Blunt force trauma

A trigger warning:

Forgive me. 

I process things through writing.  I don’t want to trigger you.  If you aren’t strong enough to handle reading this post, I won’t be offended.  It’s not too graphic.  I don’t think.  But I don’t want to you to be harmed by reading.

Take care of you. 
And in case you don’t know:

You cannot be replaced.You mean something to somebody, even if you can’t always feel it.

and even though I don’t know you personally, for those of you I’ve been talking to in recent months on your blog, or mine, I’m glad I got the chance to “meet” you, talk to you, get to know a little bit of your story.

It occurred to me a few days ago, the predominant support system I have is online.   I’ve pulled back from real-life friendships for a time, there are reasons for that, but largely it was to keep myself safe while I worked on my healing from childhood and relationship trauma and my husband’s suicide gesture of a year ago which caused me to have trauma that I finally could not cope with.

But this pulling back finally caught up to me.  I spent two days crying about not having real life friends, feeling incredibly disconnected from everyone but my kids and missing the friends I did have.

And then…we got a phone call before the kids even went to school.


Oldest sister called at 7:15.   My husband took the call.

Ex-brother in law.  33 years old.


He drove his Camry straight into a semi truck.

The police found him not breathing with a weak pulse.

He was pronounced dead about an hour and a half after the crash.

The news report: Blunt force trauma.  High speed.  Alcohol-related.

Looking at the picture of his chewed-up car, it’s easy to see why he didn’t make it.

He dropped his kids off to my youngest sister’s house at 6 pm last night, before he went to a Super Bowl party.

My youngest sister is not sure how to tell their kids, who are yet little, 5 and 3.

I don’t know how to tell mine, who were very upset to know they got divorced.

We all liked this uncle.

He always had a joke and a silly laugh and was goofy around the kids.

And an alcohol problem.

I told my husband, “you know, that could have been you”.

He said, ‘I was thinking the same thing.  A couple of years back, that was in the realm of possibility’.

I’m thinking that the best thing that ever happened to my husband was his DUI.

As hard as it was for me to not know where he was that night he didn’t come home, I did get a call from county jail in the morning.

He didn’t get hurt and he didn’t hurt anyone.

I feel so sad that my brother-in-law’s life had to end this way.

That my young niece and nephew lost their dad.


I don’t really know what to say to end this post.  I’ve never really been great at endings.  There’s so much more to be said, but then nothing more to be said.  It just kind of hangs there…in the heart…

I want to let you know

You are important.

You matter.

You are Loved.

Even if you don’t feel it.

You cannot be replaced.

You cannot be replaced.

You cannot be replaced.

We are in this together.





Choose to Live, even if it hurts.

Choose to Love, even if it’s scary.

Choose to Trust, even if it’s hard.

About Casey

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’ ~ Jack Kerouac, On The Road Again
This entry was posted in Alcoholism, Death, Fear and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Blunt force trauma

  1. ptero9 says:

    Sorry for your loss Casey. My prayers go out to you and your family during this difficult time.

  2. Phil says:

    Casey, so very sorry to hear this news. How terribly tragic. My heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to you and yours. You’ll be in my thoughts, with a hope in my heart that some spiritual comfort may find its way to you and your family in this most difficult time.

    • Casey says:


      Thanks so much for the words of comfort.

      I liked this brother in law. My girls did, too. I went to my two younger girls’ school and filled out paperwork for the two younger girls to see the guidance counselor…in case. The guidance counselor said she saw the newspaper report this morning (online). I called the middle school guidance counselor and talked to her for my oldest daughter (6th grade).

      My mother got the call from little sister’s ex-mother in law.

      My mother and older sister went over to younger sister’s house to tell her the news. When the initial shock wore off, she threw up. I know my sister didn’t stop loving her ex. I think she just didn’t know how to deal with his binge drinking. It hurt too much to stay married.

      I know I don’t know what happened behind closed doors, but her ex was one of those people that I just liked, simply because he had a bright and sunny disposition. You couldn’t help but smile around him, you know?

    • Casey says:

      I sent you a link to the accident…

  3. I’m so sorry about your brother-in-law. Ex or not, still part of your family. I know that there are going to be so many different emotions floating around for you, John, & the girls, but for little sis too. Whenever something like this happens where it’s alcohol related, I relate very strongly.
    My prayers go out to all of you. If you want to talk, I’m here. I Love you. Mom Gail

    • Casey says:

      Mom Gail,

      More than a few times I was going to start writing an email to you, but I’d been trying to just keep myself moving during the day. I called oldest sister and second oldest sister, both who have the stomach flu.

      I was going to run out to see my youngest sister, who was pretty much a basket case, by my mother said, “no, don’t come. we won’t be here, we have to go talk to their school’s priest to ask him how to tell the kids”. Other than my youngest sister calling me up to see if we had any Xanax (from when my husband had some), I hadn’t spoken to her at all – mostly because when I talked to my mother, and then wanted to talk to her, she said she didn’t want to talk. So…I stayed away.

      I never know when it’s a good time to call, so I hesitate and end up not calling.

      The thing that is so awful is that tragedy seems to follow my little sis everywhere.

      I’m glad to know you are here for me. I will be out most of the day taking littlest daughter for an evaluation today, but I’ll try to give you a call from the road or when we get back. It’s way too early to call now, being an hour behind us.

      I’m feeling better though. We told the kids. It was hard, the two littlest ones cried hard, oldest daughter was more stoical, but they are okay today.

      And yes, I totally get why you’d find this relatable.

      Love you, too,


  4. Ann Koplow says:

    So sorry to hear the sad news. Still, I’m glad our paths have crossed here today. Thank you, so much, for your writing. It’s a gift.

    • Casey says:


      Thank you very much. Though I didn’t have time to comment yesterday when I was reading your blog, I’m glad our paths crossed too.

      My writing helps keep me centered, so it’s a gift to me, as well. I’m glad it makes a positive impact on others.

      Thank you for the follow and your kind words.



  5. H3nry J3kyll says:

    I am sorry for your loss Casey and happy that you shared your thoughts.

  6. bert0001 says:

    Be Strong, and ((((hugs))))

    • Casey says:

      Thanks Bert.

      For me, being strong means allowing the emotions come out as they happen.

      My youngest daughter was the one showing signs of the most grieving. She’s nearly 9, but she’s been to a lot of wakes for people close to her. Aside from the expected deaths of my grandparents, there were other unexpected deaths: my oldest daughter’s beloved first grade teacher (who was very close to my oldest daughter too) died of cancer the fall immediately after my daughter had her as a teacher (my daughter’s class was the last class this teacher ever taught); a 7 year old playmate died unexpectedly of a complication of his diabetes two summers ago, and then now her younger cousins dad.

      So, yeah…my daughters and I are getting a lot of experience with death, loss and grieving.

      I think I’m learning to be strong by learning how to be open and accepting of pain and loss.

      • bert0001 says:

        I think that is the best interpretation of ‘being strong’ — being open and perhaps being able to accept what is, and accepting the accompanying emotions.
        Whether it is that easy for a seven year old?

        I can only go back in time and look at what happened when my grandfather died when I was 10. Tears and anger come out of my memory ..

        What was much harder for me to swallow was the death of an infant, when disaster struck on a new year’s day, 7 months later, after a fire broke out. Just a house like ours, on my way to school. That is still a deep scar even today.

        • Casey says:

          It seems to me like you were a sensitive young child (who grew up to be a sensitive man).
          Fires are extremely scary to me.

          The death of an infant is never easy. I was 35 when I held my hand through my older sister’s stillbirth. It was so poignant, and it was such a sorrowful thing to go to a funeral for a life that was never lived.

          When I was 10, no one close to me died, yet. But I had gone to Auschwitz with my two older sisters and grandmother on a 3 week trip to Poland. I never forgot what I saw there. I wrote essays and posters about it for school in the subsequent years…I think it was my way of processing the tragedy of the experience.

          I wish I had a spiritual teacher to help me work through some of this stuff. I thought it would get easier, having gone through a lot of it. But it seems to knock me down more and more. I’m not sure why.


Would you like to share your thoughts? I'd love to hear them.

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s