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April 25, 2008

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A flashback to my brothers death.

Part 1 ~ The Landing

October 9th, 2003

I was living in Texas but I had flown up to Ohio to spend 3 days with my family and friends. My dad picked me up from the airport that afternoon. I distinctly remember asking him how and where my brother Frank was. He told me that he was in southern Ohio and he wasn’t doing well. He said he had broken up with his girlfriend and was really torn up about it.
Later that night I was at Kristie’s house and we were getting ready to go out. It was 7 in the evening and we were in the bathroom when the phone rang. I picked up because everyone was busy and it was my dad. He was upset and he just blurted out, Frank’s dead. I just got a phone call from a hospital in southern Ohio and Frank is there and he is dead. I didn’t understand the words. I couldn’t get them right in my head. He asked if I could come home and go to the hospital with him. I asked Kristie to drive me because there was no way I could figure it out. We got there and my dad rushed me to the truck and I made Kristie come too. I couldn’t do it alone.
The drive was two hours. Two hours when you are trying to wrap your head around something like forever feels like you are in a nightmare where the bad guy is right on your heels but you can’t run. I remember I just kept thinking that maybe he got it wrong. Maybe Frank was hurt, because he couldn’t possibly be gone. The ride there we tried to guess what happened, how it happened. I tried to be strong and tell my dad that Frank was ok on the other side. I made jokes. I told funny stories about Frank. I never cried.
We got to the hospital and were met by a priest who ushered us to the back. In the waiting room was my mom with some people I didn’t know, and the parents of the friend of Franks where he was staying and where he died. My dad asked me to go back with him and he needed me to go back with him, but I couldn’t do it. I could not stand to see my brother dead on a hospital bed.I stayed in the waiting room with Kristie. I remember walking to the bathroom and there was a sign on the door of a person falling. I called for Kristie and when she turned around I pretended like I was falling and we laughed.
I knew that my dad was not going to want to leave the hospital. I put myself in his place and thought if one of my kids was dead I wouldn’t want to leave them either. It’s such an intense feeling of emptiness. A feeling of there is absolutely nothing else you can ever do to help your child.
When we finally walked out my dad was crying. There is nothing you can say. The ride home was quieter and more somber than before. We now had our confirmation and there was nothing left to hope for.
Cause of death? Accidental Overdose. The final blow was given by someone other than my brother to himself.

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