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Rest in peace, Brother Penguin

Trigger warning

I’ve posted here a lot about my brother and his struggles with addiction. Thursday, he called 911 before collapsing in his home. He was taken to the ER and by the end on the night, was on life support. My mom was able to visit him briefly. He was covid negative.

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Friday, the hospital asked my mom to come back to the hospital. By noon, she had signed a DNR. There had been brain damage and he still wasn’t stable. His liver panels were bad; it had stopped functioning. His kidneys were basically gone. Later in the night, they suggested putting him on “comfort care”, where they take the tubes out and make him as comfortable as possible. He took three breaths and that was it. He was dead. My mother was with him when he died.

He had just turned 36 on Wednesday. He had two daughters, 4 and 9.

I’m absolutely gutted. Just Monday, we’d been talking about things I could do for him to help him. We discussed me becoming a medical representative for him to set up appointments with doctors. We got him a laptop computer so he could socialize more online and his world wouldn’t feel so small. It arrived Friday, the day he died.

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I am sad and angry and feel guilty and keep questioning what I could have done differently. And then the waves hit and I just am wracked with deep grief.

I flew to new York (not city) Saturday to be with my parents. I weighed the decision against the travel risks; it wasn’t an easy choice. So many people loved him. Facebook is blowing up right now and I just can’t look. I’m having Boy Penguin monitoring my messages.

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I wanted to share here because so many of you have “heard” my stories about my brother and offered advice. He didn’t beat his alcoholism. It killed him.

The only comfort is that he’s out of the pain and deep unhappiness he’d been living with for so very long.

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Rest in peace brother. I love you.

(I’m posting this early in the a.m. We are going to see his body today. I apologize if don’t respond to any comments immediately. But weirdly, right now, posting here feels easier for me than on Facebook.)

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