I remember the first time I heard the song, Lead Me Home. I was driving home after work, missing you more than you could ever imagine and the song began to play. Whew, talk about a rush of emotions. The first lyrics, “I have seen my last tomorrow, I’m holding my last breath, goodbye sweet world of sorrow, my new life begins with death”, I cannot even begin to put into words the amount of sadness that overtook my soul. As the song continued, “I am standing on the mountain, I can hear the angels songs, I am reaching over Jordan, take my hand, Lord lead me home”, it was as if the song had been written solely for my sweet baby brother. Your headstone we picked out have Jesus’s hand reaching down with your hand reaching towards his. So, the words to this song fit so well for how I was feeling.
So many nights I lay awake wondering if you cried out for help. Were you panicking and I wasn’t there to help you? That’s my job, to help my little brother no matter how old we got. And in your time of dire need I was sound asleep at my house, in my bed. Did you feel pain? Or did you feel the sweet presence of Jesus’s sweet sweet grace and mercy? Were you finally at peace in your soul? Did you die wondering why I wasn’t there to help you? Did you feel betrayed, alone?
The only peace I have is that you are now at your heavenly home listening to the angels glorious songs. You’re with Pap and Uncle Junior. The fact remains you’re WAY better off where you are but I still weep at the fact your aren’t here with me. You were supposed to be next to me as mom and dad grew older. You were going to get Nans house and I would get mom and dads and there we would be for the rest of our lives, brother and sister, neighbors. We would have our own families; nieces and nephews and brother and sister in laws. All these dreams I had for us got pulled out from underneath me and I couldn’t see it coming.
They say that families begin to mourn their loved ones the minute they find out heroin has made a home within our loved one. That is true. But it is so different, the struggle of loving an addict and the struggle of clinging to my brothers memory.
The thing that is stuck with me is that you hadn’t started using needles to get high. Only snorting. Don’t get me wrong BOTH are awful. BOTH will ruin lives. But it wasn’t even heroine that killed you. It was a pill. One tiny pill. And you were gone.
I can’t forget the feeling of dread that morning. The sight of the ambulance at mom and dads. The sight of your bedroom. My own screams, my own demands at God to “give you back to me”. I know now He rescued you from the demons of addiction.
But I cannot and will not forget the pain of that day. I’m afraid that if I begin to forget that pain, that that means I forget you. I REFUSE to allow that to happen. Me and you existed together for almost 23 years and now I am supposed to just go on living?! HOW?!
I miss you, Ryguy. Every fiber of my self looks for you in this world.
I love you, always.