Hi my name is Dara, I am a “Newbie”, I found this website when I was searching author forums & Advice on getting something I have worked on for a long time, that means a great deal to me personally published for charity purposes. I started a Tumblr blog in September after losing my 18-year-old younger brother Casey to a heroin overdose this past August. Where i grew up, on the jersey shore teenage heroin overdose epidemic. I lost three friends myself personally as well as my younger brother. My high school was featured on intervention and several alumni have passed away from heroin overdoses and yet the community and law enforcement are yet to be proactive in trying to fix conditions. The week my brother passed away 5 other teenagers died of the same cause. Nothing seems to open people’s eyes to the problem. Also, no one has ever spoken out publicly, until i did. I have always been a writer, i have had a blog since as long as i can remember, mostly comedy material but this one, not so much. I wanted to document publicly and honestly what happens to a family after the funeral, how heroin effects a family for the rest of their lives whether they were the addict or related to the addict. I loved my brother with all my heart he was my only sibling. My family did not have enough money to send him away to rehab last summer, so in addition to my blog i created a non-profit called “Cause for Casey Low” in hopes to raise awareness and money to send addicts that are truly looking to make a change in their lives to receive aid in treatment to do so. My brother desperately wanted to be clean. My blog began to receive a lot of attention & the Facebook fan page “Cause for Casey Low” began to grow in popularity. As hard as i tried to get people to help me to raise funds, it wasn’t happening. The popularity of the blog is what i am hoping will give me what i need to generate a revenue to start saving lives. I have read several of your entries and i am reaching out to all of you in hopes that you have a few free minutes to review a few of my entries about my brother and my grieving process because i plan to get it published and have a certain amount of the proceeds from sales to go toward his cause. Be as honest as possible is you do review my work, I trust in all your opinions. I need to honest critique, I’m a strong girl I can handle it. I wrote an entry today which I feel like is my most powerful entry so far, it would be an honor to me if you would review it, or put it out there in the community. New to this still.
But the main blog is on Tumblr.com
UN: Cause for Casey Low
Thank you so much,
Originally posted at:
My First Christmas Without My Brother
[Introduction] 12/25/13 Christmas Day
I’m squinting with one eye open and one eye closed in my efforts to write this entry. I thought it would be better to jot my feelings down sooner than later because my eyes might very well be swollen shut by the end of this day. My body aches with a pain that is incessant. It begins at the fingertips, the prickling numbness then slowly begins to trickle down through my arms and seeps into my chest permeating through out my whole entire body, stretching to the furthest points of my limbs. I stare hard at the ceiling waiting for the precious moment in which my body reaches a final state of stoniness from the inside out. A brief moment of tranquility that allows my valves to loosen, allowing the release of imprisoned oxygen to begin to steadily stream throughout my body.
This has become routine sometimes less than or more so than other days, I feel my body begin to perish on it’s own leaving only my own inner obstinate will to survive mentality to bring my body back from the dead. When I read about the process a human being endures while entering into internal rest, I find too all to many similarities with my current state of being involving the separation of a human’s body from their soul. I feel super human, the ways in which I have trained my body to disconnect and reconnect on command.
It’s not something that comes with ease, it takes a certain amount of repetition. Mastering this technique takes much time and preparation, I wasn’t always a master at controlling my emotions, no human is born with the skill set associated with such, it’s self taught. It’s just another skill set I was gifted in this life that I hadn’t even thought to ask for. I’m blessed in the way that I can control my emotions and talk myself off the ledge, but it’s a lonely way of life. Lonely in a sense that you have accepted the reality that you and only you yourself can save you from yourself. People go their whole lives without mastering this technique, but I often ask myself whether my mastering of this technique has aided in the acceptance of my loneliness and the lowering of my expectations of other human beings. Having a strong mind is a gift and and a curse, in ways I have yet to understand in it’s entirety.
Is it better to assume that you will be left to your own defenses or better to hope that someone might arrive at your side?
Shit, your guess might as well be mine and as far as guessing goes these days I don’t do much of it.
There was a time in my life not to long ago where I enjoyed living a life based solely on chance and chance alone. Living on the edge was the only way I thought there was to live. There is a big difference between living a life that’s on the edge and living life in which you have been pushed over the “said” ledge and you have one hand on a crumbling, unstable limb. Hunter S. Thompson says it best, “The Edge… there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. Needless to say Hunter and I have something in common with being of the edge that is, I won’t be committing suicide over any united states presidential reelection, but the thought of one day having my remains shot into the atmosphere via firework is a thought worth entertaining.
You know I wish I had the money to shoot my baby brother’s ashes into the atmosphere amongst the stars, a place that would be far better fitting for him than this dirty stinking earth is. But I have enough faith in myself that he won’t be to disappointed in the places that I go, that I will be taking him along side for the ride.
Today, right now, here in this moment I lay, lap top on chest in the bed that was once my baby brother’s bed not to long ago. Here I lay gazing out the window he had once gazed out of, I look to the right of me and I see the giant dream catcher he had once hung on his wall to the right of his closet. In my hand, right now as of this moment I hold the shirt he had once worn on the day that he died. I clench it tight in my fist, allowing my fingertips to feel this t-shirt in it’s entirety, letting the rougher edges of this cotton blend T shit scour amongst my finger tips. I hold this t shirt up to my nose and I take a long, concentrated whiff only to find that his spoor and his evidence of life no longer subsists within this t shirt or any other Inanimate object for that matter.
Did I mention that it was Christmas Day? Well, mid Christmas day to be exact. I just momentarily took a glance out his window and noticed the sun was well on it’s way to settling and in this moment, I can allow myself to take that deep breath I have been waiting to take since the very moment I set my sights on the first shrub of the year imprudently, entangled in a strand of LCD Christmas lights.
It has always bothered me, even as a child when I would take notice of people’s deprivation and disorderly attempts to decorate their landscaping. I hate when it is so apparent that someone is just doing something just to do it because they feel as though it is something that needs to be done. Dropping a few strands of Christmas lights on unkempt shrubbery doesn’t show your admiration for the holidays. It’s sad that I judge people’s sanity and overall feelings of fulfillment in regards to their life based on their ability to decorate their front lawns during the holiday season, but I do and I always have.
Which makes me especially sad for my parent’s this Christmas because they have always paid so much attention to detail. When my parent’s decorated our front lawn, it wasn’t over the top, it was just right. My mom has always thought colored lights were cheesy when it came to decorating outdoors and she is one hundred percent correct.
My parent’s decorated the two small, potted Christmas tree’s that sat on either side of our front steps with small, traditional white lights and each strand was distributed evenly amongst the branches of those small trees. My mom made sure she found the perfect wire coiled ribbon to sit on top of those two tree’s and she made sure both of those tree’s ribbons matched perfectly with one another. When my parent’s do things they do them right, other wise they just don’t. Our house isn’t small, but it isn’t giant but it’s just right. It was exactly the right size, feel and offered them the perfect level of comfort in which they were trying to achieve.
Last night I went over to an old friend’s house where i became apart of a conversation amongst him and his mother and sisters about how their mother never wrapped any of their presents and that is why they in return never wrapped any presents. The mother began to laugh as she said well, my mother never wrapped any of my presents so I guess that’s why I never wrapped any of your presents. Which made me very sad for the moment being because, my parent’s wrapped every single one of mine and my brother’s Christmas present’s throughout our whole lives.
Not only did they wrap every present but my dad being that he is a skilled wallpaper hanger, he wrapped each and every single present to the point where the designs on the wrapping paper matched up perfectly. My parent’s never did anything with a lack of better wording, “half assed”. It just wasn’t in their make up, either one of them. My brother and I got pretty much everything we ever wanted in this life, and if their was something my parent’s possibly couldn’t of offered us, they wouldn’t have promised to do so or presented us with some slighted version of what had anticipated.
Although this Christmas has been hard on me and I must say I have done my share of self- loathing today, I feel the worst for my parent’s because they always did things right and when they built our home, on their own without any help. They made this home big enough to have two babies and they made enough money to feed and cloth to babies, love two babies and wrap every single one of their two babies presents perfectly every Christmas.
All for them to have to drive around the rest of this area of unkempt landscaped lawns and disorderly shambolic, holiday decoration. My parents didn’t deserve to have woken up this morning on Christmas day, one child short of attendance.