Monday, January 28, 2013


Preston, my cousin Michele and I flew to Santa Barbara to help my mom right after my brother had unexpectantly died.
Here is my view from the plane. Beautiful. I love Santa Barbara! I always have. I always will. Every time I fly into this gorgeous city my heart beats a little faster and I get all excited. Like I'm headed to Disneyland. I love being home. My heart was beating faster as we were landing, but in a different way. I felt anxious and nervous to see my mom and to jump into this nightmare. 

It started out to be a perfect day, it was warm and beautiful. Right after we landed, we started on our list of to-do's for our short visit. We had to arrange to have William's body moved from the coroner's office to the mortuary as soon as possible. We wanted to see him. We needed to make sure it was him. We needed to say goodbye.

**There are 3 photos of our heart wrenching visit. It shows a little of William's body. 

 Hearing the news that William had passed away was hard. Planning and attending his funeral was hard. Sitting here thinking about him and writing about him is hard. But viewing his body was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. Simply put... it sucked.

As we drove in the parking lot and got out of the car, I instantly didn't want to go in. I walked behind everyone as slow as I could. Wanting to avoid this event. As I walked in, timidly, I sat on the couch while my mom told them who we were and who we came to see. I slowly, very slowly, got up and started walking towards the room. My mom stopped. Bill and Michele stopped. I combined all the courage I had in me and walked in front of everyone and slowly peeked into the room. 

I saw his profile. I saw William's profile. I saw my brother and instantly knew that he was gone from our family. I turned around and ran down the hall into my cousin's arms and balled. My mom walked in and started yelling and crying. It was hard to hear. 
I went back into the room and fell apart. Tears kept streaming down my face without end. I couldn't see straight because of all the tears. I held his face in my hands and said several prayers in my heart. I held his hand and continued to cry. My big brother is gone. My stupid, big brother is gone. I pounded my fist into his chest a couple times, knowing it wouldn't do any good. But it made me feel a little better. 

We stayed for an hour and then it was time to go. I was finally keeping my emotions under control and examining William's body. I was looking at his tattoos on his feet, his face, his hair, the inside of his elbow where there was a black scar that designated where he would shoot up. When it was time to go. The tears started up again and it was hard to walk away from him. 

I kept reminding myself that it was just his body, his spirit still lives. He is in heaven with Gram and other relatives. 

 We headed downtown to the overpass where William was found. This was what we saw. It was so surprising to us to see a couch, a trash can, a huge area rug, 2 beds...It was nice. There was also a tarp overhead to shade from the sun and prevent rain from entering. Behind the bushes was a little garden with different vegetables growing. 

That was the bed William was found on. I moved the blankets around and found some blood from him, too.  I then noticed that hanging on the handmade coat rack was William's flannel jacket. The same one he'd worn a couple of months ago when he came to visit us here in SLC. I smelled it, it was his. 

I am so thankful for my knowledge that this life is temporary and we will live again with our Heavenly Father. I know William didn't live a great life, but he was a good man. He just had a terrible struggle with Satan and his addiction to drugs. I know William's burden is lighter. I also know he isn't completely out of the clear, but it's easier for him to choose the right path. Like here on earth, William has a lot of supporters and help. 


Qwendykay said...

Oh Lori, that must have been so hard. I feel your pain and your mom's pain and I'm sorry that your brother is gone. It is so hard to watch our loved ones struggle with addiction. May you find peace.

Summer Spillane Jordan said...

whew! can't even imagine it! thank you for sharing though...sorry we never got to meet him!