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A brother's birthday message

Red Wings prospect, Jack Adams celebrates his late brother Roo's 28th birthday

by Jack Adams @J_Danglefest2 / Special to

For eight months now, I've kept asking why. Why did this happen? Why did this happen to this beautiful boy? A beautiful boy whose life has inspired and helped so many different people. It just does not make sense.

On Thursday, May 23rd, my brother, best friend and role model, Roo, turns 28. Selfishly, while writing this, tears are just flooding down my face. This is not getting easier, Roo.

Grief's weird. Over time, I've learned there's no "right way" to express your emotions or to handle a passing. And what's sometimes hard is conversing with people about it. You don't want to make people feel "uncomfortable" or try to get them to understand what you're feeling because unless you go through it, you literally can't relate to it. And what's so difficult is that the thoughts and emotions hit you in the most random circumstances. It sounds cliché, but it's so accurate - you're going to have good days and you're going to have bad days. Roo, I miss you, pal.

For a while now, I've been thinking about May 23rd. I've been anxious, nervous, scared, and upset. I've been going on walks, thinking, reflecting, sitting in gardens, (weird, right?) and I think I finally figured it out. I'm not scared anymore. I'm excited. Roo, this is your birthday, and I am going to go out, eat cake, and celebrate, celebrate with YOU. You're 28. That's crazy. You old man …

For anyone who is reading, please, please, from the bottom of my heart, try and take away one message: do not take anything in life for granted, especially your family and loved ones. Life is too short and time is precious. Try and find the goodness in people and stay loyal to the ones who love and care about you the most. Roo was unbelievable at that, and the number of people that have come up to me in the past eight months and have reiterated how loving and caring he was exemplifies his character and love for others.

Thank you, Roo, for the endless signs and messages you send down to all of us. It is the greatest honor in my life to be able to have you as my guardian angel, and to have you be a constant reminder of power and strength when I desperately need it the most.

Happy Birthday, Roo. Keep taking care of Mom, Dad, Katie, Matt, and Kathryn.

I miss you more each day. Love you, pal. I can't wait to see you again, one sweet, sweet day.

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