When I got the phone call from Toni at 3:30 AM, I had the immediate sense I was a failure.
My brother had died a horrible death and I had failed him. I had not loved him well.
Loving well is allowing others to have choice and freedom.
It is having the courage to feel the pain and sorrow of their choices, while loving ourselves and staying out of the chaos their choices are creating.
I wanted my brother’s story to end differently. I let him know on several occasions.
But I could not decide for him.
I wanted him to accept our help and mercy.
I wanted him to get clean and sober and live his last years perhaps not making amends, but rather receiving mercy and grace.
Perhaps playing drums in a worship band and just being known as that kind, old man who is funny and quiet. Who everyone knows lived a hard life, but no one cares.
No one judges.
So when I got the phone call that his body had given in to the alcohol and the diseases he had exposed himself to, I felt I somehow had failed him and I had not loved him well.
But the truth is, I protected him from doing more harm to me. And that was loving him well.
I accepted his choices and his way of life he chose to live.
I listened to his voice that sounded like a 80 year old, sickly man, rather than a 59 year old man.
I longed for the years of locust to be returned to him. – Repairing his body, mind and soul.
I accepted him.
I protected him from hurting me or my family more.
I loved him well – Not perfectly – But well.
Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with your God.
This part of my story ends here. It did not end the way I wanted.
But God has my back.
This is dedicated to my brother, Kurt Douglas David (June 8, 1957 – June 20, 2016). June 10, 2016 was my last phone call with Kurt. We ended the phone call the way we usually did, “I love you, Sis.” “I love you, Kurt.”
Rest in peace, Kurt.