As I sat in the living room in front of the television folding towels, not really into the show that was on, can’t even name it, but nevertheless, there it was…on…..and before I could do anything about it a scene of a young man with a gun to his head was glaring before me. His friend was pleading with him and the young man thought better of it and his hand fell to his side. In that very instance I thought of how things could have turned out so differently if someone could have pleaded with Brandon, could have loved enough to say the right thing…..that someone being Brandon’s wife. I remember so vividly how she described her reaction to our son’s suicide (we will call it a suicide for now.) She ran from him not to him. She hurt her shin and knee jumping over the kitchen bar. She showed her boo-boo to me like a child would do. She said that she never saw the gun until it was too late. Of course, she told someone else a different version of that night. He, being a good friend of Brandon’s, specifically used the word “pleadings” when he told me what he was told. Who was pleading? All I can think of was Brandon perhaps pleading with her not to leave him for something she thought he did. She accused him of being unfaithful that night after reading a harmless text from a woman co-worker that was on Brandon’s phone. Brandon and his wife had been separated for eight months and we had heard from her former friends that she had been partying hard during that time. A marriage made in hell. Brandon was hopeful that they could make their marriage work just the same. He shared this with me the last time I saw him…actually they both did.
I am a fan of Dateline on NBC. The episodes that concern murders made to look like suicide I take a personal interest in for obvious reasons. In the beginning just after Brandon passed, I could never watch anything of this nature. It was too raw and unnerving. Slowly, I began to ease into watching it again only with the idea of obtaining information that might be significant in our case. There were and are so many real life situations that are similar to our own. So may families who have gone through the horror of not really knowing, at the mercy of uncaring local government, stupid coroners, mindless and corrupt. They have no idea the hell it is to lose a child this way nor do they care. You are on your own if you want to challenge the authorities. My husband and I did the best we could but it was just not enough. We came away dissatisfied with all those we spoke to of our suspicions. We were recognized only as the distraught parents of that “troubled young man who took his life.” No one would take us seriously. We were patronized and then dismissed. To look back it was downright embarrassing to be treated as we were. If I were a rich woman I would spend my money on the best private investigator I could find and then I would expose the people involved on a program such as Dateline.
It would have been nice to have been able to afford a private investigator. I checked into it but the cost was not possible after having to pay for the unexpected funeral expenses. Brandon’s wife contributed absolutely nothing. She sat there in the church and played the grieving, stunned wife. She did not want to keep anything that had belonged to Brandon while all the time telling me, “he was the love of my life,” and she had no part in the planning of the funeral which was just fine with me (not even a song?) although I did not have the where with all to do Brandon’s short life justice with a fitting memorial. It just was. She has never been to the grave site ever. We had Brandon’s graveside service months after the memorial and she was invited, by then we knew a lot more than we had been told in the beginning because friends that knew both of them had things to share about her very unflattering behavior and lifestyle while married to our son. Of course she did not know that we knew. We were cautiously tiptoeing around her because of our fear of never seeing Natalie again.
Natalie. She just turned 17 yrs. old. By her choice, she has not been in touch with us for almost a year. We lost a whole family when Brandon died. It hurts to be excised from her life like that but she was never ours. I have tried to be the “good grandma” and give her things that she would not have had otherwise but at the same time I have always been conflicted that I am helping this woman’s only child, the woman who killed my son. Somehow I don’t want to do that and yet I love Natalie as if she had really been Brandon’s daughter. But tonight I let emotions take over and I systematically deleted all of her pictures and the few I still had of her mother in my computer ( I only kept a few so I could show Natalie who questioned me once about not having her mom’s photos around.) I took her pictures off the wall, it felt good and it felt bad. It may be the only way I can “get back” at the woman who stole and murdered, and harmed our family in such a horrible way.
The delete button may be my only weapon against this woman but I know that somewhere in my computer the pictures can always be found. Although, I can’t think of any reason as to why I would ever retrieve any reminder of the pain they, both the wife and daughter, have exacted even if I could. Nothing is deleted permanently. Not true of my son’s life. She deleted him with all the harmful things she did to him and quite possibly pulled the trigger. There is no getting him back on this earth. What has been done to him and us is permanent here.
Isn’t it odd how just one scene on the television from a nameless new program was the muse for my post? It set into motion my thoughts and mood for tonight. It conjured up questions and it gave half answers. Just one scene brought it all back to me. That is just the way it goes from now on and there is nothing I can do about it. It is what is left of my life.