My brother died today, ten years ago. It still seems fresh, unbelievable, insurmountable. I still think of things I want to tell him and reach my hand out for the phone. The beautiful black gravestone is not enough. The loss is still a hole in my life that will never be filled.
I want to feel him solid in my arms again, big and strong, fierce and protective. I want to hear his chuckle. I miss the phrases he used to repeat: "I guess you had to be there" most of all. I wish we were driving up to some back-roads graveyard, discussing hometown politics. It's all so mundane...
The year he died, Mason and flew from World Horror in Chicago to Boston and spent 2 weeks crawling through cemeteries. Originally, I'd hoped to drive back to Chicago, then fly back to San Francisco from there. I'd thought about tacking on a week in Michigan to visit the folks. In the end, I wanted to get back to work on Morbid Curiosity #6, finish mailing it out into the world. Allen was really devastated when the plans changed and I wasn't coming to visit. He seemed upset far out of proportion.
That was April 2002. By mid-July, he was dead. I think he knew that he was dying. I wonder if he had planned to tell me, or if he hoped I'd figure it out when everyone around him had not. I wonder if I could have gotten him to see a doctor, if they could have found him a transplant liver, if he would have survived the surgery when he couldn't bring himself to see his family physician. I envision him lying in a hospital bed, stark white sheet pulled up around his pallid shoulders, facing the reality that he'd never be able to have another drink.
I know he chose death. I know I could not have saved him, because he didn't want to be saved. Suicide might be a permanent solution to a temporary problem, but alcoholism to the point of liver failure is such a slow, steady suicide that the problem must have been unrelenting. It hurts to know he hated life so much. It kills me that I didn't realize it when something might have been done, or said. I hate that I wasn't there when he wanted me. I hate that he needed me and couldn't tell me so.
I miss him so much.
Causes Loren Rhoads Supports