July 2, 2018
Everyone’s worst nightmare.
There’s a knock. You open the door and there stands the coroner, telling you that your brother has been found dead in his own home. According to the coroner, what they believe happened is, he woke up in the pre-dawn hours and felt his blood sugar was low. He walked from his bedroom, down the hall towards the kitchen for juice, and stopped at the dining room table to take off his insulin pump. He didn’t make it any further. He was found lying on the floor next to the table where his insulin pump was.
For the two years prior to that, I had been staying in Grand Junction temporarily, to help my Dad and brother take care of my mother who was gravely ill in a nursing home. We were all preparing ourselves to lose my mother. None of us were prepared to lose the youngest member of our family. My brother was only 53.
What twists the knife a little deeper into my heart, is after reading his journals, I’ve learned of his constant life struggle to afford his insulin. My brother was an artist, with a degree in Fine Arts. One of the most gifted, creative minds, I’ve ever known, but he struggled to find work, even remotely related to his field. At the end of his life, he was working as a part-time maintenance man for our local art center. He mentions in his journals that the cost of insulin was more than his mortgage payment.
My brother was always very proud and because of growing up as a diabetic child, we all hovered over him. He hated that. And as an adult, he was adamant that he deal with it on his own. He never told us of his struggles to pay for insulin, and he probably wouldn’t have accepted our help had we known. In his journals, he talks of having to ration either his insulin or food, and sometimes both, because he was short on money and had no insurance through his part-time job.
Thankfully, just a couple months ago, Colorado passed a law, capping the cost of insulin at $100 a month. Unfortunately, a year too late for my brother though. There’s no doubt that him rationing his insulin, is what ultimately caused his death. If I were a wealthy woman, I would sue the pharmaceutical company who made his insulin, and charge them with murder.
I guess none of that really matters now. My “Weaven” is gone. He was born Stephen, but I couldn’t pronounce the “S”, so I called him Weaven and it stuck. He’s always been and will always be Weaven to me. My “little brother” who was robbed of the golden years of his life.
Aside from the grief, the hardest part for me, is keeping this deep, brewing anger in check. If only he had been humble enough, to reach out for help. If only that law would’ve been passed one year earlier. it’s not the grief that does us in, it’s the “if onlys”.
Rest in peace dear brother. Fly high with Momma. I’ll see you again soon. <3
Steve Morley Jr.
2/6/65 – 7/2/18
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