What details do I remember about my brother's funeral? It was only two weeks ago (actually two weeks tomorrow) yet many details are already lost, because they were never registered in the first place.
Getting ready. Picking out an outfit for my mother and telling the cashier at Penny's that this was the outfit I was buying for my mom to wear to my brother's funeral. And I burst into tears. Then made a joke, and laughed inappropriately. He discreetly scanned a coupon for me. I hoped he didn't think I told him because I was looking for a discount. But why did I tell him? The truth is I wanted to scream it at everyone I saw. I wanted that entire mall to know that my brother JT, was gone. I hated that all these people were going about their lives, the world kept on spinning, like he never even existed. And to many of these people, he didn't. And they might hear about his tragic passing, and without knowing him, just assume they knew everything. Because once you hear someone overdosed, on HEROIN, well you know what kind of person that is.
But that wasn't my brother. My brother was funny, hilarious really. Kind, so so kind. He was charismatic. He was good at hockey, like insanely good at hockey. And everyone friggin' loved him. I mean everyone. It was the bane of my existence throughout adolescence. I never knew if those girls were being nice to me because they liked me, or because they wanted to get to know my brother. Most of them just wanted to get to know my brother. And even the few that knew me before they knew my brother, fell in love with him as soon as they met him. Even my very best friend, who knew how obnoxious he really was (as all little brothers are when you're a teenager) confessed that she always thought/hoped some day they would grow up and get married. When I was six years old my best friend had her first kiss, and it was my brother.
This is who he was. A charming, hilarious, athletic, lady's man. Not a strung out, thieving, conniving, lying, cheating, jerk of a drug addict. That was never my brother. Even at his worst, he never stole from anyone. He always had a smile.... I think I'll write an entire post about that smile and was behind that smile. It wasn't malicious, but it was dark. So much pain.
And it was that pain that fueled his addiction. And his desire to keep us all thinking he was this amazing person, that he was even until the end, caused him to use heroin alone, and die in his car in Newark, freaking New Jersey. Alone.
JT Walters (name has been changed) should not have died alone in his car. He should have had a long beautiful life, and died an old man surrounded by his amazing family. Instead he spent the last year of his life with a monkey on his back, thinking about nothing but getting high. Hating himself for thinking about getting high. Wishing he could do something else to be happy. But heroin was the only thing that made him happy. "So what... so what if I do heroin once in a while? It's okay, I'm not stupid. I know what I'm doing. I never stole. I never got in a car accident. I never got arrested. I'm not stupid. I'm not like those idiot junkies. I do a test shot every time. I know what I'm getting. I use smart. I'm not stupid. I don't have a problem." These are the things I'm sure he told himself. He wasn't scrawny and scary looking, like I'd imagine most heroin users were. He had muscle tone, and hygiene. And all those things are true. He wasn't stupid! Except none of it freaking matters. JT never got to hit rock bottom. He never got to realize he was in trouble, until he was taking his last breath. And that is the heartbreaking truth.
So my brother's funeral? This was going to be a post about my brother's funeral. Maybe I'll get there eventually.