A little over a week ago, February 22nd to be exact, I received a phone call that changed my life forever; my oldest brother, Craig, passed away unexpectedly.
Craig was 11 years older than me. He was the big older brother, the protector, and larger than life personality in the family. Even though we were so far apart in age, I always felt like he and I were more alike than we both cared to mention. He would do anything for those he cared about and really anybody in need, period. Being the older brother, he would tend to think he was also wiser which I personally didn’t agree with so at times, we butted heads (what brother and sister doesn’t). We were starting to get to know each other as adults more and more but I still wish we were able to get closer than we were.
Through the tough exterior, I know he really cared for his little sister and I know he adored his niece Kyler. I think that part may be the hardest for me to come to grips with. My little girl won’t get to know her Uncle Craig. It will be my job to make sure she grows up and knows who he is and how much he loved her and I will make sure she knows that. My future children/child will not get to meet their Uncle Craig and he will not get to meet them. That is extremely hard for me to think of as well.
We had a beautiful memorial service for him on Friday and so many of his close friends and family came out to celebrate his life. It was very touching to say the least. He had so many people around him who cared for him and it reminded me how good of a person he really was.
As my family and I begin to move forward with our lives, we will never forget all of the memories we shared with him. I know for myself personally, this will take sometime to fully understand what happened. By the time we had his service, I think I was just so emotionally drained that I found myself not really all there. I think my mind keeps trying to escape and stay busy so I don’t have to think about what really happened but I know it is all a part of the grieving process.
As I was driving alone yesterday, I said to myself, out loud, Craig, please let me know you are okay. Please let me know that everything is going to be all right and that you are at peace. The next song to immediately come on the radio was Gary Allan’s “Every Storm Runs Out of Rain.” Craig loved country music. I know it could be a big coincidence but I like to think of it as a sign and him looking down on me and letting me know that eventually, things will be better.
Craig, I miss you more than words can even begin to describe. Mom and Dad are two of the strongest people I know and they will get through this. Josh and I will always be your little brother and little sister and we will always be a family of 5. Please watch over your family and friends during this extremely difficult time while we all deal with you not being here physically. You will always be with me in spirit and I love you.
Craig Thomas Drabyk
March 23, 1975 – February 22, 2013
Rest In Peace big brother.