*THIS COULD BE TRIGGERING FOR SOME AS I TALK ABOUT MY BROTHER’S DEATH*

I abruptly woke up not realizing where I had fallen asleep. For a split second I had forgotten Adrian was fighting for his life. For a good few minutes I prayed and felt that everything would be ok.

Deep breathe. Breathe, Joie.He will be fine. He will make it through.

How terribly wrong I was.

Ten minutes later I look online and see one of his “friends” tagging him in a post and begging everyone to pray for him and his family. Word on the street is he did not help him that day. Instead, left him to suffer and proceeded to steal stuff from my parent’s home. A friend, indeed. I then make a post of my own because…well, because half of our family didn’t know anything was wrong yet and I needed some prayer warriors. I was getting a sinking sensation as the minutes went by.

I woke Matt up saying we needed to make the drive home to FL. I started packing things, loading up the car. During this time I had tried to call my parents and no one answered.

Twenty minutes later I check Facebook and my Uncle, my Tito, had messaged me saying he was sorry for my brother’s passing. What the actual FUCK?! Even typing it now triggers me. Even thinking about it makes me so incredibly angry & sad for so many reasons.

Hysterically I sob to Matt trying to get the words out. Adrian died. I keep moving, I need to get home! I now start thinking that I have to find something black to pack. Everything feels surreal. The kids hear me crying and I don’t even know if they are at this point. I simply don’t have the energy or the emotional capacity to comfort them.

We finally get everything prepared enough to where we can leave. We head out on a 12-hour drive, six hours after my parents left my house after getting the phone call. I remember Matt merging onto the interstate and the sunrise was so bright and beautiful that day. I remember thinking that this wasn’t real. He died. My kids are crying now, at least Gabriel is. I remember my son sobbing in the back seat and my husband trying to console me as I drive. For a moment a stop crying and stare out of the window with tears in my eyes. The sun is higher now, so bright. I remember the sun.

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