we are still seven

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I want to say something and I don’t want you all to say anything back because there are no words that can do anything for me right now.

My beautiful amazing athletic silly sweet awkward fourteen year old brother Jaden died one week ago today. He had a seizure in the night that made his heart stop beating. My mom, my brothers, my sisters, their wonderful next door neighbor, all the paramedics, all the doctors and nurses in the children’s hospital, they all did everything they could possibly do to save his life. They brought his pulse back but in the end it was too late for him to be able to survive on his own. His little man’s body fought so hard, for over 24 hours his heart pumped and his lungs did their best. With the help of too many machines and too many drugs he held on long enough for us all to say everything we wanted to say and I guess that’s all you can ask for when it’s too late for anything else. We all got to see him one last time, hold his hand, touch his skin, smell his hair, kiss his cheek. Most people don’t get that chance.

My family is large and strong and we were all there for one another this past week. We did some of the weird death rituals that society asks, we made up those funeral card things to hand out for when he is buried tomorrow and a memorial service, we listened to people say “I’m sorry” and worst of all all the dumb asses who said “How are you?” like they forgot how we just literally had the worst day of our lives or maybe they just didn’t really get it. But we also had a lot of hilarious stories and beautiful photos to share, we pulled out everything we could find that belonged to him and each took a couple talismans to hold in the night. Our family opted for no funeral and to keep to ourselves and it really was good for us to just be together.

A lot of people really stepped up to help us in so many ways and I am forever grateful to you all if you are reading this. You know what you did for us and I love you for it.

The local newspaper went all tabloid on our family, something you would never expect to happen in real life. The front page headline read “MAYOR’S SON DIES” and then the article says nothing…they had zero information, just jumped on that “scoop”… he died “of an apparent medical condition” they said and that our “funeral arrangements were not finalized”. And the article ironically ended with “the family asks for everybody to respect their privacy” or something. It was the most disrespectful paparazzi fucking bullshit and the town let them know. A friend of mine saw a stack of them in the gas station and without a word just threw them all in the garbage. I noticed today the story was taken off their website.

I don’t know what else to tell here, but I just feel like this is my blog about my life and this is the biggest worst thing that’s ever happened. I’m also a bit afraid to forget any of it because Jaden deserves to be remembered, even the scary things and the sad things.

Since most of you don’t know my family, only me, I want you to know I am okay, for the most part. I have been having a lot of nightmares every night and sometimes start crying out of nowhere, but I’m pretty sure that stuff is normal. I don’t really want a lot of attention on me, I’ve been just sitting and thinking a lot.

If you know me in real life I definitely don’t want any head tilts or any “are you okay”s because I’m not going to reassure you, that’s not my job. I am not really okay and that’s okay, you know? Your hugs and questions and concern do not help me, but I do appreciate the thought, if that makes sense. So just think it to yourself or write it down for later or give me something that doesn’t require me to give anything back. Lend me an ear if I want to tell you a story or something. If I cry just let me cry. Hand me a tissue if I get gross.

On Saturday after having people come in and out of the house to see us all day we went out to the park to send off some sky lanterns. It was a beautiful way to light up a difficult day.

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No matter what we are always seven. I have four brothers.

Please, I really mean it, don’t tell me about your thoughts and prayers or how sorry you are in the comments. But maybe tell me about a time you were devastated and how you worked through it if you think you can help. I’ve never really done this before.

 

 

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6 thoughts on “we are still seven

  1. Oh lady. I feel silly, because I want to share a time where I was devastated, so much so that I would (irrationally) will the earth to stop spinning so that time would stop and I wouldn’t have to feel what I was feeling for a single moment longer, but it was about a boy I loved and it ended, which is nothing to losing a sibling. I remember reading somewhere that siblings are the longest relationships we’ll have throughout our lives and oh, there is no comparison, really. Truth, I never figured out how not feel the devastation that comes with loss (either with the boy I loved, or when my koro died). Grief wise, I found it helpful to be with family and talk it out when I wanted to remember (obvious things, really). I remember writing down lots of my memories, scared that if I didn’t write them down I’d forget. With the boy… distractions, happy distractions (where people weren’t looking at me strange to see how I was coping) and doing things were helpful (I remember doing lots of running). I wrote a ridiculous number of emotive blog posts. I think mostly I just had to feel all the things until I accepted that this was how things were and even though I didn’t like, it was what it was and that was okay. Still it’s difficult to do that and get there. Anyway, I hope you find something that works for you.

    x

  2. I am 26 and lost my mom in April to cancer. She was 54. She was only “sick” (that we knew of) for 9 months. We never expected that she would die from this, but she did. I didn’t/still don’t want to talk to people about it. I hated the funeral. I don’t have any particular helpful suggestions. Do what feels right for you. I guess I find that I just have to ignore what people say, send (sooo many obnoxious books and religious paraphanalia ), write in cards, etc. because it just annoys the shit out of me.

  3. One one time I’ve been truly devastated, even more so than when my parents divorced, was when my grandma passed away suddenly just over a year ago. She had cancer and it wasn’t discovered until she had a stroke due to a heart attack, which was most likely due to the cancer. What a vicious circle. She was only “sick” for two months. Pardon my cussing, but it fucking sucked when she passed because it was so sudden and she was the light in everyone’s lives. To this day I still have moments of complete devastation where I can’t believe she’s gone. The best thing I can do to get through those moments is to think of how much she influenced me and all the great moments I had with her. I say you’re allowed to grieve for as long as you damn well want to, whenever you want to. Just take it day-to-day.

  4. A couple years ago my 15-year-old amazing, beautiful, talented cousin took his own life. he left my aunt, uncle, his sister (who was barely 12 at the time), 2 older brothers, friends & family devastated & everyone wondering why and what we could have done. Still wondering. A year and a half later, his father died, again leaving my other cousins & aunt again at a loss. The things those four people went through and are still going through to this day is unimaginable. They made a scholarship in my cousin’s honour which family and friends donated to, to send one of his best friends to a great school to help someone have the future he never got to have. Maybe that’s something to think about. Having a task that takes time and is something to focus on other than your own feelings can be a great help. It never ends really, to be honest, but it gets different and less raw and you start to be able to remember the good times without sobbing and i suppose that’s progress. But however you choose deal with it and however you feel is not wrong, and how other people feel about it does not matter one iota, so screw the prayers and the sorrys and the how are yous and just deal with it how you feel you can. take tissues everywhere just in case, and laugh whenever you can; don’t feel bad about it, he’d want you to laugh.

  5. Thank you for sharing something so important with us.
    My closest childhood friend took her life when we were both 22. There was a lot going on in both of our lives. Her family moved and split up across the country (from Florida to California) and I finally moved out of my parents house and was getting married. Everyday life gets in the way of that call or that simple email or whatever. I can still remember the shock and disbelief of hearing her father’s voice telling me. He had found my phone number after a few days of searching the internet for my information and called me at 4:00 in the morning. I feel bad I made him repeat it multiple times because wasn’t sure if I was still too much asleep to understand, or if I just didn’t want to hear it. — I had talked to her about a week and half before through internet chat after months of no contact and she seemed fine and we had had a great old time laughing about old times. — The next few days were all a blur. Her Florida family had a beach memorial and I was still in such a state of shock that I hadn’t even cried yet. I felt like I wasn’t sad enough and that I should be in shambles, but I was just numb. – After the memorial I was really jumpy for weeks. I could feel her presence with me and I didn’t know how to deal with it. I would say, “I love you. I feel you. I can’t right now.” – It’s been almost 10 years now and the times of feeling her presence haven’t gotten few and far between and I still miss her so much. I still don’t know all the answers I have questions for. I’m not sure if I even know the whole story of what happened correctly, but I don’t think that’s important anymore. I have come to terms with her suicide. I wish she didn’t, but she did and knowing what I knew of my closest best friend…sometimes I am mad but mostly I just try to understand. It puts me much more a peace. — I second the advice of the person above who suggested keeping tissues on hand for a long while. Just when I thought I was getting stronger, some memory would come up and send me into tears again and this would be months and years after. There will always be tears, the good thing is that, at least with my experience so far in ten years, I find myself shedding them because I’m thinking of something fun or wonderful we shared together and not so much the sad parts. – Take your time and express your grief and memories and love however you need and want to.

  6. My stepfather, who was more of a father to me than my biological father, died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack on the morning before my senior year of high school. He was 50. I spent the first three days holed up in my room, by myself, playing Rollercoaster Tycoon and trying to ignore all the family that was stopping by to check up on us. I just wanted to be left alone and I didn’t want to talk about it or him because it hurt too much. Unfortunately his ex-wife and son decided that we were not his real family and did everything they could to make our lives even more miserable. They even stole his 1967 Chevy Camaro out of his garage. We got a lot of flowers and cards and stupid bullshit. It was pretty annoying at times because I found myself having to reassure and comfort others who were so devastated about our grief and couldn’t just let it be. Eventually I realized they were probably doing the best they can but it didn’t make it any less annoying. One of his closest friends built us a birdhouse and and that was the one thing that I didn’t hate and the one thing we still have out of everything. Anyway, there is no right way to grieve the sudden loss of someone so near and dear to you. Just do whatever feels right, whatever will get you through. Someday, it will get easier, but it will never really go away. It will be seven years in September and I still think about him almost every single day.

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