here i am, off in my sequestered educational bliss of freshman year of college, 800 miles from my friends and family, tra la la. then yesterday i get an instant message telling me that my friend christine’s little brother, john, died late sunday night/early monday morning.
he had drug problems. like serious ones. and i never really knew the nature of it because she never wanted to talk about it and i didnt want to press when she had so much shit going on in her life already. i just knew that it was way more than the occasional friday night joint. but now he’s dead. he had an infection and a fever and went into cardiac arrest. he was ajunior in high school, my sister’s age. my little sister is such a huge part of my life. i can’t even imagine if she was gone… i can’t imagine it.
so here i am in illinois, and the funeral is in new york on friday. i wanted to be there. i wanted to be there for her. but, being a college freshman with about 75 dollars in my bank account, i can’t get there on my own. so i call up my mother last night and tell her i want to go to the funeral. and i know that it might not be able to work and if it can it’s gonna be a huge thing. but i wanted to go. she said she’d think about it and get back to me.
that was last night, and just about half an hour ago my dad called me and we talked about it. he said that it was up to me, that if i felt that i really really needed to be there, i could go and we’d figure it out. but he also said that because it was so last minute it would probably cost 6 or 7 hundred dollars. my family can’t afford that. they couldn’t afford it before, and now with my tuition and my sister’s high school tuition, they’re basically digging themselves into debt for us. i feel like i need to be there, but i said no. because i couldnt make them pay that much money, and i can’t contribute because all of the money i made working this summer went to my own self-sufficiency and towards my tuition. i’m getting a work-study job but it hasn’t started yet. so i’m broke. there’s no way for me to get out there.
christine was barely keeping it all together before this. her parents are going through a horrible divorce that’s been going on since new years, when her mother found out her father was cheating on her. he’s currently trying to screw her out of all of her money. he’s a private detective and has been hiding over a million dollars from the rest of the family that was definitely never going to go towards his kids. as if that wasn’t enough, he was trying to prove her mother legally insane and unfit to raise christine and john, and trying to take away their house. then christine’s mother got cancer. she’s a teacher at a private high school. she makes nothing.
and now john is dead. and there were so many times we’d just leave school during a free and go out and get bagels and she would just tell me everything that was going on in her life and i would just listen to her and try to help her and be there for her. but i talked to her on the phone last night. and she’s horrible. and there’s nothing i can do. and even though i wouldnt be able to do much more there than i can here, i could physically be there. i could see her, and hug her. and all she could say was ‘i dont know what to do, he was my baby, he was my baby brother.’ and we just cried.
i didnt really know john. but like someone said to me last night, you sometimes just grieve more for the people they leave behind. i dont know how christine and her mother are going to get through this. i just hope that it brings them closer together.
i’ve been at college for 3 weeks, and i was crying before and this girl across the hall who is a new friend of mine, she just came up to me and hugged me and said how weird it was for her to see me so upset, because i am generally such a strong person. which is true. i am usually the one doing all the helping, the one solving all the problems, the one taking control of problems, the one everyone else goes to. the one who takes everything in stride no matter how bad. but i couldn’t believe that she said that to me after knowing me for 3 weeks. i mean it’s not like we’ve had anything crazy happen here, it’s just sort of been hanging out and whatever.
but after i got off the phone with my dad i called up one of my other friends from home and just started crying because i feel like shit. i feel like if it was my brother or my sister, that i wouldn’t ever expect anyone else to come from this far in a million years, but if they did it would mean so much to me. and i know that the fact that i tried is a lot. but at the same time i feel like if it were my best friend, and not just a very close one, i’d be going. so why am i staying? because i put a price on it. how is that fair? and my friend was just talking to me and trying to make me see that i shouldnt feel as bad about this as i do, and that was huge for me because i am always the one doing that for other people, especially the friend i called up.
so my dad basically said to me, you know, we’re going to send some flowers to her in your name, and you’ll still get to see her when you come back for thanksgiving in six weeks, how does that sound? and i just told him, it sounded crappy, but what could i do. not much else. so i guess i’m just posting this because i need to vent everything out a little more. i just need to put it out there.