Saudade

According to Rarasaur’s latest prompt, Saudade is “a Portuguese word that describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for an absent something/someone that one loves. Moreover, it often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing will never return.” It can also be described as “the love that remains” after someone is gone and is an combination of happiness and sadness.

Initially I thought I was going to write about my Mum and I even considered simply reposting this old post, which I think sums up the concept pretty well. Then I thought about another absent family member (who I miss more than most people realise) so this one’s for you little brother…

Unlike rather too many of my friends, I haven’t lost my brother, but I sometimes feel like he’s been misplaced. BLB moved to Australia almost ten years ago (as always in these stories, there was a girl, but that’s a tale for another day). At first he couldn’t really afford to come back but we managed to scrape together enough cash and air-miles to get out to see him a couple of times. Later, he came home for my wedding and as often as he could while Mum was ill, using up all his accrued holiday and then some in the process. The last time was just a few days before she died (summoned by that phone call) and I remember how desperate I was for him to arrive and how grateful we were to friends who met planes and trains to help get him back to us.

Since then it’s been harder. The Jam can’t fly until after the next operation and I can’t leave him for long enough to make a solo trip to Oz worthwhile. BLB comes back when he can, but for some reason a return flight bought in Australia is almost twice the price, plus it wipes out his holiday for most of the year. When we do see each other we usually manage about 36 hours under the same roof before the squabbling starts, but that’s part of what I miss.

My BLB - Pseudo-Aussie does Christmas in the UK...
My BLB – Pseudo-Aussie does Christmas in the UK…

I miss him more these days. Perhaps it’s getting older and realising that I’m not immortal (and neither are those I love); perhaps it’s because the Jam looks more and more like “Uncle Dar-daf”; perhaps it’s simply because how well we get on is inversely proportional to the physical distance between us (different continents works well). We don’t talk every day, and we wouldn’t if he lived around the corner, and as a result we don’t know the minutiae of each others’ lives – that feels wrong somehow. I’ve even got as far as convincing DH that I should go to New York for five days and meet him there – split the cost, split the jet-leg and minimise the time away from the Jam while maximising the time with BLB. DH thinks I should do it, but life (in the form of MRIs, work on the house and paid employment) always seems to get in the way. Anyway he’s coming home for Christmas this year…

I am lucky – my brother is still in the world, even if he is on the wrong side of it. Life in Australia suits him and I don’t think he’ll ever move back; he’s happy and I’m happy for him. I hope BLB already knows this, but I decided to take this opportunity to declare what is usually left unsaid: I love my brother and I miss him.

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10 thoughts on “Saudade

  1. Thank you for this lovely post. You have managed to write down in words how I feel about my brother who has been living in California for 33 years. We have remained the best of friends and supported each other over the years, through good times and bad times. I love my brother very much and feel so thankful to have him in my life.

  2. This is incredibly heart-felt and beautiful. Kudos to you for saying it now when he can appreciate how much he means to you. And you to him, I have no doubt. ♥♥♥

    1. Telling people we care is such an important thing but sadly most of us realise it because it’s too late. At least we can take the lesson and use it in our other relationships. Thank you for your kind comment.

  3. BLB misses you/loves you to sis!! In fact, he misses a lot of people from back home!!! I also look forward to being able to have you, the Jam and your hubby over as soon as its possible!! In the meantime, I look forward to Christmas with everyone, and those rare moments on Skype when we actually get to talk!!!

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