It's been about 6 years since I registered on hatrack. Though I don't have much of a post count, I've seen many people come and go, and I feel I know some of you well. From old timers like MPH and Tom to relatively new ones like Blayne and Onicoron (Sorry if I butchered your name ). I don't if any of you really remember me, but I kind of need an outlet right now so... your all it.
Two weeks ago my brother was stabbed to death three blocks from the house I just bought, in the same neighborhood we grew up in.
On April second I awoke to two people hammering on my front door at four in the morning. I was so exhausted from having to wake up 2 hours after falling asleep ( having been up 40 before I went to sleep, because I can never sleep the last night of my daughters one month visitation), That I missed the first rung of my loft bed, and almost fell fell out of bed.
Every time I wake up and climb out of bed now I remember that night. When I opened the door I saw my mother and father, eyes red rimmed. The first thing my mom said was " They found Zachary" I knew then what happened. Nobody talks about the living that way. "Somebody stabbed him. He's dead" The rest is a blur. I remember sitting down, and my legs shaking, and sending my roommate to his parents, as he had came in shortly behind my mom and dad. He died just before midnight.
**** April fools day.
I saw the ambulance. I was driving home from my parents after seeing the ambulance drive by their house. I felt something was wrong, and followed them a few streets down to where they stopped. I saw the police dogs running down the street, I saw them load up a person. I heard a woman wailing.I didn't recognize the house, so I didn't want to gawk. I left. It was Zach. The woman, We'll call Robin was Zach's friend from middle school. She found him when she was letting her dogs out. I didn't recognize the house. He was alive when she found him, she told him to "hang in there," and asked "are you still with me" I later found out. His last words were Christ's. "I'm with you" He was 24.
He had been clean for 13 days. He relapsed. He was walking home from a dope house. We all thought it must have been drug related. He had long suffered from abusing drugs. Cocaine, crack, pills, alcohol, weed. He also suffered from Bi-polar disorder and bouts of paranoid schizophrenia. He self medicated with whatever he could get his hands on. It wasn't drug related as far as anyone knows now. The police won't tell us much. But we know he was hanging out with hardcore schizophrenic that night, who has not been seen since. He also gave his State I.D. to a woman who was there. She told a friend of mine who works at the corner store ( and the police) that Zach gave it to her because he thought he knew something might happen to him. I don't know what that means. He often thought he wasn't going to live to see 27. Hated the number and everything. I'm 27. He had bouts of schizophrenia. The friend at the corner store is a whole other story, the good coming out of it is that the whole experience, leading up to the speach I gave at the funeral ( of which I will post a rough draft at the end of this post) has caused him to, in his words, "question his non-faith"
My brother and I had a hard time getting along. He would leave my parent's, walk to my house, and drink a pint or two in about an hour and go back to our parents quite often. He stole from me. He caused a huge amount of stress on our parents. He had tried to get clean a few times, The most successful turned into the most damaging attempt. When he was 21 he quit all substances at once, went up north, and dove into the bible. He came back believing he was John the Baptist, and then the Anti-Christ. He prayed to God my parents would die, so that he couldn't be responsible for damning them.
We were beginning to get along again right before he died. We talked of 90's music and old trips up north. I told him I'd take him to a park to help get his mind off things. I told him to call me if he needed help not relapsing. He went to a meeting. I went to the park without him, I let my phone die. I never saw him alive again.
there have been 6 homicides in a two week period in Lansing. This isn't the town I grew up in. I don't know where I live.
Here is the a rough draft of the speech I gave. Excuse typos, spelling errors, and other such trivialities.
Thank you, everyone for this outpouring of support and love in this time of grief for my family and I. I know that most if not all of you have experienced a loss like this in your lives. In this room there are lost friends, lost parents, lost siblings, and lost children. They are here with us, inside of us and outside. The pain of that loss helps you to empathize with us and comfort us when we need you most. That loss is what I would like to talk about today.
Psalm 22:24 For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one;he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.
Remember that this pain we all feel for the lost of Zachary is not a burden. It is not something that we must bear painfully, but a beacon. A beacon of pain that we raise high to bring comfort and understanding and hope to those who have suffered loss. Remember that as God our father cradled us, we too must cradle each other, for as God is our Father, we are each others brothers and sisters, and we must come together under the light of Christ and the pain of this loss, and listen to the cry's of our brothers and sisters, just as god listens to ours, just as he listened to Zachary's. Just as Christs blood and suffering has the power to wash from us our sins, our blood and pain as the children of god has a lesser, yet still amazing power, to wash away one another grief and sorrow. This pain is a beacon, precisely because it causes suffering, and suffering breeds compassion, as compassion breeds love, and love breeds salvation. Therefore I say to you with utmost certainty and faith, that there can be no extrication without injury, no liberation without loss, no salvation without suffering.The pain of this loss will bring us closer to each other, and help us to bring others closer to God.
That being said I implore you to harbor no ill will toward Zach's murder. When Zach was at his lowest, I remember he told me that he. He took his money, and he left him their. He did because his addiction had a hold of him. The man didn't die, thankfully, but he could have. We have all forgiven Zach for his deeds in our hearts. The man who did this may have a family much like ours, may have a mother who prays for his deliverance fervently, and dreads every night that she may wake up one day to find him dead, or in prison. Harbor no ill will. It doesn't help Zach and it won't help you. It doesn't serve God who said in Luke 6:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
I love you all. I love you Zach, I keep you close, and I will see you again, when God should chose to deliver me home to be with you. Go with God.
Here is a poem I wrote about 20 minutes ago.
Slumbering scenes of old memories. I cannot belive that it's sleep.
First footstep's fall, I'm reminded anew and deep sadness ensues.
Distraction, delay, denial.
Again in my bed your back in my head. I wan't to cry but... My body denies you are dead.
I know I'm just using you guys as an outlet to get some of this stuff out of me, but it's easier if I don't know you all too personally, or not at all. Thanks hatrack for being hatrack. There is nowhere else like you.
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
It's awful your brother died that way, String. I'm sorry. I'm glad you're finding your way through it, or at least that's what it's sounding like. And as terrible as the subject matter is, thanks for sharing.
Posted by String (Member # 6435) on :
Thanks, Rakeesh. I'm reading How to Survive th Loss of a Love by Melba Colgrove, Harold H. Bloomfield, And Peter McWilliams. It's been indispensable
Posted by steven (Member # 8099) on :
I'm so sorry to hear that happened. I don't have any family members with schizophrenia, but several of my closest longtime friends do, and I know how difficult it can be. Take your grief one day at a time.
Posted by Kwea (Member # 2199) on :
I am sorry for your loss. While this place isn't the same as it was a few years ago, it is still filled with decent, caring people. We all go though things from time to time, and at times need to talk about what we are going though. IMO, this place helps immeasurably at those times. It can be because of the troubles of daily life, or a tragedy like yours, or problems with a job....whatever the reason, we are here to listen, offer support, or just to chat.
It's part of why, after so many years, I still post here.
I am glad you shared this with us, and my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.
Posted by SenojRetep (Member # 8614) on :
My condolences, String. I thought the draft of your funeral remarks were very touching. I particularly liked the imagery of your grief and pain being a beacon.
Posted by Phanto (Member # 5897) on :
I'm sorry for your loss; thanks for sharing. Your words from the speech are very touching.
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
I wish I had the ability to empathize with your loss, but having not yet lost anybody close to me, I cannot. But your words were important, thanks for sharing them.
Try to live for the both of you now.
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
My condolances for your loss, String. I'm glad you felt you could use Hatrack as an outlet, I'm sure you need one. Best wishes for you and your family in the time ahead.
Posted by Icarus (Member # 3162) on :
I'm so sorry for your loss.
This was a moving and eloquent post. I don't share your ability to forgive; I am enriched by your example.
Posted by dkw (Member # 3264) on :
I'm so sorry String.
I'm glad Hatrack could be an outlet for you, and I definitely remember some of your earlier posts, even if you have been mostly a lurker.
Posted by mr_porteiro_head (Member # 4644) on :
Good luck and wishes to you and your family in the weeks ahead as you seek for and discover ways to help you deal with this tragedy.
Posted by Mama Squirrel (Member # 4155) on :
Thank you for sharing String. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.
Posted by Bob_Scopatz (Member # 1227) on :
So sorry for you and your family, String.
Posted by Architraz Warden (Member # 4285) on :
You have my condolences as well String. That was a very moving and poignant post, and hopefully as good and outlet for you as you expected. It sounds like you're one of the strong shoulders for friends and family, and I wish you the best during this trying and unenviable time.
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
My condolences, String. Thank you for sharing and for the reminder that we must take care of each other.
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Posted by scifibum (Member # 7625) on :
I'm sorry, String.
Posted by Geraine (Member # 9913) on :
Stay strong String. My condolences to you and your family. I know you will see him again one day. He is in a better place.
Posted by TMedina (Member # 6649) on :
The words are cold comfort, but my prayers are with you and yours in this time of grief.
Posted by SoaPiNuReYe (Member # 9144) on :
I'm sorry man. He'll be at peace now. My cousin was stabbed to death like this too and it tore my entire family apart. I'm glad you are able to forgive whoever did this.
Posted by Tante Shvester (Member # 8202) on :
I don't know what to say. I hope that you are able to find strength and comfort in this difficult time.
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
My condolences as well.
Posted by Derrell (Member # 6062) on :
Condolences to you and your family.
Posted by scholarette (Member # 11540) on :
My condolences to yours and your family and friends hurt by this.
Posted by imogen (Member # 5485) on :
My condolences, String, and I hope Hatrack can help you in some way.
Posted by String (Member # 6435) on :
Thanks, everybody it means a lot. It's even good to see some of those old names again. I'm blessed in life to have a good stock of friends and family, but sometimes it's easier to share with people who you know less intimately.
Kwea, It's interesting that you said that because I'm hopefully going to be getting this job at camp highfields pretty soon. It's a juvenile camp for delinquent... well juveniles. My brother did some time their about 10 years ago so I have an in. Should be a nice break from the less rewarding work I've been doing.
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
I wish you and your family the strength to get through this difficult time.
Posted by Noemon (Member # 1115) on :
String, I'm so sorry. I'm glad that Hatrack can provide you with something you need right now.
Posted by JonnyNotSoBravo (Member # 5715) on :
What a violent, awful passing. I hope you and your family find peace after such a traumatic and consciousness-altering event.
Posted by ludosti (Member # 1772) on :
I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you and your family will be comforted as you struggle through this experience.
Posted by KarlEd (Member # 571) on :
(((String))) I'm sorry for your loss.
Posted by Uprooted (Member # 8353) on :
String, I'm sorry. I can't imagine what it must be like living with a loved one struggling with schizophrenia, or losing a loved one at such a young age. Thanks for coming here and sharing. I hope you find strength and peace in the times ahead, and wish the same for your family.
Posted by String (Member # 6435) on :
Thank you again to everyone, for your prayer, condolences, and well wishes. I feel like i should share some other, more positive things about my brother now. He was an incredibly talented musician. The guitar was something we shared together. I can still here some of the very catchy and songs he wrote. Most had a haunting yet still uplifting minor key tonality that could make me feel like me could move mountains.
He was a very deep person, and when 100% lucid, was very articulate and often made observations that would seem beyond his age and education.
Keep all the prayer coming, My family and I can always use, especially now. Who ever will, pray for healing to be swift and complete, that God's will be done throughout, and that my mother and my youngest brother Micheal who are taking it the hardest, find solace where they can.
Posted by Anna (Member # 2582) on :
I'm so sorry for you and your family. I'll keep you in my prayers.
Posted by Fractal Fraggle (Member # 9803) on :