Alcoholics can hurt innocent others

On the day our second child was to be born I received a phone call from my parents that my brother was killed by a hit and run drunk driver. I went into shock. This was my 23-year-old brother who was finishing off his Masters Degree at Kansas State University, who was to move to Colorado in two weeks to work for Exxon Mobil, who often rode his bicycle to and from campus to exercise (instead of driving his car), who was active in his church, who helped with a Boy Scout Troop and was formerly a Boy Scout himself, who loved to hunt and fish, and who was dearly loved by his family . . . dearly loved by me. Anguish, grief and loss were intensely felt by all of us who knew and loved him. Later, I learned details about the young man who was driving the van which killed my brother. Witnesses said my brother was riding his bicycle on the farthest side of the road’s shoulder and that the van swerved over onto the shoulder striking my brother and maintaining velocity as it continued down the road. One witness followed the van, watched the van pull into a bar parking lot, observed the driver entering the bar, recorded the license plate information, and then phoned the police. The police reported the van’s driver was legally drunk, as well as unaware that he had struck a person with his van. I’ve since learned that there are many types of alcoholics. I realize alcoholics loved ones are sometimes hurt by or hurting for their family member(s.) Then too, alcoholics can hurt innocent others. Meanwhile, our second daughter arrived after her due date; and, my OB-GYN said he would not take responsibility for me as a patient or the baby’s delivery if I attended my brother’s funeral. I suggested I could take a helicopter and return immediately after the funeral. My doctor didn’t alter his opinion. Thus, I was depressed and missed my brother’s funeral. We visited the cemetery after our daughter’s birth and an intense scream and the word nooooooooo continually echoed inside my head, while my chest felt like it would explode. I wish I had been at the funeral to see my brother in his coffin, as my mind’s since played tricks on me. I would, at times, think I’d seen my brother in a crowd or heard his voice or laugh. I believe actually attending the funeral might have made the difficult transition easier for me. Never easy, just easier in that aspect. Although, maybe not. He was my only sibling. He will continue to be missed . . . (I have never written this down before. It’s sobering and will hopefully be cathartic for me personally.)

Betsy