John 1986-2009 How?

by Kate

It's the morning after, but it feels like it's been days. He was too young, only 23. He was my big brother. I can't grip it. Today my sister was supposed to go to college and I am turning 15 in a few weeks. I just don't understand. The idea doesn't seem real to me.

Yesterday I was at the beach with friends and I just felt something was wrong. I was mysteriously bummed out. When I got home, I sat down at the computer and played games as usual. Around midnight the phone rang. My mom told me to answer it. It was my grandpa. My grandpa lived with my brother. He was the sweetest, happiest man alive.

When I heard his voice like that, something was really really wrong. My mom spoke to him saying stuff like, "Did you call the ambulance" and "Is he breathing?" and "Is Billy there?" Billy is my uncle. And if my grandpa was on the phone and she was asking about Billy, that left John. The least likely of the three.

My mom ran upstairs and got my dad and said they were going to my grandpa's. I demanded answers and she insisted she didn't know anything and would call me. They left. I was scared, but in my head I knew tragedies didn't happen in real life. Nothing bad has ever happened to me. Why now?

The door opened minutes (felt like hours) and I thought it was my sister who was with her friends before she left for college. It was my parents again. My dad was weak on his feet and my mom was helping him to the couch. He ended up just laying on the floor. My mom went downstairs to talk to my sister who was already home I guess.

I sat with my dad. He was talking again. I heard my sister scream. My dad finished, "It's John. We think he's gone." I replied with just "No no no no no that's not right." I wasn't crying yet but just shaking. I started shouting. My sister and my mom came back up and we were just screaming "NO!" I said "They can still do stuff. Is anything certain. What about the paddles?" My mom said "They did that, the ambulance left."

After more of this I got dressed and family friends were at the door crying. They offered to drive us, but my dad said he was fine. We got in the car. A twenty minute drive felt like hours and hours. My sister and I held each other crying. It had stormed the night before and my dad wove his way through the trees and branches.

We finally got into town and we ran all the lights. When we got to my grandpa's street, there was no ambulance, sirens, commotion, just a single cop car. My cousins, aunts and uncle, my brother's girlfriend, and her parents were waiting. I walked towards the house bawling. We weren't supposed to go in.

My dad was so strong. He was gabbing the whole way down about peace, god, and togetherness. Which helped at first, but only made things worse after a while. He went in with my mom. My aunt and uncle greeted me crying. My aunt is a very happy person full of laughter, so her hysterical sobs were confusing for me. Everyone sounded like they were laughing or faking. The crying was so hysterical and over the top I didn't know what to feel. I still didn't believe it.

My uncle is a huge NYFD fire fighter. To see him in tears was so racking. We waited outside. My sister went to see him. I decided I couldn't, not then. Apparently he was blue, I couldn't see him like that. In his sleep peacefully. His girlfriend found him.

After that my sister and I went home with my cousins. We curled up on their couch and unsuccessfully tried to get some sleep. Early this morning, my dad took us home. I curled up with my mom in her bed and slept a bit. I don't know how she is gonna do this. She is so strong, she knows how worried we are.

When I went to brush my teeth I saw my brothers shirt hanging on the banister. He gave it to me last year for a pajama shirt. I couldn't touch it. Later when I woke up again it wasn't there. I came downstairs to see if any friends were on facebook I could talk to. No one was. I found this site and have been browsing it since.

To see my mom and especially dad, the two toughest people in my life, just weeping. I just don't know what to make of it. Family has been calling. My dad has been dealing with it. My parents and I walked through the steps. When we read the seventh my dad broke down. I can't do this. I am just holding on the seventh step knowing some day in a year or two or three it won't hurt. But I just can't imagine it.

I want to skip all these steps and just turn to the good memories. But there is no fast forward. And if there was I would feel like I would be doing him an injustice if I didn't mourn properly. I just want it to stop hurting. How are we gonna get through this?

Comments for John 1986-2009 How?

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Aug 19, 2009
Such Sadness
by: Lynne

Hi Kate,

This is such a sad story and the shock and disbelief you feel will probably stay with you for some time. I lost my Darling husband a month ago and I still can't believe he has gone. He had been sick for some time. Just know, as I have been told by many people, that grief is a long process, and as devastated as you feel now, eventually in the future you will learn to live around the grief. I don't believe it will ever go totally, but at the moment you have a wonderful close family and allow yourselves to nurture and help each other through this terrible tragedy.

This site is awesome, and I have got so much comfort from it. It has wonderful ideas to help you cope and everything you need to know about grief and grieving is here on this site. Your life will never be the same again, but it will heal in time. Words are just words at ths time, but eventually you will slowly start to acknowledge the grief and it will be a little easier.

You're all in my thoughts. Take care

Aug 19, 2009
Your Beloved Brother
by: Anonymous

Dear Kate, I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved brother, John. You are probably in shock right now, as anyone would be.

I lost my 19-year old son earlier this year, so I do know the pain, the confusion and the fears in those early days and beyond.

You are going to do this one day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time.

Know that you are not alone. Seek out understanding friends on Facebook or elsewhere who will listen and let you be whatever it is you are at any given moment. Cling to your family. Keep writing.

Your life will never be the same and I am so sorry. My heart breaks for you and your family.

Sincerely, a grieving mother

Aug 19, 2009
by: Patti Wendt

Sorry I forgot to leave my name before, but here is a poem a friend gave to me after Louie died, and I will also give you his site if you would like to read it to0. God Bless, Patti

In the bottom of an old pond lived some grubs who could not understand why none of their groups ever came back after crawling up the stems of the lilies to the top of the water. They promised each other that the next one who was called to make the upward climb would return and tell what happened to him. Soon one of them felt an urgent impulse to seek the surface; he rested himself on the top of a lily pad and went through a glorious transformation which made him a dragonfly with beautiful winges. In vain he tried to keep his promise. Flying back and forth over the pond, he peered down at his friends below. Then he realized that even if they could see him they would not recognize such a radiant creature as one of their number. The fact that we cannot see our loved ones or communicate with them after the transformation, which we call death, is no proof that they cease to exist. -Walter Dudley Cavert

Aug 19, 2009
I know where your coming from
by: Anonymous

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your brother, really I am. It doesn't seem real, and it won't for a long time. People are going to ask you how you are doing and you will put on a good face and say "ok", but inside you just want to scream "WHY". It will be one year on 8-28-09 since my nephew will be gone, he was 22 years old, one week away from his 23rd birthday. He was the first born grandchild, only son to my sister, and first nephew to many aunts and uncles. The pain is so severe, that you can't even breathe for the first couple of months, then you will seem to be dealing with the pain and loss of not having him around, but you will have days and spurts of non-stop crying, and then when the day gets closer to the one year mark, it will be just as hard as the first day you lost him.

Sorry to be a little hard about it, I just don't want someone to tell you a lie and that things will be alright, because they never will be. They will be better, but never the same. Lean on your friends, sister, parents and others you may need. Don't feel like you always have to put on a good face, or be strong for everyone else if you can't. Your brother will understand!! But remember, he is always around you.

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