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He was 18..


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I lost my 18 year old brother on February 15, 2014.  Some girl my mom and I have never met came to our house and knocked on our door, asking if Ricky was home.  I was upstairs and didn't hear the entire conversation between her and my mom, but I came downstairs as she was hugging my mom and running back to her car in the driveway.  I asked my mom what I just missed and she told me that this girl heard of a maroon car in a bad accident on Sturgeon Point road (about 5 minutes from our house) and wanted to see if Ricky was home because he has a maroon car.


My mom called my brother and he didn't answer his phone.  I am the older of the two of us, 23 at the time and he was 18.  He had always been "babied" by my mom, although he would never admit it to anyone's face.  She would bend over backwards for him constantly, but had always given me a hard time growing up.  Her argument was that, "boys are different."  To this day I am thankful for that because she instilled a sense of independence and self-worth in me.  Also, knowing that she always did 110% for Ricky every day of his and her life helps elevate the pain slightly because we know he enjoyed life to the fullest, having everything he ever wanted his short time on this earth.  With all that being said, after this strange girl left our house, we knew something was up when Ricky didn't answer my mom's phone call to check in on him.  It was noon on a Saturday and he had left the house to go to one of his best friend's house.  He had just gotten his car out of the shop and it was his pride and joy.  He and his buddies liked to cruise and listen to music and go out to eat at fast food restaurants. My first thought was maybe he is driving but my mom knew something was wrong.


My mom called Ricky's best friend, Dan, whose house he supposedly went to when he left no longer than 20 minutes before this girl showed up at our house.  Dan was crying when he answered the phone and repeatedly said, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, he was my friend."  This really got my mom worked up.  She started pacing and talking fast.  I told her to calm down, have a seat on the couch, and stay home in case Ricky showed up.  I got in my car and drove over to the intersection of Delameter and Sturgeon Point road.  There was one gentleman in a bright green jacket standing there and he told me he wasn't allowed to let traffic through.  Sturgeon Point road is a winding road and about 5 miles long, surrounded by trees.  I couldn't see any signs of distress or abnormalities past him and his volunteer fireman's car, so I turned around and decided to go to the intersection of Sturgeon Point road and Derby road.  All the while I was making this commute, I was unusually calm.  Now that I look back to it, it's almost as though I was too calm to the point where my body was just on autopilot.


At the intersection of Sturgeon Point and Derby Road, I saw three cop cars not allowing any traffic through.  About 50 yards from them was my brother's friend Mitch's gold Audi parallel with the ditch.  No signs of damage though.  About 50 more feet down, past Mitch's car, I saw about three fire trucks, ambulances and undercover/detective-ish police cars.  The cops told me there was to be no thru-traffic and find an alternative route.  I put my car in park, got out of it, walked over to the little possy of three and said, "my brother drives a maroon Lincoln and someone told me there was a bad accident on this road, I need to know what kind of car is down there."  The police offices said that they didn't know the details of the accident and were only instructed to keep traffic back.  I knew they were lying through their teeth.  They told me I had to move my car and it couldn't stay where it was idle.  I told them I wasn't leaving until they gave me information, especially because I could identify the gold Audi as Mitch's car.  The one officer radioed to someone at the scene, and an undercover cop car drove in reverse down to where I was standing with the traffic officers.  He got out of his car and approached me so calmly that it basically hypnotized me.  He gently touched my shoulder and asked me if my parents were home.  I told him I just live with my mom and she was home and worried and needed to know if Ricky was ok.  He guided me to my car and said to go home and stay with her until the officers arrived with further information.  When I replay this in my head, I don't know why I didn't panic.  I just assumed Ricky and Mitch (being the 18 year old boys that they were) might've gotten into some trouble and had to clear things up.  Maybe they were trespassing or hit a mailbox or something along those lines.  Not once did I think about losing my brother.


When I got home my mom was horizontal on the couch and she was white as a ghost.  She had the cold sweats and was breathing very heavily.  I got her a cool washcloth and told her that the officer was coming over to explain.  She was confused.  I told her he seemed nice and sincere and that we shouldn't worry.  I decided to pull out the laptop from under the couch just to waste some time.  I pulled up my twitter account and one of the most recent tweets on the top of the page was from a boy a few years younger than me, but went to the same high school as me.  He knew a lot of the gossip and was always the center of attention or doing the coolest thing of the night.  His tweet read, "RIP Ricky."  I read it once, read it twice, read it three times, and looked at my mom lying on the couch with the cold rag on her head.  This couldn’t be our Ricky, no.  I gently closed the computer and slid it under the couch.  I didn't say anything to her because I didn't exactly know what that tweet meant myself.  I didn't know many Ricky's in our area, but I think I would be pretty aware if my brother was no longer on this earth.  I'm his big sister; wouldn't I be the first to know?


About 20 minutes passed and two cop cars pulled in the driveway.  It was February and we live in Western New York, so there was a dusting of snow on the ground.  My mom sprung from the couch when she saw the officers arrive and ran to the door to fling it open so quick it almost fell off the hinges.  She was shouting at them before both of them had even gotten out of their vehicles, "where's my son, what's going on?"  I was trying to register all of this as it was happening.  Neither of these officers were the one I talked to in the undercover car.  Neither of them had my brother in the car.


They both walked into our house and she was begging them to tell her where Ricky was.  They suggested we take a seat at the kitchen table while they explained and she was pleading at this point, "where is my son?!"  There is no word to describe the sound that came out of my mom when the officer told her that he had been in an accident and didn't make it.

My mom put her head down in her arms on the kitchen table and began to sob and yell, “No!  Where is he?!  I need to see him!”  I definitely entered a state of shock/panic.  The officers had tracked slush/snow into our house all over the kitchen floor so I grabbed paper towels and got on my hands and knees and began wiping the floor because I couldn’t register what they had just told us.  The officers told us that they were sorry, but I knew they weren’t.  They would go on with their lives as normal; this was just the beginning of their Saturday at work.  They went on to explain that we could not see him as he was not transported to the hospital because he died on impact.  Still, none of this registering.  Now when I look back, I am glad things happened this way because I know he was grabbed right up into heaven.  However, my mom was aching to see her baby boy.  The officers told us that we needed to contact family because they are what we need to turn to during a time like this for support.


My mom is the second oldest of six siblings.  She has four brothers and a sister.  She lost her mom (my grandmother) about four years prior to this accident.  I was devastated losing my Nonnie and my mom devastated to lose her mom, she was only 63.  However, it is more of a norm to lose a grandparent than a sibling or child.  No pain could ever amount to this.  My mom made one phone call, to my grandpa and told him about the accident.  He contacted everyone in the family and within about an hour and a half all four of my uncles, their wives and all of their kids (my 12 cousins) were in our house.

It was somber.  It was like we took turns passing tears around.  This was the start of the longest week of my life.  Starting with planning funeral arrangements, to the wake and funeral and after, it all seems like a blur.  I was sick physically and mentally.  Today I look back on all of it, and find Ricky in the little joyous parts of my day, but miss him terribly.  Not seeing your younger and only sibling for 11 months is unimaginable.  When I say that out loud, I can’t believe it has been that long since we shared a laugh or a loving punch.  Eleven months without you, bud.  I can’t believe it until I remember that I have to live for the rest of my life.


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Hi. I'm so incredibly sorry for what you went through and what you must be going through now. I can somewhat understand what you're going through. My little sister and I are (I can't bring myself to say were) three years apart (I'm 24 and she's 21) and have been extremely close our entire lives. Even though I had moved out of the house a few years ago we kept in touch and would call each other every day and talk for hours. On December 12th, 2014 my dad was walking downtown to a meeting and he ran across an accident where a truck hit a bus which hopped the curb and struck two pedestrians. He sent my mom, sister, and I all a text begging us to respond that we were okay. I already have anxiety problems so I called Stephie (my sister) in a panic who didn't pick up but that was normal. Plus it was finals week. Then I called mom who let us know she was in a meeting and Stephie was at her finals. So I just brushed it off and went about my day.


Around 5 that night, 7 hours later, my mom called and let me know that the police were there at her work and told her that it was Stephie who was struck and had died instantly at the scene. At the time I remember going numb and thinking that it was ridiculous that we were all pretending like this. Obviously she'd walk in the house late that night after going to her favorite tea shop. It's almost been a month and I'm still waiting for her to come home. 


I just wanted to write to you because I understand what it's like to go numb. After I got the news I calmly told my spouse and then my Chief and the American Red Cross and then I managed to write a 10 page research paper for my psych class. Sometimes I can't believe how calm and numb I was, it almost seems insulting. But reading about others' responses to the sudden loss of their siblings made me realize that there is no right or wrong way to grieve. The reason why I really wanted to respond was that I can relate to your relationship with your brother. Stephie was also the babied one. She had this brilliantly positive way of viewing and living her life and every minute of my life since her passing I'm thinking about her. It hurts so much but it's also comforting knowing that her passing was instant, like your brother's. While it doesn't relieve the pain of losing them, there is at least the knowledge that they hadn't suffered. 


I'm sure you've heard it a lot, that God is there with you and your family and has taken Ricky into a wonderful, new world. That's pretty much all I've heard but I'm a bit more stubborn and need more evidence (Stephie and I used to discuss what would happen if one of us passed and how we'd get in contact with one another). I haven't seen her. I haven't heard her. I thought I would have since we were so close. But there is no denying that she's here with me sometimes. She's been proving it through strange events in places she asked us to visit, through messages she sent before her death, etc. It's really the only evidence I have that she's gone (because of the state of her body we were only able to view her right arm from the elbow down). I'm still waiting for her to call or text. 


I'm sorry if this is all over the place. Basically, I just wanted to let you know that there really is a world after this one and I'm confident that both Stephie and Ricky are there and we'll be reunited with them again someday. It doesn't relieve any of the pain or wake us up from this weird alternate reality we've been through into suddenly. But it's at least a promise that eventually we'll find happiness again and when we get there it's up to us to share with them everything we experienced. My heart and warmest wishes go out to you.

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I understand your grief my 18 year old brother was in the back seat of his friends car with his seatbelt on they had just left a 30 miles an hour zone when a man in his 30s who was on a rampage just drove straight into the car he was in killing my brother instantly and his friend who was 21 died a week later.i am devestated we only buried him 2 days ago I keep thinking its not real and cant stop crying . does it get easier and how long? I feel so depressed and just cant stop thinking

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