The Family He Left Behind

I have debated with myself for a while and prayed about what I am getting ready to write. Not only have I soul searched but I had to put myself in the forefront. Let me explain..this is my journey, my outlet…so I am doing this for me and my healing.

As we all have read by now my brother, at 40 years of age, died on Sept 30, 2018 surrounded by family, he slowly slipped away to the promised land. That in itself is hard, when it is unexpected, but the reality is we all expected it but that doesn’t make it any easier.

See my brother has been doing drugs for most of his teenage years all the way through his adulthood. It wasn’t just doing the harsh chemicals itself that took a toll on my family, it was the division of loyalty it created. My parents had a “child” that so desperately needed their help, but in a situation that was impossible to control. There were so many things that have happened in my childhood as a result that I put up walls that would be impossible for anyone to scale.

The sleepless nights that my family endured were pure agony. As an adolescent, having to find resolve, I just dismissed the problem and distanced myself from my family. Yes, now at 39, I see that this was the exact opposite of what I needed to do as my position in the family dynamic but I was young and well cocky.

The nights turned into days of wondering if and when my brother was going to wise up and show his strong will that he tucked deep inside. Instead of doing this he graduated to harder drugs to numb the pain, most of the pain which was self inflicted. So he became the infamous Jekyll and Hyde with the increasing demand of the drugs on his body. But true to the form of any addict, we as a family dug so deep to relish the moments of sobriety only to be let down again and again.

As time went on the dependency took a turn for the better and Jeremy was able to get away from his weakened state to find beautiful sobriety based in faith. He was so alive, that new Christian alive. The very thought of his life turning around was so glorious even to those who continued to have walls. There was an undeniable hope for the long run. But that didn’t last long enough.

Life circumstances took hold of my brother and the pressure was to great and finally he succumb to that patronizing voice in his head. The agony was all back and it was coursing through our family like the life blood veins in our body. But this time was bad. This time there were no more chances, or as the doctor said ” there is no light at the end of this tunnel.” Those are words that puts fear coursing through the bodies of even the strongest. This was permanent! Outside of how dire this situation was we as a family had to decide to stop the life support. This is when it all changed.

As my family prepare for the worst and fear the future, a future without my brother, we began to crumble. Each and every one of us kids and parents all reacted in a different way that denotes our ways of coping. I am the youngest but I am also the one with no kids or husband so I felt it was my duty to step up and be strong. I knew decisions had to be made and I respected my other siblings and their time to grieve with their family, that this was not even a question. However I forgot I was already so wounded from my separation that I started to fall back into old patterns.

I have been working so hard building my diligence to be the vessel God is using me to be but caring for those and yourself with great loss is not a one man job. I have felt as though it was up to me to make all the decisions, to be there for the weepy days, for the days of guilt in its purest form. But slowly I was crumbling inside.

I didn’t have time to grieve because I felt needed. This is an old pattern of performance. I always thrived in a situation whereI could cast me to the background and shift my focus to those I deemed more worthy than I. Then I started to realize that is not this journey, this journey is to break the cycle.

I wish I could find words to describe the pain and pressure this position of office holds. I have realized how under prepared I am for this because I am quite sure there is no pain greater than the loss of a child. But I have realized that I too am a child, a child of God. He would not have put me in this awful situation without the opportunity to set things straight in the place where my road started to curve.

This is a big job but now that I have finally accepted that I am not supposed to have all the answers, at least I am in uncharted territory, but I love to learn! So now I will learn, laugh, love and live to be the light that I was designed to be.