Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The End

Background, if needed.

Toxicity: Alcohol & Cocaine.

My Aunt Marie wrote to me yesterday and she expressed what is probably the bottom line. When you strip away everything else, what Joey wanted was to be loved. That is the truth. He was constantly reaching out to people for love. The shame of this situation - the totally motherfucking horrendous shame of it, if you'll excuse my language one more time - is that he was loved, only he wasn't able (or willing) to believe it.

The wake will happen on Friday. There will be a large group of people crowded around his casket, all of whom loved him. I could get all trite and maudlin and say, "If only he could have seen all of these people gathered together to show him some love!", etc., etc., etc.

That would be bullshit of the purest kind. If Joe hadn't accepted by now that he was loved by many people, and that he had every reason to stay clean, then he was never going to come to that realization. At least, he wasn't ever going to be able to hang on to it long enough to keep from killing himself. Or, even if he did know it and was able to hang onto it, there was no amount of love big enough to keep him from loading his head with chemical love.

I just can't get over the fact that he was so amazingly calm, happy, optimistic and seemingly not in need of chemicals just one day before he did himself in. I understand that all it takes is a few seconds to make the wrong choice, but he seemed strong enough to fight the temptation. I guess not.


One thing Joe was really good at - maybe better than anyone I know - was not leaving you with any regrets. What I mean is that he unfailingly - when sober - left you with a goodbye that included the words "I love you". The only reasonable response to that is "I love you, too", if you do. So, if Joe loved you and you loved Joe, you probably aren't left with that nagging feeling about wishing you had said that to him. I know I'm not. Thanks for that, Joe.


I'm going to be busy cleaning things up here at work so that I can take a half-day Friday. I'll probably check e-mail and stuff, but otherwise will not be posting until Monday. See you then with something much lighter, I'm sure.

And thanks again for listening.


Peter N said...

I have to write this, and it isn't light. I lost a friend, oh, in March of 2004. And yes, he loved the Sox. I'd known him since the 70s, and he was my closest friend for so long. But 2 Springs ago, Febrarary/March of '04, while the Sox were revving up in Florida for their 2004 season of forever, he was not a happy guy. He was seeing a DR. for therapy, but it wasn't until March, when he asked me, out of the blue, if he could drive over and use my garage. My garage? I said, "Stephen, you're welcome to stop by anytime, for a movie, or any sports event in HD. And UCONN was playing too. Long story short, he told
me the next day, in tears, that he wanted to park the car in my garage (unattached building, but right near my front door) and never come out. I was floored. He had been unhappy for some time, but there is a huge difference between being unhappy and scheduling a one way trip into someone's (his best freind's) garage. Well, he went into a hospital help center for suicidal people (I was still shocked), came home after 5 days,and seemed better. But he was not the Stephen that I grew up with, that enjoyed with me so many mammoth Bruce Springsteen concerts, a guy with life in front of him and we were doing our damndest to enjoy every fiber of that life. 2 days later, I got a call from his finacee that when she went out to the supermarket for 15 minutes...15 FUCKING MINUTES, he had trudged down the steps to his basement and pulled a noose over his head, around his neck. By the time she arrived at the condo, she found him hanging, still warm but clearly...not there. She cut him down and called 911 within seconds, but.....
For the next few days, until the funeral and burial, I wracked my brain, my being, agonizing if I had done something wrong. Did I not recognise the signals, only days after he was in the hospital? Everyone told me there was nothing I could do.
This is now coming up on on 2 and a half years ago. I miss him big time. A part of life? Bullshit. It was a part of death. And this is the first time I've been able to type about it, at least with my unmasked feelings included.
Stay strong, Jim. This is a wonderful place ya got here. And go Papi...number 50. You see, Stephen would have wanted me to say something about the Sox.......thanks.

Anonymous said...

I don't have much to say... other than I'm very sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you.

Peter N said...

Thanks...I just had to write that, and with Jim's loss, I thought it was the right time, the right place. I hope I'm right. Take care.

Suldog said...

Thank you both for your condolences.

BklynSoxFan said...

You will be in our thoughts over the next few days. Please express our sympathies to Joe's other loved ones. I look forward to your "lighter" column next week.

Thanks for sharing your story Peter. We've all suffered terrible losses of people we loved. It's best to let others know your feelings, when you're ready of course...

Peter N said...

You're so right...thanks Q. The Mighty.

Anonymous said...

Sorry it had to be that Sully. I guess you can never really be sure what's going through other people's heads. Understanding other people's feelings can be a crapshoot at times. I suppose the only thing to do is be around for your friends and family, take the time to listen to them, let them know they're loved, and hope it's enough to keep the bad thoughts at bay.

Condolences to both yourself and Peter N there.

Sharfa said...

To an addicted person, it's not feeling worthy of love given - especially when you are incapable of loving yourself. "How can anyone really love me when I hate myself so much?" It's an internal war that no amount of "I love yous" can penetrate when one feels unworthy.

Whatever the reason, it's a tragic loss of life. My condolences (to Peter as well). Their souls are at peace now, no more pain. Celebrate that.