« April 2010 | Main | June 2010 »

May 04, 2010

The Need to Know...Part 2

There were some details about the day David’s died that we learned early in our loss; events and facts that were not in dispute.  They came from the autopsy that was ordered because of the “suspicious” nature of his death. They came from the “run sheet” a detailed report of information collected by, and the actions of, law enforcement and medical first responder from the moment they arrived on the scene.   We knew he and his friend had purchased a can of Fellows Brand computer duster to use in a friend’s swimming pool.  We knew they had learned from a friend that inhaling the propellant while under the water would intensify the rush.  We knew that David suffered the fatal side effect of Inhalant abuse known asSudden Sniffing Death Syndrome which caused him to have a heart attack at 16 and drown.  We knew that the Coroner ruled that the cause of his death was drowning and that the manner of death was accidental.  That is what we knew.   What were missing were the details of the minutes before law enforcement and the EMTs arrived; specifically before and after the 911 call was made.  The minutes we hoped that David’s friend could help us know.

In the days leading up to our meeting with him I was consumed with a tangle of emotions; a struggle in which my heart cried out to know ….while my head whispered… be afraid to know.  I was afraid that my need to know would lead me to press David’s friend too much and I was afraid that my need to know would make him remember things he didn’t want to remember.  Most of all I was afraid that I would hear things that would thrust me back into that “black hole” of overwhelming grief which engulfed me at the commencement of Dave’s end of days.  A black hole so powerful that the light of our hopes, our dreams and our joy could not escape as it as it collapsed around us.   

Yet in the end my heart and my need to know held sway.  David’s friend looked wonderful as he strode into the restaurant and settled easily in the booth across from us.  We caught up on his life and wanted to know all the details of his young daughter and the son he and his wife were expecting.  We responded in kind and the years between then and now melted away softly as it can with family and dear friends.  He was indeed family to us then and even more so now. Because like David's girlfriend, there was no one who suffered more grief and agonizing guilt from David’s death than he.

Finally it was time.  Marissa gently explained that while we knew many things about that day we did not know what had happened.  She told him that if he felt comfortable  to share with us his memories...it would help us a great deal to bring some closure to our need to know.  He expressed great surprise that we no one had ever told us about that day and said he would gladly tell us whatever we wanted to know.

…and so it began…

May 4, 2010 at 06:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack