A few days after Christmas of last year, my baby brother, Jorge "jro" and his girlfriend, went missing. My family and I didn't find out till almost a week later.
Dec.27 was the last time I texted him. On Dec.29, my daughter completely made my blood run cold when she began to sing a song ( she had gotten a simple little microphone set for Christmas and was on it all the time.) "I miss my uncle Jro, I love my uncle Jro" ...I asked her to stop singing that, I honestly do not know why it made me so uncomfortable, but it did.
Out of respect for my parents and my family I do not want to get into too much detail about it. I want to share what I can because I feel he deserves I let people know. In everyone's minds his girlfriend Melissa and he, had run away. My parents shared our story of desperation on Spanish local news, in local newspapers in the hopes that someone would've seen them. I was broken. I knew Melissa and Jro well enough to know that they Would NEVER leave without telling us. I tried to steer my mind away from negative thoughts. I tried not to let people's negative assumptions of Jro and Melissa get to me. I shielded my kids from the nightmare all of us were living as best as I could. They'd ask for their uncle and I'd say he was busy working. They never questioned it because he was such a hard worker.
The police were investigating, unthinkable questions were asked and my heart ached for my little brother. I just wanted to see him again. I'll never forget that at one point some awful woman claimed to have seen them walking along a highway and that she offered them a ride to a shelter because it was too cold and they had no jackets. Around that time it was extremely cold already, we had just had a terrible blizzard. My parents and the police rushed to that area, put up flyers everywhere and hoped.
I can't remember the exact day in mid January when I had received the most awful call. They're bodies were found. They were less than 15 minutes away from my home. (Melissa lived very close to me in a near by town) They hadn't ran away, they didn't hurt each other, nobody had hurt them, all the theories that were made were wrong. They were found in my brother's car inside Melissa's garage (it was a garage separate from her families apartment ) They passed away from carbon monoxide poisioning and their death was ruled accidental. A tragic horrible accident. I share this now because the investigation was officially closed just two months ago. I share this because when it was reported they were found on local newspapers etc i read disgusting, filthy comments people left. They were words by ignorant strangers but they hurt. Nobody deserves any explanation and everyone is entitled to their opinion but it is so wrong to speak so ill of the two kindest and selfless people I know.
You can watch and read about tragic stories Iike this everyday, and you can feel for families when they loose someone they love ( you can even think about how much you would never want to have to live through something Ike that) but trust me you can never even fathom the pain we feel. Two families were forever changed and marked and our lives will never be the same.
I can't even explain how horrible I felt (and still do) watching my parents and sister suffer. I couldn't even bring myself to tell my kids, my husband and father did that. The beautiful bond they both had with their uncle and best friend is what made the thought of breaking their little hearts incredibly hard. There is no one that can tell me otherwise, but my little Sarah could feel that something terrible had happened to her uncle, that's why that song she sang made me so uncomfortable. They had passed that same weekend she sang that song and nobody found out until almost a month later.
We all became very ill with the flu at the time of Jro's funeral so it's still such a blur to me. It was on January 23-24 and burial on the same day. I remember very clearly being very angry at times. It was good I was sick, because I could easily see myself kicking people out. The things you see at funerals can amaze you. There was a ton of support and I am forever grateful but it was all one big nightmare.....a nightmare that just seemed to get worse as months went on. The police were still investigating and although we had buried my baby brother there were still many questions. We were left in a state of limbo. It's weird, ya know, having to move on with your life when nothing will ever really be the same. I have never experienced death this strongly before. I had only lost someone very important to me once before (my mother) but I was just a baby then. I only sometimes feel like I miss her, like how her hugs and support would feel, in a time like this.
I learned how big my heart is, let me explain....how much love, suffering, anger and pain it can hold. There's a part in it where I share the pain my parents feel, the pain my mother feels loosing a son, (as a mother, I shiver at the thought of loosing a child) i always felt like a second mom to him...ever since he was a baby all I did was take care of him. The pain my Dad feels for loosing his only son. My sister her brother. The pain my husband feels about loosing his brother and best friend. Jro was his brother and there was no doubt about that, they were inseparable! ( I always felt like the third wheel with those two) My son loosing the best uncle ever, his best friend, the one that loved him and spoiled him, the one that was always so proud of all his accomplishments. He'd spend hours recording Jonathan make "movies" while playing with his toys. Jonathan respected him more than us. He looked forward to seeing him everyday! Sarah, my baby Sarah, I can't even put into words the special bond they both had, he was her everything, her hero, her knight in shining armor all rolled into one. Her superman uncle. The best babysitter they could ever have.
Life is hard.........things happen without an explanation or warning and sometimes all you can do is get by one day at a time. I am forever changed.......