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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Rest In Peace

Victor was pronounced brain dead this morning and they plan to remove him from life support ... well, about now I think. I guess I should mention that I haven't referred to Victor before and it is an alias but the picture is of him. His cousin Isabel is a coworker and friend, I've mentioned her before, that's not really important. What happened was, sometime around 11 or so on Monday Isabel got a call that he had been airlifted from home to the nearby hospital. Something about him not breathing when he was checked on, I gradually accumulated details as the day wore on. Overdose, unfortunately not a surprise.
It is starting to affect me now. I knew he was gone as far as the person everyone knew when the doctors were telling them that he had brain damage, they didn't expect him to wake up, still wasn't breathing on his own, etc. What I didn't know until yesterday was that they had called an ambulance for him six hours or so earlier and he had refused to go. He was an adult, they couldn't force him, and I have no problem with that. He died of playing with prescription meds, and I would love to have had a moment with him if I had known it was getting that bad, but I'm okay with that too. I don't have an "If only I had" scenario that is going to keep me awake at night. I was friendly with the kid, but really had only spoken with him a few times. I remember him showing me a bag of weed he was particularly happy about, and I was able to appreciate by smell that it was certainly a very nice bag of weed, but my being sober for 8 years and almost 20 years older than him, we weren't exactly Frick and Frack. I do wish I had tried to talk to him about how bad he was looking the last couple of times I saw him, but I'm giving myself a pass on the guilt, well, mostly.
What is starting to get to me now is how his family is going to suffer for a long time over how he died. He was living with his parents, only 19; and his Mother was the one that called the ambulance. She is going to be 'If only I had'-ing herself for the rest of her life. People can, (and hopefully will), tell her that she couldn't make him go against his will. They will tell her that it wasn't her fault, that there was nothing she could have done, but she won't believe them. Nobody that loses someone under these kind of circumstances ever completely forgives themselves, it's just not human nature to detach like that. Even the ones that go on Orpah and say they do, and she hugs them and tells them what an inspiration they are to the rest of us - they can't completely forgive themselves. But that's okay, sometimes we have to fake it 'til we make it, to borrow an old 12-step chestnut. And most of the time that fakin' never gets all the way to makin' it, that's okay too. It will get better, eventually, and they will go on with their lives, even if there will always be a shadow across even the very best of days. This particular family has a lot of guilt that is certainly justified, not limited to whose prescription meds he had nor whom he learned such behavior from, but I wouldn't wish any of what they are going through on my worst enemy.

Duty Freebie: Lady cabdriver over at Heard in my Cab tells of her experiences driving people around. Funny, sad, weird, it's the real deal.


At 1:27 PM, Blogger l.b. said...

Who got this first? Me or your blog?
He was a good looking boy and possibly not so long ago he was a child with unlimited possibilities open to him. It is terribly sad that he never got far enough along in life to have the opportunity to turn himself around.

At 6:47 PM, Blogger part-time thinker said...

You get everything first, you know that. The cat is now out of the bag folks; this blog is proofed.

At 8:43 PM, Anonymous Evel said...

I know what you mean about never really forgiving yourself. When I was a teenager, I drove my friend home from a party. He was drunk. But when we got to his house he changed his mind and wanted to go back to the party.

The next person to drive him home, did not get him there alive.

I always wish I had have made him get out of the car.

At 9:09 PM, Blogger part-time thinker said...

That's a haunting memory I'm sure, but how could you have known? I try to think of times I have likely changed things for the better, making sure my sober cousin drove her sister home against the drunk one's will, stuff like that. I've got enough regrets of my own misdeeds; I really can't take on too much guilt over what I can't control. Still think about stuff now and again though.


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