I met Jarrod after he was rushed to the ER.
They found him alone in a wooded area outside of his neighborhood park. He was propped against a tree, gun in hand, with what police described as “self inflicted wounds to the chest and facial regions.”
We tried our best to keep him alive.
We spent hours pumping in and out fluids. He stayed stable for about 5 hours. During that time his parents, friends, and other family members filtered in and out with tissues and thoughtful words.
Around 10pm his parents went home to gather over night supplies and arrange for family to care for the other children while they were at the hospital.
Most of his friends had left earlier when we closed the unit for an emergency intubation. However one guy stayed the whole day. I offered to let him stay in the room with his friend while we prepared for shift change. After checking on the suction on the vent, I asked him if he wanted anything; tissues, water, crackers, the norm hospital stuff that we can offer.
He just shook his head and sobbed.
I felt really bad for him, he was losing his best friend, and no one knows what happened. I offered to sit with him for a while, and just be there for him.
After about 10-15 min he started talking;
"It’s my fault. I shouldn’t have pushed him. I should have just let him be him, do things in his own way. I can’t believe I did this. What am I going to do."
At this point I’m kind of freaking out because I think he has just confessed to murder or something like it.
I ask him “what do you mean?”
"I shouldn’t have pushed him so hard. I shouldn’t"
"Where did you push him? At the park? Did he fall and this happen at the park?"
"No no no, not that. I pushed him to talk to his parents. I told him they would understand. And I told him … I told him…"
Finally I was putting things together.
"Are you two together? Is that what this is about?"
The poor guy just started sobbing and crying and mumbling things about love and forgiveness.
I really wasn’t sure what to do, so I excused myself for a few moments. Those moments were short lived because the red alarms on the monitors started sounding. Jarrod was crashing. We ushered out the visitors in the unit and paged his team.
We called Code Blue, and started CPR. After 40 minuets of coding the MD called time of death.
After the family showed up to say their goodbyes and fill out the necessary papers. We started post care. Took the body to the morgue, and turned in his last papers.
When we cleaned up the trauma bay, I noticed that his friend was still in the hallway. I took him into the conference room so he could have a little privacy an see if he needed anyone to talk to.
"What do you believe?" he asked me
"What do you believe? you know, after death sort of things? do you think there is a place we all go? or do we just… die?"
I didn’t know what to say to him…
So I responded. “What do you believe? “
He went on to tell me about how he thought that people go places or some place when they die. Somewhere without judgment or shame. Or at least he hoped. He also said he believed that he believed in spirits. Those who come back and communicate with the living once they have passed on. He then talked about how he and Jarrord met, fell in love and came out to his parents. Jarrord’s parents didn’t take it very well.
I tried my best to comfort him, telling him that he had no control over Jarrord’s actions. It was a difficult thing to do, but he can not blame himself. A few minuets later he dried his eyes and asked to just be alone for a while. I told him he could use the conference room as long as he needed.
I filled out my final paperwork for the end of the shift, gave my report to the nightshift and prepared to leave.
I walked into the conference room to check on Jarrord’s friend. He was asleep, laying across the couch cuddling his jacket. Jarrord was sitting next to him stroking his hair.
I motioned for Jarrord to follow me to the ajoining conference room.
He reluctantly followed.
He was shy. “Hello.”
"So you can see me?"
"I don’t know, I ask myself that all the time."
"Well, that’s cool I guess."
"I guess so."
"So you know huh?"
"I think so, why don’t you tell me what happened."
He sighed. “Okay.”
We sat down on the couch and he told me.
"I met Anthony when we were in science class. We were lab partners. He was really nice and we liked the same movies as I did. We started hanging out after school, and one day he.. he kissed me. I never told anyone that I was gay. But he.. he knew. We started dating, secretly, and after a few months Anthony said we should tell our parents. I was freaked out about my parents and how they would react, but Anthony said his parents were really supportive. And they were, his parents said that they love him no matter who he loves. They were so nice, they didn’t care that I was gay, or that I was black and Anthony was white. They saw us for who we were. I guess that’s why I thought my parents would be the same. But when we told my parents, they just blew up! My dad said he had a SON not a Daughter, and that no son of his would be.. would be .. a fag. My mom just cried and asked how long, I didn’t know if she meant how long we had been dating or how long I had been gay, or how long it would last? I was just so confused. I started crying and Anthony held my hand the whole time. My dad told me to get out, leave his house and don’t come back until I was NORMAL again. I just didn’t know what to do."
" So how did you end up in the park?"
" We left right after that, and we went to Anthony’s house. His parents said I could stay with them until my parents cooled off and they would talk to them. I was just devastated, I thought my parents would love me no matter what I did, no matter who I was. Because I was me. I went back home and climbed though my window to get some clothes. My parents were in their room, I could hear them arguing, my dad was shouting and throwing things, saying things like "WHAT DID WE DO WRONG?!" I went into my dads office to get my backpack and I don’t know why but I opened his desk drawer. I know he kept his pistol there, and the ammo in the hollow book on the shelf. I don’t know why I wanted to take it, but I did. And on the way back to Anthony’s house, I kept thinking that I ruined my parents life, they hated, me, I hated me, I just … I just couldn’t take it. The thought of everyone hating me. I ruined their lives… I passed the park and sat on the swings for a while. I thought about how I wished I was born a girl or never born, or just normal like my parents wanted.. and I was just so sad.. I sat next to the tree and I felt the gun in my backpack… and I just… well.. I gave up, I just wanted to be happy."
I was crying at this point, he was so sad. Now his parents would forever remember the last things they said and did to him. Kick him out and shun him, just because he like a boy? Something so simple and yet something so serious that he took his own life.
"What do I do now?" He asked me.
"I don’t know. What do you think you should do?"
"I just want to make sure that Anthony knows that I didn’t do it because of him. I feel bad that I didn’t leave him anything, I just left him at home waiting. I hate this. I saw him crying and I know I hurt him. I didn’t mean to, I really didn’t…. Could you tell him something for me?"
"What do you want to say?"
"I just want to tell him that I am glad I met him. That he is the reason I was happy for those few months. I don’t regret meeting him or dating him or coming out. And he didn’t make me do this.. it was me. I did it."
We walked into the conference room where Anthony was sleeping. I woke him and said that I was leaving but I wanted to talk to him.
I explained to him that I could see ‘ghosts’ or ‘spirits’ and could talk to them. I told him that Jarrord was here and wanted to tell him something.
I went on to tell him that Jarrord was sorry, he didn’t mean to leave him that night, and how he felt about it.
At first Anthony didn’t believe me, he was skeptical and I think, he thought I was a little crazy. But when Jarrord told me of their secret meeting place, and the place where they carved their initials into an old bench, Anthony came around.
After Jarrord and Anthony talked it out, we were all crying.
Anthony felt better, Jarrord felt better, and I.. was a sobbing mess.
Jarrord said that he felt warmer and happier, that he could move on. I watched him walk way and fade into nothing.
Anthony sat stunned for a while but stood up and hugged me, he thanked me for be there for him, and allowing him to say goodbye.
We left the Hospital together, Anthony’s parents were waiting outside. They just hugged him for the longest time, telling him it would all be okay. They thanked me for doing what I could for Jarrord and left.
I still can’t believe that parents would kick their only child out of their home because he was gay. Because he liked a boy that was nice to him, and he just wanted to share his happiness. It breaks my heart.
I will be adding more posts starting tomorrow 4/25/12 evening. I have been away on a much needed vacation. So expect to see at least 3 new encounters as well as more Q/A’s pulled from REDDIT.com.
If you have your own questions, feel free to send them to me herein the comment sections below, to the registered email for this tumblr (Nemo.firstname.lastname@example.org) Or ask on twitter @unspokenlives .
- Q: How to the dead present themselves to you?
- A: Most of the time as they were when/before they died. Not always a tragic nasty mess, but some who are what I call "in shock" still have markings from the traumatic death they had.(like stab wounds. Gun shot wounds, head wounds. Missing limbs. disfigured bodies/faces.) Others just look like normal people. sometimes a little "cloudy" or grey.
- Q: So its visual and audible? The ones that aren't grey or cloudy...how can you tell they are dead?
- A: Yes 90% of the time they are completely visual and audible. I can hear them clearly as I would any real LIVE person I see.
- For the ones that come in grey or in shock. it varies. Those who are in shock sometimes sound like they are underwater, or talking though a pillow. And some, mostly grey/cloudy ones are just silent. They notice me, but dont care to interact. I think these people are more... lost. Repeating something over and over, or searching for something but without urgency.
- They grey/cloudy ones make me feel so heavy. No particular emotion jumps out with them, (most of the time that is.) I just feel, Heavy. Idk if that makes sense.. its just hard to describe. Also with grey/cloudy people, I tend to feel them before I see them. Its like the air gets stale and heavy. Idk if you've experienced your ears "ringing" randomly, but its a lot like that.
- Ive also seen some that are in shock talk louder or seem like they are screaming. Im not sure why that is, but its very strange.
18 minutes ago a car ran a stop light and crashed into a couple who were coming home.
16 Minuets ago an ambulance, police car and firefighters came to free the two that were trapped within. They were pulled from the wreckage.
10 Minuets ago that same ambulance rushed one person to the hospital. The other was pronounced at the scene but taken to the morgue for an autopsy.
8 Minutes ago police and firefighters started cleaning up the debris on the street and called for a tow truck.
6 Minutes ago I watched traffic return to normal.
2 Minutes ago I helped a stunned person wandering the scene to a bench to sit and talk about what happened. I explained to them that they died in that accident.
Her name was Melissa. She and her boyfriend were returning home from the movies. It’s Saturday night. She loves to talk about the movies shes watched and discuss what she liked and didn’t like about them. She wished the camera was more steady during “The Hunger Games”. It gave her a headache. Her boyfriend was listening to the radio, singing along, while listening. She hated when he did that. She reached to turn it down as she turned on to the street before their home. It was too loud.
That was the last thing she remembered.