People who’ve Died

one of my junior HM’s saw his first patient die. really fucked him up. he came to me and told me he needed to talk to me. he’s well aware of my past as a trauma junkie master. this was one of those moments where the silly side of me gets shown the door. this was serious, and he really need some ear.

it’s no secret that i’ve seen some pretty morbid shit. i’ve talked about it before. well, what i consider to be an important part of my job is mentoring and counseling the junior guys. i don’t have this wall of, “you below me, me high rank” aura. i talk to the guys like we’re in the field. i NEVER have to use rank to gain respect. i even go so far as to tell other E6’s is they have to throw around rank, they are ineffective leaders.

i was living in san diego. it was christmas morning. i was checking my myspace account (what, it was 2006) and learned a friend had killed herself. she had lost her grandmother during katrina and grandma had raised by her. mom ran off and dad was a dead beat, she moved out as soon as she could. i tried to find her in NO when i was stationed there but didn’t have any luck. found out that Christmas that she’d been living 5 minutes from my apartment in NO.

i had taken this girls virginity.

i always knew she was kind of troubled so i felt bad when i wasn’t able to find her. as i sat reading her obituary, i felt numb. i got dressed and left the house. i was driving all over san diego. the streets were dead and one of the radio stations was playing a pearl jam concert they did in san deezy. then this song came on.

i broke down crying. i was already shook at girls committing suicide, but i remembered my boy Ricky. he was like my brother. i had been in the navy for almost a year. i went home to texas and was visiting friends. Ricky was in san antonio working. he was going to be coming in for fourth of july. well, for whatever reason my dad decided we were going to leave for florida (he was moving there) early.

never saw Ricky.

i was sitting on my cousins roof watching fireworks and around midnight, i put my beer down, left the roof and went inside. my cousin came in and i told him i didn’t feel like partying anymore. the next day i heard from his cousin. her, Ricky, and 3 friends from school were in an accident. ricky died, he was the only death in VERY bad accident.

i remember us making plans about what we were going to do with our lives. how we were going to retire on a ranch outside san diego. i was gonna marry his cousin, he was going to marry my sister. we’d get old, drink beer and laugh about how fat our wives had gotten. i always looked at my life from his perspective- to not waste my life since his got cut short.

i told the junior HM that death is part of what we do. i told him about the 2 friends above. told him that he’ll need to learn to detach himself from work death. when it’s a patient’s time, it’s their time. but at the same time, not feel bad if he never learns the detachment. this job isn’t for everyone. but the take-away is to fully appreciate every moment you have on this planet. you never know when you’re times up.

he just nodded his head and thanked me. hopefully i was able to help the guy out.

the girl at the very right is Liz.

the girl at the very right is Liz.

aaaaaaw. i was a senior at the time. she was a freshman.

aaaaaaw. i was a senior at the time. she was a freshman.

i don’t have any pics of Ricky. i’ve lost a TON of pictures with all the moves i’ve had; so, sorry.

stay up.


4 Comments on “People who’ve Died”

  1. Doktor Bill says:

    SO weird. I had Jim Carrolls song in my head this morning. It makes me remember the people i’ve lost, but it also reminds me to contact those who are still here.Thanks for the post.

  2. Tin Man says:

    I was beside my Dad when he died. Nothing really magical about, his health was failing, and the hospice nurse had given him a shot before I got there – so he was “resting” when I arrived. I hadn’t seen him in a couple days prior – and I would have liked to tell him I loved him right before he died – but I said it to him often – in my case, I always thought my Dad was special (even when I thought he was an asshole, he was MY asshole).

    So, I sat there that night. Not saying anything, just watching him – he looked at least 20 years older to me that night – and old Man, wasted away. Every once in a while, I would reach out and grab his hand and just look at him – of course, his hands were colder as his life slipped away.

    He finally quit breathing about 3am – I think I had fallen asleep and my Mom woke me up to tell me he was gong. I sat there a few more minutes, squeezed his hand, kissed on the forehead, told him I loved him and that I’d miss him. Then I left the room and cried. It was for the fact that he was gone, that we hadn’t done this or that, that my sons wouldn’t really get to know him, that there was no way to fill the space he left in the world – he was that big.

    And as Forrest Gump said “that’s all I’ve got say about that”

  3. […] i broke down crying. i was already shook at girls committing suicide, but i remembered my boy Ricky.… […]


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