I keep picturing my brother lying there in that casket. Seeing him looking nothing like himself... just laying there... my parents crying in the first row chairs, my poor grandmother, a broken mess sitting next to them. She was sobbing so hard I was scared to death she was literally going to have a heart attack.
It was absolutely the worst experience I've ever sat through. We drove in silence to the funeral home. Snow was reverently falling, blanketing everything in beautiful white dust. I had a sick feeling in my stomach for the entire drive. As we got closer, the funeral home now in view, I really thought I would throw up. I longed for my husband to be next to me, to feel the comfort of his hand in mine. Knowing he'd be there soon brought me some comfort. We pulled in the parking lot and I was in no hurry to get out of the car. I was afraid to see him. I don't like seeing bodies, with the caked on make up, and the hair done all wrong. But as soon as the car was in park my mother ran to the door, which hadn't yet been unlocked, as we were there 15 minutes early. She ran and pounded on the door, and pulled desperately on the handles. As a mother myself, I could imagine the emotions of just wanting to see him. To see her son, who she hadn't seen in almost a week.
Someone came and opened the door, and my mother rushed past her and ran to JT's casket. She sobbed over his body, hugging him and crying outloud, "I told you! JT, I told you... I told you JT." Over and over over. While my dad stood next to her,unable to contain his own emotions, also crying uncontrollably. My sister and I stood in the back watching this heartbreaking scene unfold in front of us. I just couldn't believe it. There he was. But I still couldn't believe it.
My sister and I hugged my parents, and this feeling of incompleteness just filled me. The four of us... this is all we have. Just the four of us. I only have a sister. Just us. It doesn't feel right. It still doesn't feel right.
The only good that came from that night was how many people told me or my mom that their son or daughter was struggling with opiate addiction. It is absolutely mind blowing to know how many people out there are living this life. It brought comfort to my mom to know she wasn't alone, and that all families regardless of background are dealing with this addiction. To me, it lit a fire in me, to want to do something to help kids not start this. I'm not sure where to begin, but hopefully a way will unfold and I will feel like I'm using my brother's death to bring some good to the world.