Wednesday, September 23, 2015



The autopsy report arrived this week, and I am very upset because it is literally filled with inconsistencies. I don't understand! I have a call in to the coroner, but so far I have discovered the following errors:

1. Weight - listed him about 20-30 pounds lighter than he is.
2. Height - listed him about 8 inches shorter than he is.
3. Hair color - listed as "red". Yes, his beard was red, but his head hair was blonde.
4. Eye color - listed as green. They are blue.
5. Remarkable identifiers - listed him as having no surgical scars; he had three:

  • One on his hand (2014 debridement of a wound, goes from cuticle up to mid-hand)
  • One on his abdomen (2008 appendix)
  • One on his chest from under the left nipple all the way around to his scapula (2012 thoracotomy...not a small scar).

6. Tattoos - does not mention the one on his left temple that was used to identify his body.
7. Exit wound - sorry to be graphic, but I was told by both the detectives and the funeral home that he had a large exit wound on his head. Yet, the autopsy report says "no exit". When I saw my son, I know he had a large suture line across the back of his head. That may have been from the actual autopsy, but I was told he had an exit wound, which is why they needed to wait to see if he was "viewable" for me.
8. DOB - listed correctly on some pages; incorrectly on others. A difference of 4 months.
9. Nose - "normal", his nose was severely broken and distorted with the impact of the injury, and had a large abrasion on it that occurred during his death.

I am confused
I am angry
I am upset

Is this even the right person? I know who I saw on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 WAS my son. I have no doubts about that; none at all. But this report is not about my son. It is about another person who died in the same or similar manner. Either that, or the Office of Medical Investigations is extremely sloppy with their documentation. These are not insignificant discrepancies. These are NOT just words on a piece of paper; it was supposed to be a concise and accurate account of the manner of my son's death, a description of his fatal injury, and a final characterization of his physicality on this Earth.

My hope, by reading this report, was to be able to mentally gather up all of the details of his death, wrap them up in a neat package, put a bow on them, and emotionally set it aside for good. My goal was to be able to put this part of the event behind me, so I could start to heal and move forward with my grief. Not going to happen this week!

I don't have a picture to go with my emotions this week.

Monday, September 14, 2015


I'm feeling pretty blah this week. I love my home and love being home, but lately, when I am here, I


So, I'll just keep listening to music. Won't you join me? In the mean time, we are going to get out of town for a few days to clear our heads!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

National Suicide Prevention Week.

This is a post from my cousin's niece, and sums it all up pretty well. Thank you for letting me share Catherine!

facts, truth, and the liar

Imagine this:  You are lost, and trying to get home.  You don't know how long it's been.  Your feet hurt, your knees hurt, your back hurts, your head hurts.  You are exhausted.  You are physically, mentally, and emotionally drained.  There is nothing left.  It's just you and the fog.  You have no idea how long the fog has surrounded you.  It seems like it has always been there.  You don't really notice it anymore.  And then there are the voices.  They slither through the fog, insidious.  They whisper of fear and sadness, anger and despair.  There is no reason to go on.  There's nothing to go on for.  It's just you and that damn fog.  The fog is worse than the voices.  The voices speak helplessness, but the fog shows it.  Because if the fog would lift, you would see that you are almost home.  But it doesn't lift, you can't see where you are, and you give up.

That fog is what depression is like for me.  Luckily for me, through Grace and Mercy, it lifted long enough for me to hear a friendly voice and get treatment.  The fog doesn't lift for everyone, and not everyone has a friend who will take them by the shoulders and tell them to go to their doctor and get on Prozac or something.

It has taken me a long time to write about this.  It's hard, to find the right words and to get the courage to post.  It's especially hard to do both at the same time.  But today is World Suicide Prevention Day, and I needed to do something.  To be the friend who takes you by the shoulders.  To let someone, anyone, everyone know that is it okay to ask for help.  There is nothing to be ashamed of.  There are other people like you out there.  You have worth and are loved.  And it's hard.  I know.  It is still hard for me and it's been twenty years.  That damn fog still follows me around.  Most of the time, it's just a wisp of a reminder.  And sometimes, it's dense enough for the voices to start up again, telling me lies.  But I struggle and fight, because while the fog is dense, now I can see home and I know I can make it.

Facts, Truth, and the Liar
by Catherine M Braun

In this world, we know, there is Fact and there is Truth.

This is Fact: there is a serotonin deficiency in my brain.
But this is Truth: there is a Liar in my head.

And the Liar tells me, “Of course, the sky is blue.”
And, “Of course, the sun is shining.”
And, “Of course, your family loves you.”

But also, “Blue is really gray.”
And, “Sun is really rain.”
And, “Everyone would be better off if you and your moods were gone.”

This is not a piercing grief or a glancing blow.
This is a smothering, a sinking:
an avalanche of despair and all I see is snow.

I think, Maybe there is too much blood in my chest, and that is why it aches.
And the Liar says, “Yes, yes – if you open your veins the pressure will ease.”
And I think, Maybe.

In this world, Fact is not necessarily as important as Truth.

This is Fact: I'm treating my depression.
But this is Truth: I'm silencing the Liar with every breath I take.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

60 days.

Sixty days.
1441 hours.
86,460 minutes.
5,187,600 seconds.

Yet, it feels like a lifetime has passed, and it’s so hard to process that I will never see him again, in this life. Time stands still, and goes so fast. It is National Suicide Prevention Week. Why didn’t I see the signs this time? They were there before, but not this time. This time, it came as a complete surprise. I still can’t believe this is real.

Saturday, September 5, 2015


It is said that each person's fingerprint is unique with individual qualities, patterns, and configurations. Much like a personality; no two are alike. I really love the sound of that; it reminds of the kind of person Joshua was. Never defined by his illness; always known for his wonderful and charming qualities.

A few weeks ago, some of my friends from the Hospice department at work gave me gift money to purchase a fingerprint charm.  Before he was cremated, fingerprints were taken of Joshua. After a lot of online shopping, I picked a simple, polished silver style, and it arrived today. It is lovely, and I will treasure it always. I had been wearing the urn charm with a bit of ashes in them, but found that they were causing me a great deal of anxiety and grief, so for now, I put that one away. Strange how things affect us when we least expect it.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Frazey Ford "Firecracker"

So much of this reminds me of Joshua. The raw voice. The look. The ambivalence of the words. I have loved this song for several years, but now the lyrics resonate.

I was a sailboat, I was a sailor
I was a son of a gun of a gun
I made it happen, down in the schoolyard
I was a firecracker explodin'

Hallelujah, the sparks flew up to heaven
They saw my smile, I was laughing so hard
Hallelujah, the sparks flew up to heaven
And I left the sober people with their cold hearts

Sometimes there is someone
Someone who knows you
But when you are sad there is no one
But I'm a red bicycle
Rolling and rolling

I'm a quick silver, I'm a deal maker
Don't you cross me once

Hallelujah, the sparks flew up to heaven
They saw my smile, I was laughing so hard
Hallelujah, the sparks flew up to heaven
And I left the sober people with their cold hearts

And nothing can hold me
To this earth that don't roll me
And I don't know if I'm dirty or clean
But I was a sailboat
I was a sailor and I was a firecracker exploding'

And oh why do you cry, sister (momma) cry?
I been talkin' with angels and its gonna be fine

‘Cause hallelujah the sparks flew up to heaven

And I left the sober people with their cold hearts