I created an account just to comment on this post. My baby brother just died of an overdose last week and we will be burying him in a few days. He was 23 and had been dealing with heroin addiction since ~age 15. He had been sober for a year after years of trying and fighting. He finally had a stable good life, with a good job, a girlfriend, and earned his associate's and started at a 4-year school. He got in a car accident a month ago and refused any narcotics but after his surgery they pushed them and he took them. He told everyone he was doing fine, even though we were concerned. My stepfather found his body in a bathroom with "paraphenalia." He also fell onto his face and was lying like that for a couple of hours so his face got swollen. It's terrible. My mom is insisting on closed casket because he was too vain (TRUE, haha), but it kills me to thinking of him dead on the floor on his face. At least I can tell myself that he was asleep before he hit the ground and probably didn't feel any pain at all, just went to sleep in a warm bath feeling.
I feel so guilty because his years of addiction took a huge toll on my parents and my whole family. The stealing, the lies, the fistfights, the frustrations, the hopes that he'd get better and the total utter powerlessness to change anything. I was so relieved that he was finally doing well this year and I was totally fucking blindsided when I got the news that he had died. I am still in shock. I saw his body, I know it's true, but it is still extremely difficult to wrap my mind around it. I have taken some time off of work but I work in healthcare and I have to go back to being a caregiver for other people's children and I don't know how I will find the emotional reserve to do it. I am dreading his wake and funeral when I am going to fall to pieces. I don't know what the recovery will be from that. Ugh.
I don't have much to offer other than commiseration and hope that it will get better and I will remember him. I am thinking of you and your loss, too, and want you to know there is someone else out there who knows how you feel.