Only Brother

Submitted by: Little Sister
Born: 1973
Died: 2016
My Tribute: To my handsome brother whom I didn't have a real relationship with. We grew up in the same house but you kept me at a distance to keep me from seeing that you were using and addicted. You protected me.
I saw you three years ago. That was the last time I saw you.
I talked to you this July. That was the last time I talked to you.
I still have your voice mail you left me in May. You were in recovery then. You sounded good and I couldn't wait to have a 'real' conversation with you and to build a relationship with you.
You didn't sound so good in July. I was suspicious when you wouldn't return my calls then. I didn't call you again but knew you were 'ok' through conversations with mom and dad. Little did anyone know that you were off your anti-depressants. Then you took a turn for the worse.
The last time anyone saw you alive, no one suspected that you were using drugs and alcohol again. Not even your best friend in recovery. You hid it well.
I had notions of you dying but of a disease related to alcoholism, not of a drug overdose. And not at the age of 43. I never would have thought it would have been from an IV drug. Never.
Now I'm left with a hole and no answers because you're gone.
I see you now in pictures placed in my living room and in front of your ash-filled urn in mom and dad's house. You are holding a big fish and a wear an equally big smile. Mom and dad feel relief but I don't. Just sadness. You asked me for help 6 years ago and I tried but you wouldn't go into recovery.
I'm sorry you felt alone and sad this September and wanted to numb the pain. That act killed you. And killed us.
We will get through this. I still can't believe this is happening.
I never wanted pain for you but it seemed to follow you. You tried to run away from it. You can't run away from something that is inside you.
I love you big bro. Always have. Always will. Until I see you again in heaven. Keep a fishing pole free for me. In the mean time, catch a big one 🙂