Seven years ago yesterday my younger brother Ted passed away. I still remember sitting in my office that morning and receiving a call from the manager of the mobile home park were my brother lived with my dad, asking me to get over to the park right away. At first I thought something had happened to my dad but she reassured me that my dad was fine but that I should get over to his home right now! The park had been having some serious issues with my brother and were actually in the process of evicting him. I remember asking her if my brother was causing some kind of problem. She was quiet for a moment then repeated that I should get over there. I suppose I should have hung up the phone and rushed over right then, but my head was reeling and my stomach churning, I needed some answers.
I again asked her what was going on but she said she felt it wasn’t her place to tell me.Well that response caused me to press her even harder. “Tell me what?” I asked nervously. “Look we’ve been working together for awhile now trying to find a way to deal with my brother’s situation, I have no problem with you telling me, please just tell me what happened?” She finally relented and told me that a body had been found behind the strip mall next to the park. One of the park security people had informed her that it was my brother. He also told her the Covina police were in route to inform my dad. I hung up and got over there as quickly as I could. I called my sister on the way and got there as the police were informing my dad. It was a hell of a day. A painfully long day.
I can’t say we were surprised, my brother had been slowly killing himself with drugs and alcohol for years. We all knew that day was coming, it was just a matter of time. And his time finally came. The years of abuse had taken their toll and his body just couldn’t take it anymore. At the time of his death he was not drunk or high on drugs, blood tests revealed that there were no drugs in his system and his alcohol level was well below the legal limit. No, his heart simply stopped. It’s sad that it took death to bring him the peace he longed for in life, but the demons he was battling were winning and that my friends made life a living hell for him and those around him.
Rest in peace baby brother. Until we meet again…