Monday, February 22, 2010

Knowing is healing

I just received this photo of my sister Bonnie and her boyfriend Jack from him. This was taken when she was healthy and happy at a charity event. This was the life that I envisioned my sister having again after rehab. Of course, as you have all read on several occasions, the outcome was not as we had hoped.

The reason for this post is not that I feel I need to keep living in this tragedy. I write this post because it helps me grieve. It helps me to see that my sister was happy and beautiful and not a horrific addict or corpse. It is also important, I feel, to show that addiction can take down anybody and is not a respecter of persons.

The final death certificate was released for Bonnie. This waiting to find out how she died and why had a great deal to do with my heavy grief. I have felt enormous responsibility for the events because a brother is supposed to be there for his sister. I wasn't there at the very point that she needed me the most. Of course, this feeling has nothing to do with the constraints of reality, but it is the feeling that I have had to deal with nonetheless.

A mixed intoxication of Zanax and alcohol caused my sister's death. It helps to know this because I was worried that she might of suffered while she passed. I also worried that she committed suicide. It shouldn't matter because of the duress she was under, but it helps me to know that she wasn't intent on leaving me behind. The biggest help of knowing is that this was something that could have happened even if she was staying with family. My sister had a habit of mixing alcohol and her prescriptions. Whether it was to get more loaded or just carelessness, it doesn't matter; it happened. I couldn't have stopped this from happening. The simple fact is that she probably had no idea that she was dying and simply drifted away.

Bonnie had a hard life. It wasn't easy growing up in my family. All of us kids have had our own ways of medicating. Some of us overcame it and some of us still try to fill that hole. I am starting to see, that despite her disease, she really was a role model for me. She took the risks that she felt were going to lead her to a happy life. It doesn't matter that she fell during her journey--she fought the whole way. Knowing this is healing.


Julie Schuler said...

You sister does look very happy and pretty in that picture. A terrible loss, but I think it must be some comfort to know that she was innocent in many important ways. Innocent in her intent and not cruelly leaving those that cared about her. You are kind to share that picture.

Christielli said...

This is a lovely post. I'm glad that knowing is helping you heal.

Jay Ferris said...

The Grunt is strong. He will never stop fighting. This has already been proven true.

Tys on Ice said...

:)..they look so beautiful..

you are right, we spend lot of time figuring our different ways to fill that hole..

Queue_t said...

Healing, talking, writing all good for you. thanks for sharing some of what you are going through and allowing us to glimpse your sister at a different time in her life.

I keep you in my thoughts and prayers- even a small pebble can make ripples! -

your friend QT

Logophile said...

Oh honey,
I'm so glad you know now.
The not knowing sucked and I'm glad it helped you release some of that stuff.
That is a gorgeous photo of her and what you said made me think of a poem I just read that talked about Icarus.
We always focus on the falling but the fact is, he flew. The end of the poem said,
"I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell but just coming to the end of his triumph."

The fight is the point.
Battle on, Grunty

Wayne said...


I know I get on here and read your posts far too rarely, but this is perfect. Thanks for sharing. We've known each other for so long, and most of the time we're just joking around when we hang out, but it has been compelling to see your progression through all of this (from my limited p.o.v). I don't think I'll ever forget the talk you gave at her funeral. So honest, to the point, and loving. (and funny/edgy enough to make those of us who know you sigh in appreciation of who you are, and those who didn't know you, squirm just a little..all the better..and I'm sure Bonnie was smiling the whole time)

Anyway, I'll leave it at that before I give you too big a head.

-Eddie The Flying Gimp

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Sun Follower said...

This post is most healing for you to write... and even to read. *hug*