The Pain of Losing A Loved One: Part One

My brother died when I was 12 and he was 22

I am making another confession here. I have been wanting to write about this for a while now but have been afraid to. I guess I am afraid to relive it but as I have read, and I know it to be true since I am a writer myself, writing heals. It soothes your soul when you let everything out with words. I am going to tell you the story about how my big brother died when I was 12 and he was only 22. I will tell you everything that I can remember. After all, I was pretty young when it happened, it happened 26 years ago, and I may have blocked some things out because of the pain they caused.

My brother’s birthday is Monday and he would be 49, one year younger than my husband. By the way, my husband used to be friends with him when they were kids. I guess with his birthday coming up is one reason I wanted to write this, Plus, I just want and need to write this.

Here goes……

I remember the night he was killed. I remember he was spending a lot of time at our house, although he lived with my grandma since he wasn’t working at the time and didn’t have his own place. He was at our house that night, January 30th, 1993. He died on January 31, 1993, because it was 3:00 am when it happened. He told my mom he was going out and she said for him to be careful. He told my mom that he loved her and walked out the door. He didn’t make it back to our house that night or back to my grandparent’s house, where he was living. He didn’t make it back to town alive, period.

I remember falling asleep on the couch and it was a school night so I was surprised my mom left me there all night. I know she did though because her screaming and crying woke me up the next morning. The next morning, as my mom was going to work, and she had to drive past where he was killed, there were police cars there and my mom couldn’t figure out what was going on. She knew it was my brother’s friends house and that my soon-to-be-ex-sister-n-law, my brother’s soon-to-be-ex-wife, was staying there with his so-called friend.

She went to work like normal and as soon as she got there, her boss and his wife told her that something bad had happened and that they were going to drive her home. They said they couldn’t tell her but she needed to call the sheriff’s office as soon as she got home and that someone there would give her the news. Now, I always thought they were supposed to let you know, not the other way around? But, that is how we found out that he was dead. As soon as she got back home, I was still sleeping because it wasn’t time for me to get up for school yet. Needless to say, I didn’t make it to school that day or that week for that matter. Once she got home, she called the sheriff’s office and all of a sudden I was awakened by her screaming at the top of her lungs,

“TOM’S DEAD!!!”

She started crying and was still screaming. I remember that as soon as the news sunk in on me, and as soon as I opened my eyes because of her screaming like that, I was crying. I loved my brother and I was definitely old enough to know what was going on. He had a girlfriend spending the night at the house that night. And she jumped up. She was pregnant by her ex-boyfriend at the time but she got up as fast as she could and ran to my mom’s side as I did.

Here is what happened, from what we were told. He was sitting at the bar downtown drinking like he did a lot because he was an alcoholic. His soon-to-be-ex-wife called him and told him that her new boyfriend, his so-called friend, was hitting her. My brother still had feelings for her, don’t ask me why because she never treated him right and was caught stealing change out of my mom’s piggy bank, I was the one who walked in on her doing it. She was a bad person but he still loved her. Because of his love for this woman, he found a friend of his and asked him for a ride up to the house. This friend of his had no idea what was going on and he said that he would give him a ride up there. He just dropped my brother off and as soon as my brother knocked on the door and they opened it, as soon as he stepped inside, one of them, we still don’t know which one to this day, shot him three times. Once in the chest, and twice in the right arm.

Once the police got there, they told them that my brother came after them with a beer bottle, which was found in his right hand, and he didn’t drink out of beer bottles, and he was left handed, not right handed. So, that was definitely a huge lie right there. My brother did not go up there to hurt them. He didn’t have a bad bone in his body and was always trying to do good for everyone he could. He thought she was getting beat and wanted to help her because he still loved her. He loved her to death, literally.

The so-called friend, her new boyfriend, didn’t get any jail time at all but about 10 years ago, he committed suicide. I wonder why? Was he feeling that much guilt over what had happened to my brother because of his actions in it? As for her, she spent one day in jail and was let go because of lack of evidence, the police said. And, now she is married to my mom’s cousin and still walking free. Isn’t that nice of him to marry someone like her after what happened to my 22-year-old brother, who still had his whole life ahead of him? My big brother was getting ready to go away to art school to get a degree in art. He was awesome at drawing and painting and if I had any of his drawings or paintings, I would post them here and show you all. My mom and older sister have them. I don’t have anything of his but one picture.

That is all for this part but I will tell you in the next part, how I got through his death over the years. There is going to be at least four parts to this because my brother wasn’t the only close family member we lost back then. I had an aunt and cousin who were also killed nine months after my brother was. Then, less than a year later, both of my grandparent’s died, the ones my brother was living with. The only ones I was ever close to.

But that is for a different story so I will stop here and continue on to a new story in the second part.

I have been a professional writer for 14 years. I have a boyfriend and six dogs. Check out and subscribe: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/h7v3o7

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