Monday, November 29, 2010

A letter to you all.

I wasn't sure if we, Chad's family, would be able to say anything to the court, her family or Chad. But just in case, this is what I wrote the morning of his hearing and what I would have said if I was given the chance to do so.
It has taken me quite some time to write this letter. It has not been an easy task by any means and one I never thought I'd find myself doing. I can't tell you how many times I have gone back and read it, taking things out, putting them back in, fearing I might say the wrong thing or hurt somebody's feelings which is my very last intention. We have all been beyond hurt through this ordeal, if the word "hurt" is even appropriate. Shattered, derailed and empty all better describe my heart and feelings in the most horrible tragedy I have ever had to face in my lifetime.
There are many here that don't know Chad other than what you have heard in the media. Most of you know nothing about him before his addiction to drugs. Drugs have ruined Chad's life ten fold and it has been a complete blow to our family of the events that have taken place. If you knew Chad and the person he really is or was prior to his drug use, you would all know exactly what I'm talking about and understand why we are so blind sided by this. Nowhere ever was this in his character. Not one of his friends or family members EVER believed it would come to this. Not in a million years did I ever think my brother was capable of this. Not a single person that knows Chad and our family would ever tell you they say this coming or that he did it. Not even in a million years did anybody ever believe Chad would become a drug addict. I never thought this would be our life, that this would happen to us but it is, it has and it is something we will all have to face and live with.
I would first like to address the "their last name" family. I am SO sorry for your loss. There isn't a SINGLE thing I can say to any of you that will even make the tiniest difference in regards to your loss or about my brother Chad, nor do I expect it too. But I want you to know that from the bottom of my heart I am sorry. No this wasn't my crime, no I did not do this, but Chad is my brother and while I along with other family members have battled uphill Chad's addiction with him, I feel it is my responsibility to apologize to you. Please know there hasn't been a day that has passed that "her name" or any of you weren't thought of by me. Please know that there have been so many times I along with my dad have wanted to reach out to you but refused to do so through the media and we were told not to comment because the investigation was ongoing. I hope you don't feel that we are a cold hearted family with no console for any of you and your loss because that is simply just not the case by any means. you have not been forgotten and neither has "her name".
Both of our families have been shattered beyond repair because of a drug addiction. There are two fathers in this room, "her name"'s dad and Chad's dad who have both lost a child. I don't know what happened that morning, afternoon, or evening that "her name" passed but the fact is, she lost her life at the hands of my brother. I, nor my dad even knew Chad had reconnected with "her name" before her death until October 4th when we were both called into AP&P and notified of what had happened.
I did not know "her name" but I know that when Chad lived with her a couple of years back, she knew he was an addict and tried to help. It wasn't her problem and one Chad should have never put her in, but she tried to help him. Something all of us have tried to do to no avail. I am forever grateful for "her name" kind heart to Chad but forever devastated that it cost her her life. I hope and pray for healing to you all and hope that maybe one day you will find it in your hearts to forgive only for the fact that forgiving aids in moving forward in your lives. But if you aren't able too forgive, which is probably a lot for me to ask, I completely understand and hold no blame to any of you for not being able too.
My dad lost his son as well. No it is not the way Mr. "his last name" lost "her name" but it is still a loss. He lost Chad to a rampant heroin addiction that caused him to do the unthinkable and because of that, he will now be gone for a very long time. Please know that my dad, the sweetest man in the world to me, tirelessly tried with as much as he had to save Chad and help him and he is sick, devastated and heartbroken over your loss, his loss and the actions of his son, Chad.
I hope you will continuously reflect and remember the wonderful person "her name" was and know that while it's not enough, there are holes in the floor of heaven and I'm sure she is looking down on all of you, protecting and loving you all. I know you would much rather have "her name" here and I wish I could change what has happened and give that to you. I wish it were me instead of "her name". Only so the pain would stay within my family and somebody whose problem this was not, as in "her name" case, would not have lost her life and another family wouldn't be broken and suffering a pain that nobody can take away. God bless you all in your lives from this day forward.
To my brother Chad. I am so sorry to you as well. You have a very long and difficult road ahead of you. I am sorry these drugs have done what they have to you. I am so sorry that this disease took your life and you felt there was nothing you could do no matter how hard you tried. You did try harder than you ever have in the past this last time you came home and I am very proud of you for making the effort you made. But I am also saddened for you. I am saddened that you haven't felt for years you were worth enough to live a life as the rest of us do. I know you haven't been happy for a very long time and while there are many reasons for that, some I'm sure of, others maybe I don't know, I wish they would have been dealt with in another manner instead of getting high to numb you from your hurt.
I hope you know Chad that I love you with every breath I take. You are my brother and you have made some monumental, senseless and life changing mistakes, but I still love you like I always have. I hope and pray that as you face your punishment, as you should, you will find the help you desperately need. I hope you will be honest, strong and true to yourself. I hope that one day you will realize whole heartedly what you meant to me and the rest of your family. I hope that you will also forgive yourself. Yes this is something you will live with every second of every day for the rest of your life. But I hope if you are allowed, you will find the courage to teach others what addiction leads too and it isn't a life one wants to be caught in.
I have told you on numerous occasions that you had two choices when you relapsed. Prison or death. I believe a part of you died many years ago. The last time I saw you at the gas station you were a lifeless shell. Knowing you had so many friends that died from this very disease and seeing their obituaries in the paper, I prepared myself over and over again for that dreadful phone call that you had passed and I often wondered what picture we would use of you in yours. What would we say about you? It's a terrible, terrible feeling to have in your gut knowing this is the road a loved one is going down.
But instead, you will go to prison. You will face punishment and are taking responsibility for your actions. So be that as it may, I beg of you to dig deep within your soul and get help. Don't be afraid to face what eats you up inside. We all fear the unknown but you can do this and I hope that you will, for your own sake.
Your addiction just wasn't yours, it became all of ours and I tried to do all I could as well to help you and I carry an extreme amount of guilt for it turning out the way it did. I know I shouldn't and you have told me not too, but I do and it is something I will try and work through. I know I must remain strong and carry on. I know it's what you want me to do and I know I have my boys, sister, 2 other brothers and dad to take care of and be strong for, something else you want me to do.
As I bring this to close I will say again, I am sorry. SO sorry for every single one of us here today and for those that are not, for the loss of life and role Chad's addiction has played in our lives. I have been tremendously sickened over this and some days I am not sure how I will get through the day. But I will because somehow, while our hearts remain heavy, we continue to go on the best we can. While none of us will ever forget the reason we are here today, I hope "her name" family will keep her kindness alive and focus on all the good she was as I will remember the amazing person Chad was before his addiction took his life over.
Because I wasn't in the victim's family, I was not able to read this in court. But after all was said and done and we were outside by our vehicles, "her name" best friend approached us. I gave this letter to her and asked if she would give it to "her name" dad and make sure the media didn't get a hold of it. I hope he got it and hope he was ok if he read it. It's been 11 days since Chad was sentenced and I still think of them all daily. All I can do is pray they are holding on the best they know how and finding her twinkle in the sky at night.

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