We lost my cousin. A neighbor had found him and called an ambulance. He was taken to ICU and put on a ventilator. And we sat by his bed day after day. I held his hand hoping he would wake up. It made me sad to know that he felt he had no alternative but to end it all. He was loved. I hope that he knew that he was loved. He wasn’t bullied. He had a lot of friends. There won’t be answers.
I don’t think I want an answer. I don’t feel like any answer would be good enough. I watched his parents agonize over what to do. Physicians kept saying there is no brain activity. But there are miracles right? We are a religious family. We believe in miracles. I swear I could feel him in that room. I played some music for him from an iPod. I talked to him. My other cousins talked to him. I never asked why. I just kept saying over and over again, repetitively “please come back to us”.
In the end, his parents decided to take him off the ventilator. The doctors basically said there was no hope. He was an organ donor. He was so young. He didn’t drink. He didn’t do drugs. He was healthy. Everything was considered “mint” condition. I remember someone coming in and announcing the different states the bigger organs (the heart, the lungs, liver, kidneys) would be going to. We were told if the recipients wanted to come forward, we could meet them. If they didn’t, we would never know. It was a blur. We said our good-byes and then he was wheeled out. In the movies, when a there is a grieving moment, the sound becomes inaudible. The music stops and the screen becomes blurry. And there is silence. I experienced that moment.
I will be alright. I think about his parents. I think about his Mom, especially his Mom. The high pitched cry she let out when he left the room. It makes me so sad that she will never get to see him grow up. I see his grandmother’s face, my aunt. I always thought of her as extremely strong. Suddenly she looked small, vulnerable and weak. His Dad stood stoically and said “he isn’t here anymore…that isn’t him”. I don’t recall where his brothers were.
He was 22.