Photo credit: gratisography
I’ll never forget this day. July eighteenth.
One year ago today, I was at work near the end of my work day. It was about 4pm and I received a message from my mom on Facebook.
The message was only three words, but crushed my whole word.
The message said, “Michael is dead.”
I knew right away what she meant. I didn’t think she meant it as a joke as in Michael messed up and is so dead. You know what I mean, when your spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, friend, etc. does something like play a prank on you and you exclaim, “You are so dead!”
I knew what my mom meant by her message.
I immediately stood up with my phone in my hand and asked my supervisor if I could use the empty office next to hers. I told her, “I think my brother is dead. My mom just messaged me on Facebook and I need to call her.”
I called my mom back and of course the first few times calling didn’t go through. I did talk to one of my Uncles for a second but was disconnected. She was making phone calls or answering calls.
At the time she heard the news, my Uncle (her brother) was over at her house helping her with her computer. When she got the call from the Police, my Uncle took the phone from her after she was told what happened.
As you can imagine, my mom was hysterical.
What mom wouldn’t be?
Meanwhile, my parents and I live on opposite coasts. I am not there. This is difficult news to process because I am not near my family.
I finally get my mom on the phone and she’s trying to tell me more information and I cannot understand what she’s saying because she’s trying to talk while crying hysterically. I ask her if my Uncle is there to talk to. I am able to talk to my Uncle and he explains as best he could from what he was told from the Police. After getting more information, I emerge from the empty office and briefly explain to my supervisor what happened. She asked if I wanted to leave early and I blankly said yes.
When I got back to my desk, I text my husband as I didn’t want to say anything out loud to my co-workers yet.
I still needed to process what was happening.
My Uncle also explained that they could not reach my Dad so I decided to get up to call my Dad outside of the building, away from any co-workers. I tried my Dad’s cell phone with no luck. I called my Grandmother and there was no answer so I left a message. I didn’t exactly say “Michael is dead” on the answering machine, but I did ask my Dad to call me back as I wanted to know what was happening.
My husband had his mom watch our son so he could pick me up from work. A few hours after I got home and settled, I called my mom again and he answered. He said he tried to call but the number I left was a wrong number. He said I could call the Police Department and gave me the name of the officer and the phone number.
It was a long day with many emotions.
One year later, I think about my brother at least once a day. I feel guilt. I wish he had tried to reach out to me, despite us not getting along. I remind myself that he is with Grandpa and our other family members.
Feel free to read my post I published a month after my brother passed away, I wrote it soon after I returned home from my his funeral.
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