denyce: (Stock: broken)
[personal profile] denyce
It's with great sadness that I have to say, my brother Jeff has passed away.

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Mom & Jeff


It was on June 13th, on my way to a job interview, that I got a call from the coroner's office saying that they found a body that they believed it was my brother. They hadn't fully ID'd him because they were having difficulties. He had been dead for awhile before he was found. It was outside and the body was in bad shape. However they were 90-95% sure. I was able to ID clothes by description and if the next tests came back inconclusive, they were going to do dental.

Too say I was in shock would be an understatement. I went to the job interview because of the shock. In fact, I was fine up until the end when we were making an appointment for Thursday. I didn’t want to flake out on her and wanted her to know if I cancelled at the last minute, but as soon as I started talking and she was looking at me expectantly – well I lost it. She was great and didn’t overly freak out. Offering a hug and her sympathy we scheduled for Thursday.

After I left I headed home trying to keep it reined in until I got there. Although they couldn’t fully ID him, my gut was telling me it was him. After breaking down, I called my cousin, best friend, and 2nd mom, Bernadette to tell her. I didn’t want to tell dad until after work and I didn’t want to tell everyone (only a few close people) until they were positive that it was Jeff.

After work I met dad at Back 40 restaurant. I did ask him if anyone else would be there besides Yolanda to give me a heads up – I knew what news I was bringing and really didn’t want to deal with other people. So after waiting for a table, in a crowded noisy otherwise happy atmosphere; we ordered drinks and he ordered an appetizer. I told him I got a call that they found Jeff. My demeanor wasn’t enough and had to add his body. He still didn’t get it and thought Jeff was in jail. Finally I said he’s dead, or that they think it’s him etc… We talked for a bit, contemplating what happened, the timeframe etc while finishing our drinks/appetizer. He mentioned Jeff’s things that he needs to get them out of storage because the $ goes up on the 1st. I don’t remember when but I know I offered to pay a month as everything was going too fast for me and I wanted to go through them, take his TV etc... Then he brought up the mattresses that they can’t be donated and how it cost $20 apiece for the dump, that it was $80 for Jeff’s & his mom’s mattress to take ‘em. I know I also offered my thoughts on Jeff’s body: that I believed that it’s just a shell not him and his remains are not a priority for me –meaning the type of cremation on the financial end. At the time, I had believed he would step in and talk to the coroner and make those final decisions. We hugged and said good-bye and I went home. Sunday I talked to Varkelton who graciously came out to just hang with me. I only have a cell phone ATT, and the reception at my apartment sucks. Knowing I’d be on the phone with my aunts and family back east, I decided to pony up and just get the receiver to strengthen the signal. So we went to the ATT store, got that and she helped me set it up. I needed dad’s last 4 digits of his ssn because I’m on his account. He finally sent a txt, but only the #s and didn’t say a word asking about me…

On Tuesday, the 16th, before I left for work the coroner called they were able to confirm that it was him. The next part of the conversation was as I'm his next of kin; I'm also responsible for his body. It was too damaged to be donated. He’d have to be cremated. On top of that there’s the cost of the coroner’s office. Going on a low income sliding scale he estimated it’d be $1500 and don't have the extra $ to pay. Right now I'm waiting to as they investigating my brother’s employment for any last pay check and what he might have had in his bank acct that could possibly pay for all, or a portion. It’s a sit and wait; just as I’m waiting on the toxicology report. At this point I don’t know if my brother actually committed suicide or if he died natural causes. According to the coroner they don’t suspect any foul play and although it might seem usual to me, he has seen enough that it’s not for him especially with my brother’s various conditions to expire unexpectedly.

I cancelled my job for the day- there was no way I’d be able to work. Next I called dad. He didn’t pick up so I left him a message. He called me right back and I told him. The 3-5 minute conversation covered the basics; he seemed fine with the news and went back to work. Then I sat down and proceeded to call my cousin Bernadette. I was going to call my aunts, but especially with my aunt Ron, she lives alone I didn’t want to dump this on her and not have any support. So I called my cousins- initially I got answering machines and left messages. Then the calls started shortly afterward.

IDEK, the whole thing is just devastating to me.

Wednesday I worked and was on autopilot. On Thursday was the new client, V. Because we had talked & scheduled when I was a mess after first hearing from the coroner – anyways she thought I’d call to confirm and I thought I’d only call if I was cancelling. We texted and straightened out the confusion. She was fine, and is hanging in there with me to give me another shot (since I haven’t worked with her yet, so it’s very appreciated that she’s giving me this leeway, I start with her this Thursday). So the end result left me the day free. Ironically while I’m sitting in the car contemplating what to do, dad sends a long text of what his schedule is that I could join him and Yolanda at any time. Part of the schedule was this past Sunday how he was emptying the storage (with his mother’s & Jeff’s things were stored) and taking everything to the dump that there was nothing there he wanted.

I texted back that I had the day off and could go today and go through Jeff’s things and also over the weekend. Stupid me, in my head I was thinking he’d go with me, or at least meet me there o.o He texts back that’s great, I can meet him at work to get the key and code, but that’d he only be there until 2 because then he’s out of there. I got the point I had to do this all by myself. I had time since it was only noon so I call [personal profile] varkelton and ask if she’d go with me for moral support. YAY, she’s awesome!!!

So I get there, and he gives me the key and code, but not the address. He wanted to just give me vague directions, but I said I had a friend meeting me and wanted to text the address. He seriously kind of freaked – if you’re thinking this is all fucking weird, trust me, it’s nothing from how I’ve been feeling.

Anyways I finally get it after I suggested he google it and I meet Varkelton there. Opening the storage, I get it and understand why he’d been freaking and pushing to just take everything to the dump, he had already gone through and took what he deemed valuable of Jeff’s, ie: his 50 in flat TV, mini refrig, fans and other bits.

Okay honestly I wouldn’t have been overjoyed to not get the TV, but I never would have said anything. The fact that he consciously willfully lied by omission seriously kills me!!!! Then to make everything worse his lack of empathy/condenses for ME. He raised us, known me since I was 7, I’ve always been there for him and mom, and specifically for him after mom – have accepted and supported all his choices regardless….

The place I’ve been at throughout all of this is, well, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

I did what I could on Thursday – going through what was left that he deemed garbage that seriously wasn’t – separating what I wanted/needed to go through papers/picture etc and then what I could possibly sell, to what could be given away to Good Will/Salvation Army.

With the heat nearly in the triple digits, my emotions high and the amt still left, I knew I’d be coming back over the weekend. We left around 6-7 to go eat dinner, before I went home and collapsed. Friday I worked on little to no sleep, overall a long hard day. Other than taking what I had in the car to Good Will before work, afterward I was too whipped out to focus on the storage. So after showering I took a couple of sleeping pills to force me to actually sleep instead of just lying there exhausted. Saturday morning I returned by myself to storage and went through what was left. I did 3 trips back and forth to Good Will & Salvation Army.

Late afternoon/evening I got a voicemail and then a text – how he talked to my aunt Bernadette and wanted me to call him. Suddenly I heard the concern in his voice & even with his text, but honestly I was too angry to talk or listen to anything he had to say so I did neither. I knew I had to return the key and was supposed to go over for Father’s day except I wasn’t feeling any fatherly love.

Saturday night a friend, Natalie, who I’ve known for nearly 30 years who knew my brother came over and we went out to dinner. We chatted, hugged, and cried. She’s the only one of my friends here who knew Jeff and knew he was a loving lost soul.

It helped immensely to have her support.

Sunday, I did go over to dad’s with an agenda, to return the key, and give him $40 for Jeff’s mattresses. When I walked in I saw one of Jeff’s lamps and a fan, it… I just wanted to get the hell out of there. I walked into the kitchen to see him, Yolanda, Mary and Niles (family friends). What the exact exchange was I’m not sure, but it was something like:

Mary: There’s she is (& they all look at me smiling, pleased to see me)
Me: I’m not staying
Mary: oh you have some hot plans… (or something like that)
Me: Just taking care of business (as I walked past her to dad. He gets up like he’s expecting me to hug him hello. Instead I put the key and money on the table and walked out without another word. No one said anything else, and I haven’t heard from him since.

I was shaking when I got home & went over to Steph’s and started venting with a glass of wine. By a glass & half I was tipsy, by the fourth I was flat out drunk. The result of an empty stomach, I hadn’t eaten that day and didn’t have much in my system from the previous days- so not a great combination. I lasted until 5ish where they walked me home. I passed out in my chair and woke up around 8:30, ate and drank lots of water – & did all the usual for the, let’s not have a hangover.

Monday was work with a slight hang over, but at least I didn’t need any sleeping pills to sleep. However my emotions were stewing, so I started a letter. I know he’s obtuse when it comes to emotions, but this, his reactions are so left field and like it’s directed at me- maybe it’s not, but damn it hurts!


Dad,

I’m going to follow Judy’s time-honored advice and just let my heart speak.

First off, let me say that I do love you. I will forgive you, and I do want to you in my life.

I have tried very hard to be patient, yet over the course of our relationship both your actions and inactions have hurt me, and after everything that happened with Jeff and the storage I just can’t pretend that everything is okay.

In fact, what you did hurt me more than what Amanda did. For me this isn’t about Jeff – at least not the way you might be thinking. It isn’t about the TV. It’s that you lied by omission, and I really don’t understand why? You knew I was interested in the TV, but if you gave it away, or sold it, why didn’t you just tell me? I’m not six; I wouldn’t have had a screaming fit – in fact, I wouldn’t have said anything. But you didn’t, you had already gone through his things, not just the TV (& I could list them all but that’s not the point!) It doesn’t matter what you did with them, but just not saying anything, hurt!

It also hurt A LOT that you didn’t call or check on me. I don’t care that you’re angry with Jeff, that you were done. He was my brother! You offered ZERO support to ME. You raised me; I’ve been in your life for 45+ years. Yolanda’s been in your life for less than 3, and you supported her (as you should!), her entire family, you even went to church - but I got zip! Not even a text asking if I was okay? Sending a text listing your schedule that I can join you and Yolanda at public functions is NOT the same. I know you’re uncomfortable being around me that’s been obvious for years, but a simple text asking if I was okay, how I was holding up etc… I’ve lost the last immediate family member I had – and my so-called family here, apparently don’t want anything to do with me.

I know we’ve had a rough relationship over the years, but I’ve always been there for you. Maybe before mom passed away, you thought it was all for her - but my actions along with my words should have proved I was there for you! I accepted Yolanda and her family right from the beginning; I helped pack/move your place & then Lilo’s, I cleaned her new place – I did all of that out of respect & love. All of that was for you. I did have a moment when backed away from you, but I told you why (thinking you and Yolanda were together sooner than I thought) and even though I was hurt thinking that was the case I was still there for you.

I’m sorry, but I refuse to have the dysfunctional relationship you had with your mom. She hurt you all the time and you just took it all and went back for more. I can’t do that. She was wrong to treat and disrespect you that way. I can’t and I won’t stand by and allow you to treat me that way either.

Or maybe the reality is you don’t actually want me in your life? I don’t want to believe that, but the messages you persistently send by your actions lead me to believe that it’s not an unreasonable conclusion. If that’s true, well, all you have to do is not respond to this letter. I’m not going to chase after you. I can’t do that anymore.

What I do know for sure is that I need time. If you’d like to talk, to have a relationship and move forward, then for now, let’s do so through email.

Anything else right now it just hurts too much.

<3 Deana


Right after I sent this, I posted on FaceBook, basically because I wasn’t sure among friends and family who knew and who didn’t. I had already made sure my core family knew and knew the word was spreading back east. But sitting here mourning my brother’s loss by myself is just a new level of pain.

Again I was stupid giving people the benefit of the doubt that I’d get some reaction from so called family here in CA. What I got was zip! Strike that 2 people, Mary & Michele, family friends (initially mom’s friends first) both posted condolences). However dad, Amanda, Chris, Brian, Tony, Angela – people who I had considered family, I got nothing. No response, call, note, card not even a like on FB – ZIP! I mean he’s dead, out of their lives forever, but not one can offer me a single condolence… So the reality is my brother meant nothing to them, but I also mean nothing to them. This whole thing is beyond surreal.

Wrapping my head around all of this has been taxing to say the least. The rest of the week was more or less trying to focus on work- and honestly myself. Although I have a ton of anger, I am trying to let it go – FOR ME! It’s poison, and I don’t want to drop dead from a heart attack or anything stupid like that. Also I’d be lying if I said I didn’t still love them because I do. It makes them lucky because I will always have a door open for them if they want to come to me. I don’t stop loving someone just because they’re stupid and or make stupid choices.

All this time since he was arrested in 2012, my heart was breaking for my brother, for the simple fact that he was making bad choices. I never supported those choices, but I never stopped loving him. I loved him all of my life, he was my baby brother, and I will die loving him, he was my family!

However I’m done with just showing up and being there for them when they clearly don’t care enough about me to support me through one of the most painful times in one’s life, grieving a sibling.

Friday I pushed myself to head over to [personal profile] varkelton’s joined by the lovely [personal profile] sublimatedangel (the plan was: dinner a sleep over then off to SF Pride) – something my brother did every year since 2000 and had a stack of tee shirts for each year. I saved a few, but otherwise I donated them. We had a lovely dinner, but head was and had been busy whispering crap all day (something I’m working on silencing, but it’s so hard). So while they had fun painting nails I was quiet trying to shut off my mind o.O

I was in a better position mentally Saturday morning. We had a late start, but being in the middle of insane happiness of Pride really helped my head shut up and just enjoy. I had some bitter sweet moments, of thinking about Jeff, of the times we had gone together or when I opted out and he went only to bring me back a teeshirt. Like mom, I’ll always think of him, but I choose to focus on the happier times. I forgot to #tag this, still even squinting against the sun, I think its a descent pic of me,
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I didn’t get home until nearly 10 Saturday night, a truly full (happy) & exhausting day!

Sunday was recovering from Pride before getting back into the grind of the week, and other than having a long chat with a friend I really did nothing. Monday was the same, only going back to work and pushing myself to do some laundry after work that I didn’t do Sunday.

Tuesday I called and talked to the coroner’s office to find out the status. Really no news other than I have to make decisions now informing me that as next of kin I’m responsible for his body. Initially I was going to do nothing because I honestly have no money, but the more my family has shown zero support giving the message that he was nothing, I just can’t live with that. No matter what his choices were and he paid the ultimate price with his life - still he wasn’t a John Doe, a nothing and deserves more than that.

So I decided to move forward. The reality is I need closure in a positive way! So I’ll be paying for a cremation, and in Aug (6th thru the 16-17) will go back east to be with family there, to those who remember Jeff the way I do and we can do some kind of memorial service.

This is where I swallow my pride and ask for help!

I’m low income, and work mainly as a housekeeper & when I can I also pick up jobs as house(pet)-sitter, organizer, and caretaker. I earn enough to get by. In the last year I splurged by going back east to be with family last summer (my 1st vacation in 8 yrs) and then to Texas to visit my aunt – both trips I put on a credit card that I’m still paying on. Then between losing a client/friend Jean last month and the money I spent on Jeff while he was here, well I don’t have the extra to outright pay for everything unless I put it on a card and that I’m afraid would put me in serious debt something I’m trying to avoid!

The cremation (the lowest end, including transportation & other fees) will cost me 1k, if coroner fees are added, additional $500 (some or all might be waived – or not, it’s a case by case situation, up to the coroner’s office discretion.)

A round trip flight back east to CT, and then cost of lost income for going back east, is apprx another 2k – totaling about 3k.

I’m setting up a Go Fund me -done here: http://www.gofundme.com/yb2uc8
For anyone that could and or would be willing to help me out; you can also get me through paypal: denyce36@ yahoo.com
Note I didn’t post/share this on FB as I have CA ‘family’ there and although they apparently don’t care, making this public they would because it doesn’t make them look good – right now I just can’t – would rather not deal with any backlash from them. As angry as I am at their lack of response, I’m not into to blaming or playing a shaming game – not now when I should be focused on my brother mourning his loss and taking care of me.

I’d offer to write fic, but as it is I have to 2 fics I donated and have to finish (1 is nearly done, the other I haven’t started & thankfully had already set a goal to finish by the end of the summer). My WIPS & bigbangs, right now I honestly don’t know.

The truth is ATM, my muse is wounded. I honestly don’t know if I’ll be able to follow through on anything as daily life and working is an emotional struggle. To offer anything concrete I’m afraid I’d flake out.

However I do have stuff to sell mostly dvds, my brothers and mine - & between us we have A LOT! My brothers although he took meticulous care of his dvds, he opted to take them out the their boxes/cases and put all of them into cases (including series sets & I have 10 cases).  photo IMG_1654.jpg

I’m still working on the list to post of available dvds. I also have a lot of Star Trek stuff figures ornaments (all in their original box) – this includes OST and the other shows STNG, STV, STE and some other non-Star Trek stuff. I hope to have the lists & pics to post done and ready to post this weekend. If it comes to it, and if there is interest I also have 12in Xena dolls and stacks of zines to sell. And if it becomes necessary I will look into selling what jewelry I have of mom’s.

Ultimately like I said above I could put all of this onto a credit card, but that would be my last resort as making payments with a high interest of 27% would financially bury me and crouch on my daily living expensive that are already on the lower spectrum.

Other ways to help out:
-Spreading the word and then again when I have the lists to sell stuff up.
-If anyone knows the best way to get a lower flight? I need to fly into CT sadly they only have the one airport. Flying into NY, NJ or Boston is somewhat cheaper, but I have no one to pick me up/drop me off out of state and renting a car for the duration I think would equal out the cost of flying directly into CT.
-Local peeps, do you know of or have a recommendation, where I can sell moms jewelry, have it priced, if it comes down to that?
-Patience, good thoughts and vibes my way also helps

Lastly and most importantly THANK YOU!!!! To each and every one of you on my flist, you and the fandom community who have really been there for me, been my family through all of this and I can’t thank you enough for your support, massive <333333

Much <3 Jeff, I truly hope & pray that you are finally at peace
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Date: 2015-07-02 04:11 am (UTC)
talitha78: (lexandros talitha mist)
From: [personal profile] talitha78
I'm so sorry for the loss of your brother. *hugs* I will definitely make a contribution tomorrow after I get paid.

Date: 2015-07-02 01:36 pm (UTC)
ceares: cookie all grown up (Default)
From: [personal profile] ceares
I'm so sorry for your loss, sweetie. All my love and prayers to you right now.

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denyce: Jared waving hey~ (Default)
denyce

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