SW 89th and Penn) Wednesday March 17 at 2 pm. There will be a viewing for family and friends on the evening of Tuesday March 16th from 6-8 pm and again on Wednesday morning from 10-12 at Resthaven Funeral Home on 104th and Western. Everyone is invited to come and celebrate his life. -Brian and Kelsey


I love you so much Jason, I can't wait to see you
Brian

I can't stop thinking of you. I love you
Kelsey

Thursday, March 11, 2010

hope.

Hope is all we have now. Hope to survive this battle that has already separated us from one of our leaders. from our future. from everything we thought we knew. And now we can only hope to find the strength to walk this new path, wherever it may take us.

Today is the third day without Jason and I still can't believe its real. I don't think any of us can-or want to. Now i'm forced to pinch myself and wake up from the dream to realize the nightmare is in fact the truth.

Why does God choose to take away the ones we love. the ones we need. the ones who needed more time to show the world their true colors, to live out the plans for this incredible life he had dreamed of. I don't think God would do that.

I saw on a friends facebook status a quote.
you give satan and inch
and he takes a mile


I think its so true. so while we mourn the loss of one of the greatest men who didn't get to grow up... we need to remember-
don't give up on those you love. don't give up on your self. if you or someone you know needs help, don't hesitate to do it. Because the pain we are being forced to deal with now isn't fair. isn't right. makes no sense and i wish it upon absolutely no one. PLEASE prevent it while you have the chance.






Dear Jason,
my brother. my rock. the one i miss so much. I don't know what to do. what I'm supposed to do. or say. or think or feel. But i know time will lead the way. and you will help us from way up there with your new wings. you will show us all how to fly again- and we will not forget you- we will not forget one single thing about you.

I wont ever forget your curly mullet or Garth Brooks obsession, or the weird red dirt music you listen too. Our live Like You're Dying dance in dads car, or how excited you were when you got that new white truck. I wont forget how you always slept in Spanish class and I would try to hide you so you wouldnt get in trouble (or embarass me). I wont ever forget getting to cheer for you as you wrestled your way to such great heights. I most especially wont forget you and your electric guitar and how you thought you could teach yourself how to play. I could go on and on and on and on and as i sit in the living room floor looking at the hundreds of pictures we have together over the years...i realize i have such big shoes to fill. Brian looks up to you so much- for so many reasons i have nothing to do with and now i need to be both his sister and brother. I am arranging your slide show and picking out songs ...all things id hoped to do for your wedding or graduation party.
I never even considered a funeral. i knew you would be here forever. So i will close my eyes and see you there every night. I will talk to you every day. and I will honor your life and legacy the way i hope youd want me too.

we all love you so much. you have so many friends and have touched so many lives. our house has never seen so many people in and out and they are all here for you. I wish you could be here to see it. I wish you could just be here. I miss you forever.

love kelsey





Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Big Bro. I miss you

Jason, I love and miss you so damn much. You are the greatest brother I could've ever asked for. We had gotten so much closer over the past year from you being my wrestling partner every single day. Those were the greatest times of my life and wrestling practices will never ever be the same. You're amazing. You could make a complete stranger feel like they've known you for years and I love that quality about you. You can bring the spirits up of anybody that was down. I can't imagine how I'm going to go on without you, but I know you're going to help me through it. You've always helped me whenever I was in trouble or in a bind and I know you wont stop now.



I keep thinking about busting in your back window with my bat to find you helpless, sitting there in your front seat. You just looked asleep and I couldnt wake you up. I wanted so so badly for you to wake up. I shook you so hard, and tried to get you to breath. I feel so horrible for you because you didnt get to complete the incredible life that I know you should've had.

I wish so badly that I would just wake up and you would be standing over my head singing "Pants on the ground" and quoting the Hangover with me and asking me if I wanted to go eat lunch before wrestling practice. I wish I would've gone with you everytime you asked me to..

This past weekend in Colorado will be memories I'll never forget.
I had the honor of wrestling you in your very last wrestling match atop a mountain 11,000 feet in the air.
And of course, you beat me, which I am honored to be beaten by someone as great as you.
Your amazing at everything you set your mind to.

I love you so much, You'll be in my heart forever and I will never EVER forget a single memory we have had together
I remember all the baseball trips that I annoyed you and your friends on
I remember all the wrestling practices you kicked my butt in
I remember all the trips to dads office that we complained about the entire time
I remember all the Disney World vacations that you hated, yet i loved spending time with you and roaming the park, just me and you without the parents
The ski trip is something i will never ever forget..and so many more memories

I dont know how i can do this without you..
Every single thing I do from this day forward will be for you Jas.
My life is now for you and I will make you proud.

I love you Big Brother
See You Soon
Love Brian






My world has stopped.

March 9, 2010. Officially and most certainly the most horrific day of not only my life, but my families lives as well. Jason, my 21 year old brother, passed away.

Have you ever heard your dad screaming, he is crying so hard? Or your mom on the phone telling her mom that she lost her son. Can you imagine stepping outside of class to return the twelve missed calls from your mother for her to say "Jason's Dead". My little brother broke the window in Jason's truck to find him laying there, blue. too late. My baby brother had to find his big brother like that.

I don't know what to do. There's nothing to do. Our lives can never be the same. I know people lose loved ones every day but this pain is unimaginable until it happens to you. I just never wanted it to happen to me. to us.

I will always love and miss my wonderful, talented, funny, smart, unique brother Jason. I honestly have not a clue how to live without you.

Jason Frederick Self
May 25, 1988- March 9, 2010








i try to say goodbye and i choke
i try to walk away and i stumble
though i try to hide it, its clear
my world crumbles when you are not here








i love you. rest in peace.
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