It has been a really, really long time since I’ve posted.
I am attempting to find the time to find myself again, so tonight this is my therapy.
I would like to tell you about something, and I want to write it down so it STAYS, and it will be remembered.
My brother died.
He died like a lot of brothers, and sons, and fathers, and sisters, and mothers, and wives and people we LOVE are dying.
He chose heroin that one last time. Because he’d been doing so well, he must have thought he could get away with it. Just once more.
And so the story begins in the worst way, getting a call from my dad as I was leaving the funeral of someone else I loved. I hate to think about that phone call, and my reaction. Pounding the steering wheel as I drove and screamed and cried and screamed all the way to my parents house. Calling my sister. Walking up the driveway together. Seeing our parents. Dying inside.
And coping the only way I knew, by staying really busy, and trying not to think about whose funeral we were planning, and how we were actually going to have to admit that he was really gone.
So it was the next night, well, about 2am. I was busy working on the funeral program. Not tired, just focused on making it the best damn funeral program ever. Something that he would like, something that somehow would convey just how much he meant to us, and how special he was, and how much he will be missed.
Finally, I decide I needed to get to bed. As I’m getting my pajamas, then lingering over more photos of my brother, I talk to him silently. Why??! Why?! I want answers, I want to be mad at him, but I can’t be. I know he didn’t mean to die. I want to know he’s ok. I just need to know, please Joe…. can you let me know you’re ok?
I’d gotten to the point of numbness eventually, exhausted and mechanically brushing my teeth, the last person awake in a silent house. By the time I was rinsing off my face, I realized there was this….noise…. it’d been going on for a while somewhere in my head. It was like when you notice the TV is still on after you’ve tuned it out for so long….
I focused in on this sound…. and realized it was a song. What the…… I was hearing the words of a Bob Marley song over and over in my head.
Don’t worry about a thing…..
’cause every little thing
gonna be alright….
Complete with background music. I wasn’t thinking this…..I was HEARING this.
Now my brother was a bit of a Bob Marley fan. He had T-Shirts, he could play those songs on the guitar, He dressed up like Bob Marley for Halloween in college.
But I never thought of these songs. I just knew what it was when I heard it. And I believed I knew why I was hearing it. It was days later we found a video of him singing this song…. those exact words.
I never even knew the name of that song until we tried to find it and play it after I told my family. Three little birds. We all have it downloaded now. We played it a lot leading up the funeral. We played it at the gravesite as our friends and family said their goodbye to my little brother. As the rest of us, the four remaining siblings, stood together and cried, and said goodbye too.
It’s a small comfort, but a comfort just the same.