No family is perfect. We argue; we fight. We even stop talking to each other at times. But in the end, family is family; love will always be there. What if they do something unthinkable and gruesome? What if they don’t just stop talking to each other? What if one kills the other?
Let me introduce two men, both close cousins; they considered each other brothers. Both have an unacceptable past, and both have been in and out of jail throughout their lives, but one got something that he didn’t deserve.
Monday, January 30, 2017, we received the call saying that our loved one had been shot and killed. Danny was 41 and had two kids, but I guess it was his time to be called home. Most of us were shocked and couldn’t believe that someone that was so close to us would do something so appalling. Danny was shot five times but the one that killed him was the last shot- the one in the head. As if shooting him wasn’t enough, he was also kicked and stomped on until he was black and blue.
Danny’s parents, my grandparents, were shattered. Not only had their son been taken from the world too early, but their nephew was the one that pulled the trigger. No one really knows why it happened. All we know is that our cousin had been messed up on drugs and decided that it would be best to take it all out on Danny.
The funeral was held on February 4, 2017, at a lovely funeral home in Danny’s home town. I had made a promise that I wouldn’t cry because I knew that Danny would want us to move on and to live our lives, but when I saw my grandparents crying and asking God why, it broke my heart and I knew that the promise was going to be broken. No parent should have to bury their child; no parent should have to go and identify their son’s dead body because he was too mangled for anyone else to confirm that it was him.
Our family is grieving and all anyone can do is bring food over or say empty words like I’m sorry, but no one understands that we don’t want or need any of that. All we want is for Danny to walk through the door saying that it was all just a nightmare or a messed up joke. My grandparents want their son back; my mom wants her big brother back; and I want my uncle back.
It hurts to know that he is gone - to know that there won't be any more late night chats or crazy dance parties. It feels as if someone took my heart and ripped it out of my chest and then shredded it. The only thing that is getting my family and me through this is that this life is only temporary. One day we will be with him again in a better, peaceful place--one where there won’t be anymore family betrayals.