I’m still not entirely sure what to make of that night.
When the officer answered the phone, I knew death awaited my ears. I don’t remember the full conversation. But I remember that feeling. It was actual hell.
Such depth of absolute despair. All the fear in my heart mounted into this wave of emotion billowing its way from my stomach into my lungs instinctively cutting off oxygen. Painfully, I inhaled but it felt like an overwhelming sense of drowning. Mostly, I remember falling. SCREAMING. Denying it was him, they found. Because to admit Justin’s death, meant a part of my own was gone too.
The end of that phone call catapulted a very dark side of my mind.
I ran to the back door searching for air to breathe again. My chest hurt. My thoughts were rampant. WHY GOD!!!!! I begged you! Over and OVER, I pleaded. Why did you forsake him! WHY DID YOU LET HIM DIE! I thought my cries were heard! I believed You when You said You would not ever leave me. But You left him. His final moments were dark and alone and WHERE WERE YOU!!!!! HOW, GOD? Could you not intercede his hell?
I reached the patio but it wasn’t enough. Down the steps, I ran into the yard where the sky was clear. And I fell. Again.
But this time, I cursed GOD. I did. The entity I praised and worshiped my entire life. THE GOD I sung to and fasted for. The ONE I was baptized for; for whom I lived my life. The hope of eternity that I placed all of my marbles towards. Gone.
I chose darkness. Mainly because darkness just consumed my entire existence. In such a literal sense, every single thing in my life felt painfully unimportant. In every way imaginable, I wore his coat of torture.
How could God do this? How could He not step in? WHY DID HE NOT HAVE AN ENCOUNTER WITH MY BROTHER?! If He can create this earth, if His powers include miracles…WHY DID HE NOT INTERCEDE his son? Justin belonged to Him. And yet…
At some point during this mental breakdown, I realized I would be the one to pick up the phone and deliver this hell to my parents, my little sister, my Nana and Pap, my aunt…my son.
Saving details for our family, I will say this: N O T H I N G in my life has ever prepared me for the destructive news I gave each of those phone calls. If Hell exists, it is full of nights like this.