(Photo: Brenda Munoz Photography)

It has been awhile since I have been able to sit down (per my wife’s request) and write a guest blog for her.

She asks from time to time, but never pushes it.

Yet I know she really wants me to share as much as she wants me to vent.

I am a really open person when it comes to basically anything/everything.

That is, until it has to do with my emotions.

In my mind, I’m sheltering her from feeling my pain.

But her argument is that by not sharing I’m causing her to feel distant.

It’s not my goal.

It never will be.

But since March 6th my world truly has not been the same.

Im constantly trying to stay busy.

I can’t listen to the Pitch Perfect sound track without watering up and my voice cracking.

I lost the person I never questioned would not be there.

I have had to deal with more guilt than I have ever experienced.

Battling the demons of the “what ifs” daily.

Engulfed in the “why’s” and saddened by what could have been.

Brian Membrino— my oldest friend, my closest brother, my lifetime constant…

Was killed on his motorcycle.

And as much as I try not to think about the what if’s, my mind constantly flocks to the plethora of times I drove by his home and didn’t stop by.

The times I canceled going to UFC fights with him, the times he and I would fight like brothers and not speak for weeks.

But mostly, my mind would wander every morning on my way into work, remembering that I can no longer call him and speak to him daily, as we did for years.

Guilt mixed with pain and sorrow festered in me and without knowing it, my wife felt every bit of it.

I tried to shelter her and hide it.

I tried to mask the pain, but never fully let her in.

I don’t think I can ever fully heal, but I understand that’s ok.

I don’t hold onto any of the guilt or what ifs, but I can’t prevent them from sneaking in once in awhile.

My wife simply deserves to share in those with me.

Andrea is without a doubt my best friend and my rock.

But I process things differently than she does and I know she understands that as best she can.

But she hit me with something I felt so powerful and heart felt I thought she deserves this.

She deserves for me to sack up and share.

For me to open up and allow her in more than I am comfortable with.

We recently went to her uncle’s wedding and it was our families first little road trip with the four of us.

On the 5 hour drive home with both kids finally sleeping, she pried some things out of me.

She felt as if since my cousin/best friend had died, that I had become more distant with her and that she had fallen into his shadow.

She was not complaining, she was not upset, but she wanted to understand.

She wanted to know why I felt like I could talk about it with anyone but her.

My response, was a realization for both of us at that moment.

I felt most vulnerable to swelling up and bawling my eyes out with her.

With others, I could casually speak of the darkest/most painful moment of my life but with her I felt weak, I felt stuck in the darkness, and I felt immobile.

This conversation was a long time coming.

The realization of my own vulnerability was much needed and inevitable.

A couple months ago, I might have said one of the most hurtful (But im sure understanding) things to my wife without realizing it.

If you know me, you know I simply love to make people smile and laugh.

I love to tell stories and jokes.

I love to make my presence known in a room of friends.

And what I said was not what I was trying to convey at the time.

I said that when I walk into a room, I knew my cousin Bri Bri would lose track of time and that it was the same way when he walked into a room.

He was the only person who I admired so much that time stopped just to hear his voice.

I did not mean that in the way it sounds.

I did not mean to make my wife/best friend feel like she was ever second fiddle to my cousin.

What I meant was simply that Brian and I had this connection where no matter the crowd, no matter the situation, we simply loved to be with one another.

It was not to take away from how she makes me feel.

Andrea told me she felt like losing Brian was the equivalent to how I would feel if I lost her or maybe worse, because we were so close.

I don’t know how to respond to that except for with this:

I don’t know how I would feel anything at all without her.

Losing Brian at times, still feels like I can’t breath— like im going to wake up from a terrible nightmare.

But in no way should the pain of his death be a source of distance or pain for my wife.

She hurts enough missing him as well.

She hurts enough knowing how much I hurt.

So this long drawn out blog is simply an apology to my amazing and supportive wife.

I am beyond sorry for unknowingly being so distant.

I am beyond sorry for not sharing my weaknesses with you so you could no doubt show your strength.

I am beyond sorry for allowing my darkest of times to cast any shade on how much light you bring into my world.

 Without you, I wouldn’t have made it through this and I cannot thank you enough for sticking through this with me.

Brian said it best in our wedding video:

He couldn’t of been happier that I found someone who completes me.

I love you gorgeous lady.

Happy Anniversary to us.