Monday, September 23, 2013

My Son Passed Away...

I haven't written anything in months, I just didn't feel that feeling that tells you to share your thoughts. Many things have occurred in my life, not all of them good.

On 5/20/13, I got a 6 AM call from my first wife, that I ignored. She's on my DNA list. DO NOT ANSWER. Everyone has a DNA list, you just may not call it that? You know the one, you keep their number and name on your phone, so if they call you DO NOT ANSWER. She was persistent and rightly so, as the news was horrible. My 43 year old son was found dead in a hotel room in Surprise, AZ. My former wife was in shock and not making a lot of sense. She was flying to AZ from Florida and was arriving the following day, but in the meanwhile, a lot needed to be done. No one gives you instructions on what to do when a family member dies and it's what you can improvise. My ex was determined to have him go to his final resting place wearing a Cubs jacket and hat, so my other son and I shopped for those items. Brad was wonderful and took charge of many of the final decisions. We shopped and had lunch and discussed what to do with his mother when she arrived. She and I have been divorced since 1980 and there was no love lost between us. She was without funds and nowhere to stay. I offered her accommodations with me, but she declined mentioning that she would rather stay in a hotel. With a shoulder shrug, I gave the idea a full, "okay"! When she arrived, she had decided to stay with me after realizing what a hotel or even a motel would cost, but she never did tell me. She announced it when we picked her up at the airport. Oh well, here we go again... No communication.

After researching the pros and cons of the different options when a loved one passes, Brad and I decided to have our son and brother cremated. Now, the job was to sell that idea to his mother. I have been in AZ for 40 years and this is my home, however Stu had only been here a few years, yet Chicago, where we are all from, held nothing for any of us, plus we'd have to fly his remains across country to purchase a plot and have him buried. Cremation just made more sense. The funny thing about my former wife, if we told her we decided to have him cremated here, she would fight it with everything she had. So our plan was to have her think of it and we were planning to just agree. (And there lies the reason that the marriage did not work)

So Brad and I laid out all the reasons on a table in black and white and scratched our heads on what to do. Barbara looked over the figures and the costs and said, "Cremation seems to make more sense". We made the proper calls, but only after a deep breath was enjoyed by Brad and I.

The crematorium arranged to pick up the remains and there was a showing for the immediate family and that was it. Brad and I had been estranged from his brother for about 17 years. His mother had not seen him for several years. During that time of estrangement, Stu had converted to Baptist and belonged to a church in Surprise. Members of his church had arranged a memorial service and we all attended it the following day. 

Mama flew home to her own life and Brad went back to work. I picked up his ashes a few days later and here they remain while everyone decides on what to do with them. It's just over 4 months ago that all of this took place and we still don't have a cause of death from the State of AZ., however it appears that he took his own life.