Friday, December 4, 2015

On The Passing of My Dear Brother, Gerard.

Ok, this is a tough one.

Six months ago today, on May 4th 2015, my phone rang at about 5:45am. My first thought was "Who the hell is waking me up before 6am?" I answered and heard my brother Chris' wife sobbing and I asked "Lean, what's wrong?" And she replied "Something really bad happened-Gerard hung himself..." My world came crashing down at that moment.

Gerard was my brother and one of my best friends. I was always tight with both of my brother's and as you can imagine I was devastated, confused, angry, hurt and everything else that goes along with such a tragedy. I've been trying so hard to make sense of it, but the equation never adds up.

Whenever someone dies tragically people always say "He was the greatest guy I know." In my brother's case, it was certainly true. He was the most helpful and selfless guys I ever knew. He was always there to lend a hand and was the type of person who meant it when hes said "How's it going bro? Is everything cool?" I had the onerous task of writing his obituary, and it was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. In the obit I said "He was one of the greatest human beings to ever walk the planet" and I really meant it:

I won't go into all the particulars, but my brother was having a very tough time and had found out several months earlier that he had the beginning stages of Parkinson's disease. It was certainly a pretty bleak diagnosis. He had also recently been screwed over at his job, where he had been for almost thirty years. It was a shit storm, but I still don't know why he did it. Or why he didn't call me, my brother, Chris, or any one he was close to.

I went to group counselling with my sister-in-law and niece, but to be perfectly honest, it just left me with more questions than answers.

Which brings me to this point. Everyone always seems to think that I'm handling it so well, but I am NOT! I've actually been in a deep depression and pretty bad spiritual and mental state overall since then. I've been trying so hard not to think about it, but it's always there. I'm hoping that by writing this I'll at least get some kind of relief. I'm working hard to get through it and realize that I have to go on and do the right things in life.

In conclusion, and not to sound too much like a Hallmark greeting card, make sure you let the people who you love in life know that they are loved and communicate with them as much as possible. And you never know when your last day (or anyone else's) will be on this earth. So live every day like you mean it!


Trish Szymanski said...

I'm so glad to see and read this, Nick. Facing our darkness is a most difficult task, but there is nothing that is more important in this life. Sharing our demons makes us vulnerable, which, perhaps counterintuitively, makes us strong. I'm sorry GĂ©rard saw no way out, but I am glad that you are choosing differently. I wish you all the best. And yes, make every day count, my brother.

Terry Haman said...

Again, Nick- 6 months later, my sincerest condolences to you and your family.

Lally said...

well I'm letting you know I love you Nick, and that the loss will never go away but the pain will hopefully lessen (if my experience and that of others is any guide) and that you honor and keep your brother's spirit alive in posts like this and in your memories and thoughts of him...the only way I know to deal with what I used to call depression but now call deep disappointment is to create...write, make music, keep my own spirit going...