Tuesday, February 3, 2015


When I write these posts it's helpful to me. It gets it out of my head. I can close my eyes and not immediately start replaying it all in my head. Like watching a movie I can't turn off. So thank you, blog.  And now I'll write the hardest part.

"Is he dead? Is my son dead?" My mother frantically begged of the detectives that rang the doorbell, twice, on Sunday afternoon. They arrived about 36 hours after we reported him missing. After we had spent 24 hours doing everything we could think of to try to find him.

"Unfortunately, ma'am, yes he is." The detective replied. Yes he is! Yes he is! My immediate thought was that he was alive. But then I realized, wait, he said unfortunately. Is my son dead? SHe hadn't asked, is my son alive. She asked if he was dead. Oh how I wished she had asked if he was alive. And how I wished the answer was, "Yes, he is."

My mother collapsed into a ball of sobs on the couch. "My baby! No, my baby!" She cried and screamed through gut wrenching sobs.

"No. No he's not dead. He's not. No he's not." I said with 100% certainty, that the detective looked at me slightly confused. I wasn't crying like my mom, I was just sure this person was lying. Or at the very least wrong. "Who are you? Who the hell are you? Where are you from? Where's your identification?" I demanded.

They showed us their badges and identified themselves as detectives for Essex county.

"So what was it? It was drugs?" My mom was able to ask.

"Yes, ma'am. We believe so. It appears to be so, but you'll find out from the medical examiner."

Medical examiner. This was a word, that until now I had only ever heard in TV shows. I did not want this word in my vocabulary. Medical Examiner. Medical Examiner.

My dad had taken my five year for a walk. I knew we needed to go get him. I said I would do it. I didn't want to be in that room, with those detectives hearing words about my brother and medical examiner in the same sentence. But as soon as I walked out the front door and started looking for my dad I realized there was no possible way I could be the one to tell my dad his only son was dead. I quickly went back inside and told my husband I couldn't do it. He went out to find him.

My mom continued to sob uncontrollably on the couch and at this moment my sister came out of the shower. Without any emotion, I looked over the detective's shoulder and across the room said to my sister, "He's gone. He's dead. Jesse's dead."

"Oh great. That's friggin' great." Mary said as she walked downstairs to her room to get dressed. I immediately regretted the way I said it.

Something clicked in my brain and I knew I needed to be strong right then. I had to hold it together for my mom. So I took a deep breath and said, "Okay. He's dead. He is actually dead. What do we do next?"

And the detective gave me a card with his number and told me I could call the medical examiner first thing Monday (the next day) morning. That was our next step. Also to chose a funeral home and contact them, and let the medical examiner know which funeral home, and give the funeral home the medical examiner's information.

I can't process anything without talking about it, so I immediately went into the backyard and called my sister-in-law. "He's dead. Allison, he's dead."

"Oh my gosh, oh sweetie I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry."

"I have to call the medical examiner."

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