Monday, May 28, 2012

Three years ago... my brother Tyler passed away after complications from his fifth open heart surgery. It was unexpected. During surgery there was so much scar tissue, his heart ripped causing air to travel to the brain, resulting in global brain damage. The surgery didn't work. My brother was brain dead. His organs were shutting down. It was only a matter of time. I was going to school in England at the time. My mom called a week after his surgery, once it was obvious he wasn't going to make it, asking me to come home. 24 hours of straight traveling, I got to the hospital and was there for the next 36 hours. He was gone. His eyes were blank and most of his body paralyzed. His personality, his ability to breath with life support, everything was gone.

I was there when we took him off of life support. It was hard to watch my 17 year old brother struggle for breath and die. Traumatic actually. I had flashbacks at the most inconvenient times for months after. I remember having to watch my dad tell my little brother Micah, 12 years old at the time, Tyler was going to die. My heart broke. Over and over and over again, it broke.

Tyler and I were close, with only 2 1/2 years separating us in age. The last few years of his life, we became more than annoying siblings to each other. We became friends. Confidants. He told me everything. He asked my advice on everything. When I say everything, I mean everything. We talked about everything from dating to porn to God. We talked about death. We talked about love. We talked a lot.

My favorite memories are when him and I would escape our house and go to Borders bookstore. He'd read computer animation/code books and I'd read fantasy/sci fi novel. We'd split a cheese stuffed asiago pretzel. He'd get orange cream soda and I'd get Tazo peach iced tea.

He looked up to me. He loved me. He'd get this look in his eyes that said he was proud of me. It meant the world to me.

I didn't think I was going to cry about it today, but I've found myself unable to stop crying for the past two hours. Some wounds don't heal. Some wounds till open from time to time.

I miss you Tyler. I'll see you again one day. This is not our farewell.


  1. Im so sorry broke my heart reading that...
    You know what? I think your brother would be INCREIBLY proud of u and all u are going through and have come through these past couple of years.
    You are an amazing person and i know your brother must have adored u.

    Youre very much in my thoughts xxx

  2. I'm trying to get comparison right, so forgive me if it doesn't make you addressing your pain in your heart, it's not that the wound is being opened over and over, because overall you are healing. By opening up your feelings, you are preventing an infection from occuring. If you were to not open this wound, emotions would get bottled up and create nasty stuff...maybe even purulent. (There's a medical term for ya)
    My heart aches for you over you losing your brother, especially since you two were so close. I'm glad you had that relationship, though, because many siblings end up just tolerating each other or worse.
    "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." Mt. 5:4

  3. i'm so sorry to know of your loss.
    he was too young and that's unfair.
    i'm glad you have so many cherished memories to hold on to. although he isn't here, those memories are yours forever. :)

    my mother died of cancer when i was 20, so i can relate to the loss of a loved family member. these anniversaries are never ever easy. time helps, but like you said, the wound is always there.

    one thing someone said to me that i've always appreciated was: "you still have a mother, she's just not here right now." same thing for you-- tyler is your brother, he's just not here right now. (hope that comforts you like it did for me).

    janie (from facebook)

    1. I remember reading this post last year, and I remember thinking "I cant imagine someone so close dying." now, unfortunately I can relate. my mom died unexpectedly in march 2012 ... I wasn't there and I wish I had been. this may not help you, It may make it worse somehow, I hope it doesn't but I have guilt everyday because she died alone... I was not there for her when she needed me the most...

    2. I guess what I'm trying to say is although I can guess that it was the hardest thing you ever had to go through, at least your brother died with the people he loved the most by his side... I have a lot of empathy for you and I can't imagine life without my brother and still have trouble imagining life without my mom.. I don't know if any of this made sense and I am most definitely not trying to discount the horrible thing that is watching someone you live die, i am glad you don't have to feel like you weren't there when he needed you.. anyways, I will stop talking now.. I love reading your blog! keep up all of your awesome work towards recover! sincerely, chelsea

  4. Thinking of you love, always <3<3.

  5. Oh gosh did this make me cry. I'm so sorry about the loss of your brother. I'm really close with my brother as well and we're only 2 years apart. You are an extremely strong person and I wish you only the best. Time does not heal all wounds, but it does make the scars easier to bare.
    Much love, T

  6. I am so impressed by your courage. I can't imagine how I'd react if my brother died. Time doesn't have to heal this wound- it's good how you remember him.

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