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Thread: Brian...

  1. #1
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    Default Brian...

    Sometimes words can't describe what someone means in your life, or how much it affects you when they are gone.

    Brian was my best friend, my brother. I was closer to him than I have ever been to anyone. We shared everything, our good times, our fears, our struggles, our successes. For the last 14 yrs he has been a rock in my life. But on Sept 30, Brian committed suicide. The demons he struggled with were too much for him to over come. He took a bunch of pills, drank some alcohol and the cops found him slumped over the wheel in his truck, in a random parking lot. I got the call the following morning. The pain I felt that moment is indescribable. The hole in my heart can never be filled, and I will miss him every day, every moment for the rest of my life.

    Brian and I were cops together. He had been an explorer with the state patrol, worked in the county jail and was a cop for 2 yrs before I was hired. He lived and breathed law enforcement. It was all he ever wanted to do in life. When we met, I was a rookie- and in our dept rookies were hazed big time. Brian was never short on giving me grief. As a matter of fact, I really didn't even like him at first. But after many calls, and I had the chance to prove myself- we bonded. We were always on the same squad. We must have worked thousands of calls together. My head is full of a million memories of him.

    When I became a K9 officer, Brian was my dogs favorite "bad guy". He trained with me all the time. He even drove to California with me when I got my 2nd dog. He was my primary back up officer on most of my K9 searches. He was someone I could count on, at work and in my personal life. I couldn't have asked for a better friend. A loyal man, a funny man. A guy who would give you **** one minute, but give you the shirt off his back the next. He was an incredible cop. One who was never afraid to go hands on, but one who would give a person a hug when they needed it. One time some ladies got caught stealing diapers and formula at Wal Mart, and Brian convinced them to not press charges if he paid for the items.

    But Brian was also dealing with PTSD, and some medical issues. After his 2nd back surgery, he got hooked on pain pills. I left the dept to finish my degree in social work, and he left about a year later. However, Brian didn't leave because he wanted to, Brian had no choice. His addiction, and his changed behavior cost him the only thing he ever wanted in life- to be a cop. Well, it also cost him his marriage.

    For the last 6yrs, I have been there with him through all of his struggles. Through suicide threats, attempts, treatment, financial issues- to the high moments when he had 2 yrs sober and making good money again. There were times we cried with each other, and many times of laughter. In the last couple of years, I can't recall a day we didn't talk or text. We lived on opposite sides of the state- but our friendship never dwindled. I think it actually got stronger. Brian had really pulled away from his family, from nearly everyone else but me. We would tell each other often how much we meant to each other. And he would say in this kid like voice, "I love ya buddy"

    Last year Brian was doing so good financially, that he flew me to Seattle for a weekend and took me to see the Seahawks get annihilated by the Giants. It was the last time I saw him.

    Brian relapsed sometime last winter. It was slow progression- and there were times he would go days, or weeks clean. Over the summer I could tell it was getting worse. He was not making much money at work (on commission selling home loans)- and was struggling just to buy groceries.

    There were days he would text me that he couldn't do it, he couldn't go on. And I would tell him, please, if for anything- you gotta stay around for me. I would tell him that if he ever left, I would be hearbroken for life. I would beg him to keep fighting, stay strong, that he could do it. I said everything I could think of so he knew I love him, everyone loved him - every word I could come up with to keep him around.

    During August/Sept it was a daily occurrence to get 8-10 text messages from him at once. He would text literally, all day, all evening. And it was hard to keep up. There were days I felt it was too much on me emotionally. It was draining. But there was never a time I wanted to just give up on him. I refused to quit on him. I prayed for him, tried to get him to go to church, meetings, anything to keep him going. Anything to keep him fighting away the demons that tortured his soul.

    The Monday night football game that the Redskins played Dallas, I didn't talk to him much. He knew it was b/c of the game. But he seemed to have been doing better the few days leading up to then. We text a few times on Tue and Wed- but I didn't hear from him that Thur or Fri. On Friday, Sept 30, I had text him a few times, but he never answered. I started to get worried. Saturday morning I said to my g/f, "I haven't heard from Brian. He's either in jail, the hospital or dead."

    My worst nightmare came true. And a week later I drove back to the town we spent years protecting, and I buried my best friend. I've been on auto pilot ever since.

    There is no one in this world that can understand the bond cops have, unless you are one. And there is no one in this world that understands what is like being an ex-cop, unless you are one. Brian was my one person who understood me like nobody else could. And now he is gone. And now I feel so empty, so lonely. Sometimes I feel like I'm on the outside looking in, wondering is this all real?

    I didn't cry a whole lot at his funeral. I didn't cry much when I saw him laying in that casket. But there have been a few times that its hit me, and I've lost it. I know it will be like that for some time- good days and bad days.

    Some may wonder why I would spill my guts on a message board full of strangers. I guess I don't have much of an answer. Maybe now you can see a glimpse into who I am, what my story is - more than just some random chick on a message board.
    Last edited by L J; 10-23-11 at 03:29 AM.
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  2. #2
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    I'm sorry for your loss. My step dad was a cop for 42 years, so I kinda know a little about the bond those guys/gals have.

    This country is failing combat vets badly in dealing with issues like this.

    I hope you and those that knew/loved him find peace
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    Formerly known as ...............Sarge

  3. #3
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    L J, having experienced the loss of a close friend to suicide, I offer you my thoughts and prayers. If you are like me, you are asking yourself, "what if?" From the sounds of it, there is not much you could have done differently that would have made a difference.

    Reading your story, I was reminded of my friend's final days. Everyone around him said that the days prior, he seemed happier than he'd been in a while. Sounds like Brian knew what he was going to do and finally had come to grips with the end, like my friend had done.

    I applaud you for sharing your experience. For some, simply writing it down helps.
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    The more things change...the more they stay the same. It's like deja vu all over again.

  4. #4
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    LJ, you're an amazingly strong person just for handling it the way you have. Your reaction is completely expected, an nobody that hasn't been there and had to deal with the death of someone close, either through suicide or natural death, it's a hard thing to comprehend, and even harder to put into words.

    Like I told you in PM, this is the same thing I've been dealing with over my brother for the past few years, because I have that same worry, and can't seem to do anything to stop the downward spiral. It sucks to feel helpless, but at least he knew you loved him and were there for him until the end. You're a good friend, and you got 6 more years with him that you otherwise might not have had.

    Death is an impossibly hard thing to deal with, and we never know how we'll react until we experience it right in our face like that. Just know that you have plenty of ears here and shoulders to cry on. It's tough, but you'll make it through in time. Don't let anyone tell you how you should feel, or how soon life will start to feel normal again. Just take everything day by day at your own pace, and everything will eventually fall into place.

    I have been deeply saddened talking to you over this the past few days, because I know how much you're hurting, and you're a really good person. Be grateful for the good times, and try not to dwell on the sadness because it will eat you alive if you let it. One day at a time, that's all you can do. You're a trooper, hang in there.
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    It's ok, I don't like you either.

  5. #5

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    I am so sorry for what your friend experienced, and especially for what you have gone through. First of all, that was a beautiful testimonial to him - that even in his worst moments and struggles, you still loved him and saw what he brought to the world. Secondly - I so appreciate that you took the time to share with us. Some folks feel willing and comfortable discussing personal matters here, others would never do so - and there's no right or wrong on that front. But I appreciate that you thought enough of us to trust us to listen and get to know you a little bit better.

    I am thinking good thoughts for you. Brian was lucky to have you in his life. And we are glad you are part of our community.
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    I'm so sorry for your loss, LJ. I happened to peek at the fantasy football thread today and saw what had been posted over the last day or so. Frankly, I was appalled. A big reason I stopped frequenting Extremeskins was because of exchanges like those. Life is too short and as I get older myself and have less and less time for frivolity, I find I have less and less patience for people who treat others that way. On that long list of important things to do with your life, fantasy football is near the bottom. I understand the concept of competitive horseplay in this type of environment, but there's "fun" and there's being an a-hole. I think in this case a couple people just went too far. No, they may not have known the reality of what was going on in your life, but that's really not an excuse for treating people in such a manner.

    Brian was lucky to have as good a friend as you. All we really have in our lives is our family and close friends.....and, as far down as he may have slipped, I'm certain Brian recognized just how much he meant to you.....and, you to him.

    So, just take each day as it comes, don't let the idiots get to you and know that you've got support....sometimes where you may least expect it.

    Bruce
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    HTTR

 

 

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