It was on this day in 1986 that my brother Tom was killed.  He was 15 years old at the time and it was a devastating loss for my family.  We all still miss him every day.  So I wanted to take a moment and consider how I can continue to honor his memory.

This is a story about Tom published in New York Magazine in October 1982

NY Magazine - Children in NYC - The Have Nots - Tom as Stephen

And this was written by the same author after Tom was killed

NY Magazine - A Death in Hell's Kitchen pg 1 NY Magazine - A Death in Hell's Kitchen pg 2

The King of Stones in this deck is a wolf.  My brother Tom would have loved that.  He was an animal lover and always seemed to have a menagerie of pets.  I have always had a fondness for wolves too.  They are such beautiful, wild, untamed creatures.  They operate in a pack and care for each other.  Despite the fact that they have been hunted almost to extinction by humans they manage to hang on.  If it’s now popular to be a woman who runs with the wolves, my brother was a boy who ran with the wolves.

Tom was unique, quirky and in many ways quite fearless.  The older he got the more independent he became.  He was never one to go with the crowd.  I remember a time when Tom told his closet friend that he wouldn’t hang out with him anymore if he kept doing drugs.  Tom didn’t care if his friend got mad, Tom also had a wicked sense of humor.  He once set up a dummy figure on our sofa so that it looked like an uncle who had recently died.  He then waiting until one of us entered the living room and fell into his trap.  Of course it was me and I can still hear his chuckle at my shriek.

Although Tom was only 16 when he was killed and the pain was incredible, I would never trade those 16 years for anything.  Tom wasn’t perfect.  He had a fierce temper and, like most teenage boys, rather challenged hygiene but he was good-hearted, caring, and funny.  He loved hockey and was a die-hard NY Rangers fan.  he loved people but I think he loved animals more.  He was a wonderful and wacky storyteller who could make up laugh without even trying.

I think to honor his memory, the King of Stones is telling me to maintain a connection to the wild – both in the world and in myself.  I need to go out into the woods and howl at the moon – whether literally or figuratively.  I need to honor my pack and keep those connections alive.  And I need to always keep Tom in my heart.  He was part of our pack and we still mourn his loss.