It was April 6th, 2014 and I had just woken up. I was laying in my bed listening to music for a few minutes before I got out of bed and got dressed. It was roughly seven in the morning when I got out of bed. As I walked out of my room, I looked to my left down the hall toward my brother’s room. The door was open and I saw him lying half on the floor, he seemed to be asleep. I figured I would wake him up so he would get into his bed. I walked into Sean’s room and leaned down to push him as to wake him up.
As I reached out and pushed on Sean’s shoulder it felt odd, it felt cold. I reached and placed my hand on his shoulder for a moment; Sean’s body was cold. I didn’t know what to think, my mind was blank. After a few moments had passed I lifted Sean’s head so I could see his face. The moment I saw his face my mouth dropped, I felt a sudden pain in my chest, something I had never before felt. I looked at my brother, who I thought had been asleep, and his eyes were open. His body was cold and his eyes were open. I pushed him and said his name, yelled his name trying to get a response. Finally, I realized what was happening, my brother was dead.
I grabbed Sean and lifted him slightly holding his head in my arms. I looked down staring at Sean looking into his eyes. As I looked into his eyes, I saw no life. It was as if his soul had faded away. My heart sank as I held Sean in my arms, I didn’t know what to do, what to say, how to react. I simply held him, unable to say anything. Finally, I let everything out, I held Sean tight as my eyes closed and I just screamed. I yelled now, my voice quivering with grief. All I could do was yell, I didn’t know what else to do.
Our father ran into the room, asking what happened as he saw me holding Sean. I couldn’t talk, all I could do was look at him as I held Sean, then look back to Sean, holding him close. I moved away from Sean, letting our dad get down and hold him. My dad looked at me and told me to go to the other room. I did as I was told, I couldn’t stay in Sean’s room. I went and sat in the living room and thought about what had happened. I thought about what this meant, what truly happened. I watched as our neighbor, who was an EMT, came in and went to Sean’s room, shortly after my dad came out to the living room with me. He sat beside me and waited without either of us saying anything. Soon our neighbor came out and my dad stood up walking to him. I heard as he told my dad there wasn’t much he could do as Sean’s body was already cold. He had been gone for a while now.
I went into my room and sat, as our dad got on the phone with our mother to tell her what had happened. I got out my phone and called Sean’s friend who had been here just the night before. I told him what had happened and that Sean was dead. After getting off the phone with him, I called another one of Sean and my friend to tell him what happened. After I got off the phone I sat in my room and listened to my dad in the other room on the phone. When I finally went out and sat in the living room, people had shown up to get Sean. I saw as they covered him and took him out the door.
After a short while, my family showed up. First, my mom along with Clint and my mother’s parents. Then my dad’s parents came making their way inside. I was holding in all of my emotions, afraid to cry in front of my family. I thought they were going through so much, that I needed to be strong so that they wouldn’t worry about me when there is so much worse going on. As everyone came in, they hugged me as they were all crying or teary-eyed. This made things so much worse for me. I managed to keep my feelings inside, holding back my tears. After a long while, people began to leave, hugging me again as they went. After a short while, Sean and my friends that I had called showed up to be there for me. They came in and said, “Hey” hugging me. I smiled seeing them before they all sat on the couch and I sat on the chair.
We sat in silence for a short while before finally one of my friends brought up something stupid Sean and he had done. We all laughed a little bit remembering that. Rather than being sad, we started talking. Talking about good times with Sean, the stupid person he was, and the smiles he was able to cause. One story we told was the time when Sean had been high, as he was a druggie, and came into the room while we were eating some ice cream from a big tub. Sean looked at us and his mouth kind of dropped before he said, “Are you guys eating a dog! Why?” All we did was look at him and laugh. We talked about how the next morning Sean said something about a dream he had of us eating a “dog” and we all laughed at him telling him what happened. He laughed at himself before saying, “Thank god” and just smiling.
Finally, I went to say something, I started talking about one time when Sean and I had been driving with our dad. Before I could finish I stopped talking and my face just went kind of blank. I looked away from my friends, before standing up and going to my room. I felt all my emotions starting to come up. I felt pain, I felt everything, I couldn’t stop it. I grabbed a pillow and pulled it to my face as I screamed into it. I couldn’t hold it, the realization hit me. My brother is dead, he’s gone, I shouldn’t be happy or smiling. I started crying into the pillow unable to help it. I looked at the pillow and it was wet from all the tears. After a few minutes, I got myself together, going to the bathroom and looking in the mirror. I saw my face was red and wet with my tears. I splashed some water on my face wiping it off with a towel and then went back to the living room. I sat down and we started talking again. After an hour my friends had to leave, they needed to get home. I hugged them goodbye and thanked them for coming.
That night I thought of what happened again and again. It just kept playing in my mind and I couldn’t stop it. I played music and thought, remembering what I saw that morning. I listened to music that brought Sean back to me. The first song I played was Humbling River by Puscifer. The song always reminds me of Sean because he listened to it so often. While that song began playing, I started to think. Remembering what had happened that morning. I remembered the brother Sean was to me.
Sean was a great brother to me. Sure, he could be a bit of an ass at times, but he was my brother and I loved him. He always wanted to protect me and make sure I was smart about my life. I remember watching as Sean grew deeper into his drug problem. I was around for all of it, watching as he changed. He started with cigarettes, then started smoking weed. I was always with Sean, even when he was smoking. I loved my brother, but over the years he changed. He went from weed and started to abuse his pain pills he got when he sprained his ankle. When the pills stopped coming, he moved on to harder drugs to get the effect he wanted. I watched as Sean became a bigger and bigger drug addict. I couldn’t help it. However, even though Sean was using these drugs he always wanted the best for me. When I would miss school, he would talk to me and tell me not to be like him. He would make me smile or laugh and agree to go to school later. We would play basketball together on sunny days and be active. I started to smile then, thinking of how good Sean truly was.
I started thinking to myself it couldn’t be real, it had to be a dream. I thought all those good memories were gone. Sean was no longer here and so, those things could never be again. I started crying harder than I've ever cried before. Sean was gone and I would never make more memories like the ones I had with him. That’s the first night I ever cried myself to sleep and I have yet to stop ever since. The pain I felt that day I would relive every morning as the realization hit me again and again that my brother was gone. Nothing I could do would ever bring him back. I could never save him no matter what I ever do. That is what hurts the most. Wishing to replace my brother. Wanting to take his place so he may live the life he deserves so much more than me. For him, I would give my life to give him another chance to live.
When Sean died, a part of me died as well. My heart has not been, nor do I think will ever, be whole since Sean left. I think back often on the person Sean was, and the brother he was to me. I regret so many things in my life, one of which being my last words to Sean. I do not recall what they were however, I believe they were words of hate. He was drinking and getting high, so more than likely I said some words of hate to him. I often cry when I am alone because I think back on my life when Sean was in it. I think back to how much better it was with my brother. I know those things will never come back to me. I miss Sean and the encouragement he gave me. He truly was an amazing brother. I would give anything to let Sean live once again. I have tried many times to do things that I am not proud of. I feel the pain every day as if Sean had just left. The pain gets tiring and harder to bear. I keep pushing and living to make Sean proud. I am afraid that Sean would be ashamed of the things I have done and attempted to do. He truly was my hero and my protector. With him gone I am lost, but I am trying to find my way. I am searching for my path to make Sean proud of me. I am searching for a will to keep on going.