When I was 16, my life changed forever. I lost one of my older brothers to an unexpected episode of gun violence. Ben died by suicide. Although my family was relatively large–I was the second youngest of six children–I had become very close with Ben in the years leading up to this moment. I never knew, until that moment, that it was possible to experience such pain, let alone endure it. Our family, some of which was now spread across the country, was shattered within mere minutes, and it seemed we had little else but each other to lean on. While our hearts seemed irreparable, we also experienced the transformative reforging of our familial bonds. It was a resolute and indomitable love that we found ourselves expressing, almost unconsciously. Our faith community descended upon us, bumbling yet well intentioned. This brought some small comforts, but also significant challenges. Seven years on, I am still learning, every day, how to allow myself to grieve on my own terms. Not a day goes by that I don’t remember Ben. Quick to anger but even quicker to laugh and to love. Full of confusion but also of generosity and kindness.