We Don’t Get to Decide How The Story Ends

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.

But the truth is – We don’t get to decide how the story ends for others.kate pieper lmft

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.

pexels-photo-largeI wanted him to decide to leave his ways and his friends who were not loving him well.

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.

Because the old man just needs love.man-beach-love-sand

And Mercy.

And Grace.

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.

But none of his choices were within my control.pexels-photo-30763

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.

Kurt David

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.

31 thoughts on “We Don’t Get to Decide How The Story Ends

  1. I a sorry for your loss but I do believe in your perspective! Xx It is hard to watch the ones you love making bad choices

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss Kate, and I so appreciate your sharing this with us. It’s true that loving well so often involves allowing and letting go. Thank you for the reminder that we don’t get to control how the story ends — so true. <3

  3. What a beautiful and raw article, Kate! Knowing the story and now hearing your heart is such evidence of such love, and grace and mercy. I love your heart and your continued transparency. You are, I think, one of the bravest women I know… And I miss you!

  4. Prayers coming your way. ” None of his choices were within my control. I accepted him.” Such important things to state, to do, and to share. Thank you.

  5. Dear Kate, so very sorry for your loss. I know you did everything you could for him. You loved him in a healthy way. Thank you for sharing your pain. You are not alone.

  6. Thank you for sharing your story. I know it has touched my heart and reminded me that each of us is walking our own path. I am glad you accepted and loved your brother as he was. I am sorry for your loss and for his pain. May God bring you comfort and renew your strength each day.

  7. What a powerful message Kate. I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing such a personal story. We really can’t control their lives nor can we make their choices. But we can love them in it. You really loved him well!

  8. Kate, thank you for sharing your experience! My story is very similar, but you’ve help me to unlock some things I wasn’t aware I was doing to myself. It’s been two weeks since our loss but I still cried after reading this. Thanks for your insight!

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