It's not my fault.

I was 11 years old when my little brother died.

I was living with my grandparents at the time. My grandfather called me in from playing outside and told me that we were going to Las Vegas in an hour to be with my family. He instructed me to go upstairs and take a bath and put on my pajamas because it would be dark by the time we arrived at my parents house. I remember asking him why the sudden trip.

With tears in his eyes he said to me,

“Your brother just had a heart attack. He died.”



At 11 years old, I had never known anyone who had died before. All my grandparents and great-grandparents were still living. I’d flushed a fish or two but that was an entirely different thing.

I remember floating up the stairs and into the bathroom. I shut the door…

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