As it gets closer to the one year anniversary of Austen’s death, I find myself in a more peaceful place, more able to deal with the onslaught of welcome and unwelcome memories, knowing that, whatever happens, I won’t have to go through that horrible day again, and the days that followed, ever. I am proud to be Austen Berj Brooks’ Mom and that will never cease. Here is an excerpt from his “Journey Through Sobriety,” written last year:
No one can ever say that I didn’t try. That I didn’t look for solutions to my problems. That I didn’t challenge myself and the world every day. I’m not done. I am 23.
The goal is not external success. The goal is internal. Peace and love consciousness. Victory over fear, depression, anxiety. Great confidence coupled with awareness and humility. Not needing things to be happy. Not needing money. Positivity, success and belief. Rising above cultural expectations and social norms. Becoming a real genuine human being and enjoying my life. Helping other people and understanding myself. Being in the moment and being connected with the entire universe. Seeing the truth and not running away from it. This is what I need to strive for. Everything else will follow. I am the first domino in the chain.
Austen Berj Brooks, October 31, 2014
Above, Austen at Scholars Inn Café in Bloomington, Indiana, 2011. Below, Austen having a laugh in a shed behind the house he was living in during his junior year.