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  • Client Info
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    • Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

      If you or someone you know is in crisis, call or text:

      9-8-8
      (24/7, free & confidential)

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      (Teen Line)
      800-852-8336
      6pm-10pm PST

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Sunny’s Bucket List

Anniversaries of his death can be hard. This January 7th marked the eighth year of losing my brother, Brent, who was 28 when he died. This was the first year I wouldn’t be home with my family or there to visit the place where his ashes are buried. My new husband had received permits that weekend to hike the Angels Landing trail at Zion National Park in Utah, which due to capacity, was obtained by lottery submission.

Before the trip, I was reluctant to go because:

  • The guilt I felt for not being home for that weekend
  • Angels Landing is a challenging hike and I am an absolute novice

Ultimately, it was decided to move forward because:

  • As my husband reminded me, Brent loved the outdoors. He loved the trees and the quietness and the sun (my nickname for him is Sunny). Maybe I could do this in honor of him.
  • We can do hard things!

We completed the snow-kissed hike on Saturday and what a rewarding experience it was. We were so inspired, in fact, we did some shorter nature walks that day to soak it all in.

The next day was Brent’s anniversary. I woke up early and despite the glory we felt the day before, the wave of guilt and grief swept my thoughts. I just miss him so much, not only on this day. When these feelings hit, I do what I usually do – browse my phone for photos and memories to feel close to him.

As I scrolled, I came across an image that provided instant relief and tears – it was a photo I took of his bucket list items from a journal prompt book I gifted him. I hadn’t thought of this list in years, but right there number one on his list: Hike Utah. What a gift that my lived experiences can pay him tribute. I felt no more guilt, only an outpouring of love.

Thank you, Brent, for reminding me that I can still grieve and grow. That you are with me. That my adventures are ours.

Love always, your little sister.

-Tiffany Tapalla Carolino

Sharing in honor of my Sunny brother. May he continue to guide us through many adventures.

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