Sunday, November 29, 2009


Today is my brother Steve's birthday. Too bad he isn't here to celebrate. Steve was s drug addict and passed away at 46 from complications of his drug use. He had more than one type of hepatitis and his liver just gave up. He suffered a painful death that he went thru for around a month in the hospital. At least it seemed like a month. It may have been shorter.

He was told he would not live, then told he had a chance, only to hear that he would not live. The nurses said he slept with his eyes wide open scared that if he fell asleep, he would not wake.

At first he was able to make conversation and even sit up in a chair, but when he got worse, he looked like a frightened wild animal. I will never forget how he looked. Those wild eyes were haunting.

Steve had amber colored eyes. When he got hepatitis, his skin was the same color as his eyes. It was as spooky looking as anything I have seen. It is hard to watch your baby brother die especially such a painful death.

We had not been speaking before he got sick. In fact he told my mom that I probably wouldn't come to the hospital. Wrong. How could anyone not go see their baby brother during his last days. The first visit was a little awkward. I was afraid of catching it so wouldn't sit or touch anything. My brother noticed and I'm sure it made him uncomfortable.

So before the next visit, my hubby and I went for shots. I couldn't imagine my brother passing away with me never being able to touch him again. I wanted to be able to hold his hand and help make him comfortable. Also to be there so that my mother could take a break for a couple minutes. She was there from daylight till night. She held his head and talked to him like she did when he was a baby.

In the end I was praying for him to pass on so he could be away from the pain and so that I didn't have to bury my mom too. It was taking so much out of her. Not only losing one of her children but actually watching each day as he was fading away.

My brother was fighting to the end. I know he had a long talk with our other brother one night and I hope that he was able to feel at peace. I have cried thru this whole post as it was hard to write. I still feel the loss very strongly. I don't miss the addict he had become, but I do miss the little boy who was so full of mischief, the young man who was such a proud dad, and the wonderful man he could have become if he had made better choices. I thank him for leaving behind a wonderful son for me to enjoy and watch grow to manhood with a baby daughter of his own.

And thank you for the wonderful gift your death gave to me. The day of your memorial (and my birthday), I accepted my Lord and became a Christian. I love you Steve.


Laurel Neustadter said...

This is a very moving memorial, Jeanne. I am sorry for your loss.

jgr said...

Jeanne, this is a lovely post. I can imagine how hard it was to write. I'm sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing.

Jo Castillo said...

Jeanne, this is a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing and helping us to know you.

Joan said...

Jeanne - This is a very moving tribute to your brother. I had tears in my eyes reading through it. I'm so glad you were able to be there for him and share that time with him. I am sorry you lost him at such an early age.

Teresa said...

I can only imagine how difficult this was to write.... it was difficult for me to read. Too much pain and suffering in this old world. So glad you have Stephen and his lovely family to help console and perhaps take some of the sting out.

Donna said...

I cried through this post too. Sorry it's been so long since I've visited here. And I'm sorry for your loss.