Brooke's Stories, Life

My Brother is Going to Die.

My brother is going to die.

That is the reality.

And, although, he doesn’t have Cancer or ALS or, even, a prognosis that includes a “months-to-live” estimate, he is going to die.

And this, we know, for sure.

But, the truth is that he died a long time ago.

How is that possible?

How can he, both, already be gone, but still be alive?

Well, if you’ve been in a similar situation, then you’ve already pegged his diagnosis.

And if you’re confused right now, then say a little “thank you” prayer, because, these days, you are in the minority.

My brother is going to die.

And for many, they will say that he deserved it.

Many will say that he should die.

Many will say that he brought this upon himself and that he is worthless and useless and unimportant.

Many will say that he’s not worth saving.

Many will say that they don’t want to “waste” their tax dollars helping him, because he brought this upon himself.

And, to that, I say, “You’re right.”

You are absolutely right.

He did bring this upon himself.

But, that’s all that you’re right about.

Because, while your statement is solely about his kind, your impact does not reach him.

In fact, the harshness of your words only effects the people that don’t deserve to see him die.

When you write these things on social media or shout them for the world to hear, your purpose is to shame the user, but your opinion only brings sadness to the people who love them and who are already bearing the burden of their decisions.

My brother has been revived with Narcan, at least, two times (that we know of).

Ah, here’s a good situation that many, many people have strong opinions about.

They say things like:

“Narcan only enables addicts.”

“Narcan is a waste of money.”

“Just let them die.”

And I hear your anger, I really do.

Because, you know what?

I am angry, too.

His parents are angry, too.

His little girls are angry, too.

Whatever emotion that you have about an addict, I guarantee you, that their family has felt that emotion tenfold.

I can’t tell you how many times that we’ve been angry about his addiction; his actions; his reluctance to stay sober or to get help.

It is beyond angry- this emotion that we feel.

But, it doesn’t just stop at anger.

It flows into sadness, because when we look at him, we see who he used to be.

We see the sweet little boy who, once, talked with a lisp.

We see the big brother who once made his little sister a “dream hat” (that resembled a dunce hat) to wear at night so that she didn’t have nightmares anymore.

We see the daddy who, we know, loves us more than anyone else, even though that love is not enough.

We see the son who we lost and who we have yet to get back.

We see the shell of a person who we used to love; who we still, can’t help but love.

And, the emotion doesn’t stop at sadness, either.

No, the emotion flows on, into full-fledged anxiety.

And, every time that we read about an overdose, our heart skips a beat, as we skim the article to find the name or the location.

We sit on this ledge of anxiety, swinging our legs as we wonder what will happen next and when it will happen.

Will he continue living this way?

Will he get help?

Will he stay sober?

Will rehab work this time?

Will he give up?

We inch forward on the ledge when we get that phone call saying that he overdosed, as we hold our breath to hear if he is still alive.

And when we find out that he was revived, we scoot back just a little, still peering over the unknown.

Somewhat relieved, but still fearful of the future.

While he is suffering with things that we cannot understand, his family is suffering, even more, with things that we cannot control.

It is a special kind of hell.

And, I beg you to be careful with your words.

Would you tell an addict’s small child that he deserved to die?

I won’t ask you to show sympathy, only compassion for a sad, sad situation, that I struggle to sympathize with, myself.

I don’t know what the solution is to this epidemic, but I know that it is one (an epidemic).

I know too many people who have gone down this path, and who do not come back, and I am not too naive to understand the reality of his demise, shall he continue on.

Nonetheless, that does not make it any easier.

While his life has spiraled out of control, we have tried to (reluctantly) detach, because while he still holds the same name and the same DNA, he is not the same.

He is not himself.

He is not the person that he could’ve been- that he still could be.

He doesn’t see his own worth, like we do.

He doesn’t realize how hard we rally for him or how hard we pray for him.

And, even with his troubles, he is a person deserving of saving; deserving of help; deserving of forgiveness.

Your opinion does not matter. It does not solve the problem. It does not contribute in a positive way, because at the end of the day,

He is gone.

He is here and he is gone.

And it will be a glorious day if he ever comes back.


55 thoughts on “My Brother is Going to Die.

  1. Oh my, prayers for you friend and fellow mama/sister. Prayers for you and your family and those precious babes that call him dad and uncle. Prayers for your parents that have to see their beloved baby struggle with the demon. I work in retail pharmacy…in a rural area in/around WV I have since 98 and it has gotten so bad and it’s so scary and so worrisome to me. I worry for my son as he grows up and how bad this epidemic will become when he’s older. I can’t imagine what you’re family is going through. I don’t know what the answer is to this problem and it’s not going to be a fix all for everyone…but something needs to be done. We can only pray it’s soon. God bless, I pray he sees the light before it’s too late.

  2. This really really hit home. My brother is also going to die. You said the things I never have been able to.

  3. I read this with tears in my eyes…as this is the position we find ourselves in with our son. 🙁

  4. I am so sorry that you all are going through this, your brother included!! I know that you get suggestions all the time and I’m sorry, but I just want to help… Have you ever heard of Teen Challenge? It is an AMAZING organization, I encourage you to look it up, maybe give them a call… I wonder if someone would talk to your brother about attending? It is unlike any other rehab center I promise and I have heard SO MANY life changing testimonies!! ?

    1. I’ll second wrote. Oregon Youth Challenge “Teen Challenge” isn’t just for youth. They accept anyone at any age to go through their program. It is a place where people can go to that will help them get to the root of their addiction. It helps them choose life and freedom instead of the cycle of addiction.

  5. My heart breaks for you and your family. Most of all, it breaks for your brother. Maybe if enough of us pray long enough and hard enough and sincere enough this terrible curse will be eased or completely lifted. As you say, he is gone but yet he is here. I don’t see that it is something to blame or condemn. It is an illness in the body just like any other. I still love and ache for the the one I cared for so long. His illness was end stage renal disease and ended the way all unwelcome long-term illnesses end. He was here for a long while but now he is gone. God’s blessings upon you and your family, particularly your brother. Maybe, just maybe, he will turn his life around before it is too late.

  6. This! Thank you for this. My little brother has struggled for years with addiction. He’s been in and out of jail, rehab, and hospitals. I’ve watched my parents age. I’ve watched them, watch my brother on a ventilator. Only for him to get out of that state and repeat the cycle again. I’ve seen the disappointment on my daughters faces when their Uncle misses their birthday. I’ve found him half alive. I’ve drove him to rehab. I’ve prayed, pleaded, and cried. I want my brother back too, more than anything. What you wrote is perfect. I hope it speaks to your brother. I hope it speaks to mine. They ARE worth saving. Keep praying! I’ll be praying for you and your family. ❤️

  7. I can’t even believe how well you nailed this. I am in the same boat. The emotions others feel are only a slight echo of what we feel. Do we hate them sometimes? Do we feel like it’d be easier if they were gone? Do we think they deserve it? Yep. But we also hold that glimmer of hope because he is the brother who taught us to ride our bikes or spell our name or pulled our our tooth for us when we were too scared.

    1. Well said. Mine is my younger sis but we share the same birthday, mannerisms etc… most days I try not to think about it, but who am I kidding. I’m pretty sure she crosses my mind every morning when I’m getting ready for the day. I’ve been to family NA groups but may need more

  8. I have 2 brothers on this path …I FEEL your pain prayers for them all and us all because your right it devastates the entire family when they are making the bad choices and I hurt and feel helpless

  9. Thank you for putting words to the pain. And thank you for helping me realize that even though I “knew” others felt the same, but to see all these comments of others who understand – makes me feel not so alone.

  10. What can I say? My son is all over your story. I just stated today that I am watching him die by inches. I am in recovery myself, so I know how difficult it is to do this thing, but I also know the rewards. But to KNOW my son is dying…it’s a pain so unbearable I cannot describe. Thank you for this. If you don’t mind i am going to share it with a friend who really needs it. ❤.

  11. This post was so profound it truly took my breath away. I don’t care if you have remained untouched by this drug epidemic or you have a friend or relative living this hell right now…. EVERYBODY needs to read and really understand her words!!! Thank you for this, for saying every single word I feel but can’t put into words myself. You are something special.?????????

  12. That monkey on his back is going to hang on and will not let go . I’m crying for everyone that have to carry that dirty monkey around . I try my best to chanel my vibs ore watever I can .

    1. The only thing family can do is constantly push them for help ,now they don’t here you but one day if it is not to late they might beg for it….my son tried every way for years to get this horrible devil off him but it kept coming back..he loved his wife and kids, his wife thought if he loved me he would stop, but we saw him cry many times..he would be clean then fall again…don’t know what to do because my son didn’t make it , don’t hate the addict like so many ignorant people do ..if they want help drive them where they need to go but it has to be very long term not 28 day s…we tried many programs, meetings, methdone everyday in the winter I would drive

      for some people things work for others it doesn’ a doctor once told me don’t hate the addict feel sorry that he tried something and can’t break away !! Pray that in your case it will not be to late…God Bless You!!

  13. My brother did die, and all I can say is I understand everything you’re going through and how you feel. People say the most hurtful things, those that don’t understand and unwilling to try, I think it’s the most misunderstood and untreated of illnesses. Don’t give up on him, don’t stop trying, be there in any way you can, because one day you may be looking back and wondering if it was enough. ❤️??

  14. “My brother is going to die”. I’ve repeated this sentence to myself more this last week than I have ever before. This battle has been consistent for 20 of my 28 years of life, but I’ve never seen him as escalated as he is now. He’s at a point of openly using, saying “addiction isn’t real” and he’s only high because he “chooses to be because he likes it”. I felt every word of this piece. Reading the comments and the stories that sound identical to my family’s (jail, hospital, rehab, etc) brings me a sad sort of comfort. This situation has made my family feel alone and at times crazy. I thank you and all who have commented for sharing your stories.

  15. Thank you so much for this. It’s everything I feel, but could never write so eloquently. You see, my baby brother did die. May 16th, 2009. Worst day of my life, my knees hitting the ground, crying a river of tears in the worst grief to date that I have ever felt. Save the narcan (which wasn’t available then like it is now), and save children he might have had but never lived long enough to, you have written everything I think and feel on a daily basis, you see he was only 26 years old. You and all of his loved ones ( and including him) are all in my Prayers. For years I always said my brother is going to die, I wish with all my heart and soul I had been wrong.

  16. My sister died in January from a drug overdose. Everything you wrote is so heartbreakingly accurate. The one thing you don’t know yet, and I truly hope you don’t have to find out, is that there is no detaching yourself. You can tell yourself he’s gone now. You can mourn him now. You can expect the phone call. It doesn’t change the hurt. The new pain. The finality.

    I hope your brother pulls himself through.

  17. What a beautiful, painful thing to read. The person I was close to did die. It happened when we thought things were better- we were wrong. We are all still reeling from the shock. Thank you for putting into words what people who shout vitriol online don’t seem to understand.

    1. I just lost someone feb, 20th and same. Er thought he was better too. I found him in his bedroom he was renting in our home. Im still such a mess, hugs to you

  18. Thank you for putting this into words that don’t sound so harsh. It is an epidemic and so sad to watch. Prayers to you and your brother.

  19. Our son passed away from over eleven years of fighting addiction. We were all drained physically and mentally fighting this horrible demon that had taken control of him. He was the most loving son and brother one could ask for. His loss cannot be replaced or explained. Many friends acted relieved that we no longer had this worry! Can you ever imagine losing your child and having it be a relief! Our country has to come to grips with the fact that this is not a homeless problem. We supported our son to the end. The system treated him like a 2nd class person and made it impossible to earn a living wage. They, under the guise of rehab, put him around people and enviroments we were trying to keep him away from. I pray for all families to know that your love and support is needed and for us who have dealt with this, I pray for your peace.

  20. Addiction is an illness. WHY can’t Americans (many, not all) see that? Why aren’t illnesses of the brain treated as any.other.organ? Our son was horrifically abused in an orphanage. He sees himself as unworthy because his abusers convinced him at three years old he was bad, a nothing. I flinch when the phone rings and pray for no doorbell in the night where deputies will tell me he’s gone. God forgive me, sometimes I feel he would be better off, free finally of the excruciating pain.

  21. You wrote my hear. I thought that I was the only one who lost someone while they were living and now my son is really dead. Not an easy thing to go through especially when the son I raised was one of the most responsible men I knew. Then his life shattered, he lost his girl, the mother of his 3 year old son. She said she didn’t love him anymore. It threw him into a tailspin and eventually down the wrong path. At 32 my son turned to drugs and had died and been revived 3 times that I knew of. I mourned the loss of my son for the last 2 years and when he finally passed on March 12, 2018 I am lost. Thank you for sharing.

  22. I lost my brother in November 2017. He was a good person, would do anything to help anyone. It breaks my heart know the demons won this horrorific battle. Prayers to ALL!!

  23. I could hardly read this without balling my eyes out as I still am weeping uncontrollably. This is me with the death of my 30 year old son. It had been s 12 year grieving of his death because I’ve prayed for God to deliver my son. He’s still alive by the grace of God but he’s not really here and hasn’t been for years. We are raising his son who is now almost 3. We just found out that he overdosed again (10th time at least), this was the 2nd time that Narcan was used. He came closest to death for good this time. This is a horrible hell for those closest to an addict to live in and with. Thank you for your honesty and explanation of the life I am living as a Mother of 3, Nana and wife. God bless you and your family. One day at a time.

  24. Read this while wiping tears from my eyes My wife died in April 2016 and my oldest daughter is going to die too. You’re right about loved ones living in a special kind of hell

  25. This is what we went through with my son…until the day that he DID die!! I felt that we had lost him long before he died. He told me just hours before the drugs won, that he wanted help…that they were making his decisions and turned him into someone he didn’t want to be. I miss him so much!!

  26. I almost lost my son to the drug of alcohol. He lost his wife, children, career, beautiful home, self esteem & last but not least his self respect. Our hearts have ached for him over & over & we prayed he wouldn’t drive & maybe harm someone else. He went away several times but it never helped. He has found a new love & all we can do is pray that he doesn’t return to the bottle. My heart & prayers go out to any family that is dealing with the hell of addiction.

  27. Thank you for sharing your heartbreaking story. I cannot imagine the incredible pain you, your family and your brother must be feeling, but I understand hurtful words from ignorant people that cut like a knife! My mother ended her life, it was emotionally and physically crippling. There were many who made me feel ashamed and embarrassed about how my mother one would say her name, it was as if they thought by not talking about her, it would save everyone from an uncomfortable conversation. My mom has been gone for 10 years, I was on an emotional rollercoaster for quite some time (to be honest, there are still plenty of times I let myself take that ride again)…I started educating myself on suicide and mental health….the stigma was like a deep fog, keep it in the dark and we don’t have to deal with it! I have grown since my mom died, in ways I could never imagine..I belong to suicide prevention groups, survivor groups…and I will be silent no more! I talk about my mom, suicide, mental health to anyone and everyone..I am going to shine a bright light on our failing mental health system…for my mom, for others who,have gone before her, and those that have gone after her! So keep telling your story, over and over again, until people realize your brother has an illness…and no one should be criticized and shamed because they have an illness! Sending love, strength and peace your way..xo

  28. I could’ve written every single word of this. My brother was going to die. And he did. I know the hell you are living in, and you know the cycle can’t go on forever. It must end one way or another. You want it to end so badly, but you know what that could mean. They either get better or they die. I pray your brother comes out the other side of this viscous disease. Thank you for writing this

  29. I know exactly how you feel probably worse you see me being a mother of an addict I tried everything to save my daughter our entire family did so many rehabs and family interventions but it still wasn’t enough. You are never prepared. We lost her 6/2417 my worst nightmare happened living without her is hell! I hope your brother finds his way back. I will pray for you and your family for strength ?❤️

  30. Wow. i sent this to my daughter. My son, her brother died last April 20. And it’s a reality that hit us so unexpectedly even though the fear was always there. Your words hit home. And this pain of what he used to be, what he became , and now what he will never accomplish, is constant. I pray for your family and your brother. People don’t realize addictts don’t want to be addicts. And they certainly don’t want to die. They don’t know how to live. And it’s the saddest reality of this disease.

  31. What you wrote is so true. My brother and nephew went down the drug addiction path. Only by the grace of God were they saved. Both were arrested and served prison time. Yes that is awful but it saved their lives. They are both out now and not on the drug path anymore.
    I pray that God will intervene for your brother. I pray that this epidemic will be wiped away. I have seen so many young people lost to these demon drugs. Sending prayers for you all.???

  32. If I could change one thing about this world I wouldn’t ask for world peace or for a cure for cancer, those things are being worked on and there is hope on the horizon. What I would change would be the slaying of all addictions. There would be no addiction in my world which in turn would lead to less stress, less disease, less anxiety, less self hate, more harmony, unity, serenity, peace of mind, comfort, promise and joy.The absence of addictions would bring about a heavenly peace on Earth like no other. I would gladly slay the beast and I know in my heart that I would have an army of beautiful, caring and very passionate and determined people behind me willing to take up the call should I fall.

  33. This was my reality for quite a few years. My brother’s struggle became our own and eventually we all detached from him with love in our own ways. We sent him to prison and miraculously this is what changed him. Years later he’s a different person. My brother. The person he always wanted to be. It is possible but we honestly never expected it. Never in a million years. And people’s words from that time still linger and sting. And now at the office lunch table I sit and those words continue to sting as people talk about the “new” epidemic. My brother was once one of those people they say should just die. I do stand up for him and people are surprised when I share my experiences. But it doesn’t change the fact that words hurt and they stay forever.

  34. So well written. All the words and feelings myself and my daughter feel for my son. Praying for yours, mine and everyone going thru this.

  35. My heart goes out to you. My beautiful daughter, so talented, hard-working, mother of three is also currently lost due to this evil lifestyle. Our family, friends, and neighbors all grieve…. we just pray to have her back with us someday soon. She was not destined for this lifestyle. Her babies need their momma back.

  36. This was my brother for 12 years of his life. I won’t delve into the nightmare that was. I will only say that he has been clean for 2 years now. I still can’t believe that I can say those words but it’s true and I thank God it is. Don’t stop praying. Your brother CAN be brought back to life. It IS possible! My brother is proof that as long as there is breath your brother’s lungs, there is hope.

  37. We are going through this right now with my youngest son. He was hospitalized today with liver failure. I don’t know why he doesn’t have the will to live. I’m told not matter what I do I can’t give it to him. It’s an inside job. My love to you and your family.

  38. My mother once said with tears and conviction, “I wish I woulr just get the call that she is dead and have it over with” I wished that call would come too, about myself! Yet, here i am employee of the year at Cincinnatis biggest Non-profit. Just returning from a conference out of town, 3 kids MY kids at home in my care, a brand new car and 3.5 years clean. There is always hope, alwats! However what I have learned is loving an addict is much harder than being one. And I never thought I would say that.

  39. Omg this hit home:-(
    My son’s are going to die!!
    I feel I’ve lost my babies
    I don’t no what to do,I feel im just waiting on a phone call to tell me to go ahead and get the casket ready,I’m a lost momma.

  40. As someone who was suppose to die believe me when I say there is hope. I have almost 14 months sober. If treatment had not worked I would be dead, and no one to blame but myself. I will pray for all.

  41. This post is one of the many reasons I’m in college for Substance Abuse Counseling…

  42. My brother did die. December 30th 2017. Grieving the loss of him has been the worst thing I have been through. Rest In Peace Baby Brother❤?

  43. It’s a miracle my brother is still alive. No one has attempted intervention aside from me and it didn’t go well. They prefer denial and they’re afraid of him. Combined with narcissism there’s not much hope of reaching him.

    Detaching with love is the best way. It’s best for us and our children. It’s best for the addict because it’s the best chance of them waking up.

    It’s also a miracle my stepsister is alive. I’ve had to walk from my family of origin. Other than my sweet Padre who is in heaven.

  44. believe me when you wrote this their was an angel on your shoulder, someone from above gave you the strength and the words to put this all into such heartfelt words, I feel yours and every ones pain, I’m not only sad and lost as to what the answer is IM MAD I’m so mad that this has been ignored for so long, I want to go on a war path but don’t know where to start, my heart aches as I have a 21 year old granddaughter who is struggling with this very same demon, she has been to jail she has been to several mental facilities, which do nothing, they can commit her because she is psychotic but they cant make her go to rehab, I raised her most of her life and we are very close, but she denies she is using, her Mother has done everything she could she’s had her arrested she’s had her committed for saying she going to kill herself, she’s has some issues other then drugs, she was born weighing 3 lbs and she cant read very well, she was made fun of in school because she was in special classes and it got to the point she quit, I think she feels worthless, her father was abusive and her mom was so busy struggling to support them she didn’t have time to spend with her, I feel like most people who are on drugs are self medicating because they are in so much mental pain they cant deal with it, my heart goes out to all of you, I worry about my Granddaughter every time she’s gone, she actually brought a friend to my house and they were in the basement listening to music and when she came up for a pop he overdosed and we had to call the ambulance thank God they were able to bring him back or I would have had to live with the fact someone OD in my basement, but the sad part is he just repeated it 3 days later and died, My Granddaughter was heart broken and talks about it all the time but she wont quit. God I pray for us all, Thank You so much for writing this my heart goes out to you all, HUgs and Prayers. don’t stop praying!!

  45. As the brother, as the son, this was very heart wrenching to read. When we are wrapped up in our addictions, we don’t see, or choose not to see what we are doing to those who love us. Thank you for this. Always have hope, and never let go of those good memories. After 13 years of addiction, I have 3.5 years clean. There is hope. Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.

  46. Our family has also been affect by this horrible drug. Unfortunately my niece did not survive. The counselor her son has been going to shared this video. Please click the link for the video of a woman who did finally have a successful rehab.

    Maybe your brother could check this place out.
    Prayers for your brother as well as the family that is also affected by this.

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