another death

two families (both alike in dignity? in fair chicago where we lay our scene…)
two husbands, 2 wives, young and happy
both women get pregnant, within a couple months of each other
they become even closer
their sons are born
their friendship grows, their families grow
they have daughters next, again within a couple months of each other
the bond grows even stronger

then one family moves away, out west, for work, for inspiration
they keep in touch, they visit
they take pictures of their beautiful matched set of children
against the majestic backdrop of the mountains
long distance phone calls were still a big deal then, and so the ties weaken

chicago son develops a condition
turns out to be a form of epilepsy
silent seizures, he becomes frozen in time for moments
the squeeky wheel gets the grease
he will take medication for years
and eventually be cured

then the family out west moves again
to switzerland this time
so exciting for them!
the mothers do most of the work of keeping in touch
the daughters become pen pals, they practice their french together
but overseas phone calls are even a bigger deal and the visits are limited

then the swiss family returns!
but it’s a mixed reunion
their daughter has been suffering from an unknown condition – chronic headaches, undiagnosable, chronic fatigue syndrome maybe?
the squeeky wheel always gets the grease

the families reconnect, but the chicago son has moved away
and the swiss son is confused
he’s using drugs and drinking
the swiss daughter has a restricted lifestyle
and the chicago daughter is also beginning her journey with drugs
the two girls have a difficult time maintaining a relationship
but the moms stay close as ever

then the swiss father dies
not long after being diagnosed with cancer
the family grieves
things fall apart

the chicago children are in college, living in other cities, those bonds are dissolved
the mothers grow closer
the swiss children also disperse, to various west coast locations
swiss son sinks further into drug use and drinking, seeking more intense fixes, using needles
traveling to foreign locales
his mother worries constantly

the chicago daughter also uses more, falling into depression and more and more abuse
experimentation becomes addiction
sexual intrigues abound
mistakes are made, lives salvaged
her parents attempt to save her, time and again
they have a new squeeky wheel to grease

swiss daughter pulls herself together, attempts college once again, gets a dog, and a boyfriend
chicago son gets married
chicago daughter graduates college, meets potential husband, stops using, beats addictions

swiss son contracts hepatitis C

chicago daughter goes to grad school
chicago son has a daughter

swiss son dies suddenly

after a final stint in rehab, after narrowly avoiding death at least 3 other times, after 90 days of sobriety, after getting his first paycheck from a new job

there were no drugs on the scene, no drugs on his person, an autopsy is pending

i suppose the hope is that he died of “natural causes” – is it better if his heart gave out after almost a decade of drug abuse? what’s done is done

dead is dead, irreversible.


two families, alike
each with a child who delved into drugs
each with a child who developed a mysterious condition
mothers who stay bonded so close

one family beset with crises, unable to deal with conflicts, felled by sudden tragedies, diminished from 4 to 2, weakened, broken

one family survives crises, overcomes conflicts, escapes potential tragedies, grown from 4 to 6, stronger than ever