Jesus Please, Give Him A Hug From Me
© Copyright 2019 by Yvette Myers
The last time that I had any true contact with my brother Greg, was when I found out that he was in a hospital in Indianapolis last Christmas. It was odd how I found out where he was and that he was ill.
A friend of his somehow became a “Facebook friend” of mine, probably through a friend of a friend as both of us have hundreds of “Facebook friends”. I didn’t know this person was going to be an angel in my life and my brothers.
That this unknown person to me would forever be in my prayers because he gave me the greatest gift of all. He was the reason my brother knew I really cared about him—as he laid on that red couch—suffering—dying—for months—maybe years—all alone.
This person asked the question on his Facebook feed, “Has anybody heard from Greg lately? I immediately messaged this person and asked him how he knew Greg. He said that Greg was building a website for him and that he wasn’t answering any phone calls or emails which was not like him. Greg would immediately answer any communications from customers.
I asked if he had a phone number, email, or address for Greg because he didn’t allow anyone in his family to have any information about him. This person gave me Greg’s phone number and last know address.
It was an Indianapolis address, so I called all the jails. He wasn’t in jail. I wish he had been. Then, I contacted all the Indianapolis hospitals and asked for Greg’s room. Nobody would tell me if he had a room or if he was in the hospital. I called at all different times of the day and night hoping that someone would slip up and tell me the truth, but they wouldn’t give me any information. It was weird—like a big secret. I could tell there was some type of “don’t tell” notes in the computer because when they would search his name, they would fight to find the right words.
Finally, on the 10th day of my calls, an operator on 3rd shift told me his room number. Bam! Now I knew what hospital he was in and his room number. Within 2 hours, I was walking through the huge locked hospital doors to the nurse’s station on the floor his room was on. (I know now, that had they known who I was, they wouldn’t have allowed me into the hall).
Sometimes, I dream about what would have happened had I not stopped at the nurse’s desk to ask for directions to his room. Why didn’t I walk right past her and find his room number? What type of shape would I have found my brother in? Would he scream at me to “get out!” or would he begin to sob and hold his arms up from his bed, desperately wanting a hug? If I had been able to get to his room, would he have allowed me to take care of him in his final weeks?)
I stopped at the nurse’s desk to ask for directions to Greg’s room, I told the nurse who I was and that I was there to see my brother. I asked her for directions to his room. She pointed her index finger at me and said, “just a moment” as she picked up the phone. Within a couple of minutes, a nurse came around the corner. She told me that Greg had said that he hadn’t seen me in over 30 years. I told her that’s true, but I’d like to see him. She said, “He doesn’t want to see you”.
“He doesn’t want to see you”.
Even as I write those words, it kills a little piece of my heart.
The nurse told me that I would have to leave and told me once again, that he doesn’t want to see you. She literally walked me back out past the large locked doors that would swing open wide for her to escort me out of his hallway.
I had come so close to him after all these years and yet, I stopped for directions to his room. Why? Why? Why? This haunts me over and over again. Why didn’t I walk straight to his room?
“Now what do I do?” I thought. There was no way I was going to leave him there. I didn’t know if he was alone and dying. I had no idea why he was in the hospital or how serious it was. All I knew was that this hospital is a cardiac care hospital, so I assumed he might have had a heart attack or stroke.
I wasn’t going to leave him. I knew none of our family would be there for him and something just kept telling me that he might be alone and dying.
There was a grey couch just outside the locked doors. I sat down on it and began sobbing uncontrollably. I was all alone with nobody I could call to talk to—nobody to call who could give me advice on what to do next.
For some reason I had only 2 pictures of Greg. They were when he was about 5 or so. He was on a swing in our backyard. I had grabbed these pictures to show Greg or someone at the hospital, if I needed to prove that I was his sister. I also printed out the half a dozen emails I’d received from him over the last 30 years. As I sat there on that cold grey couch, and I texted Greg. I told him that I was not leaving the hospital—that I was not going to leave him alone. I was going to stay on that couch until he would let me see him, or until he left the hospital. I let him know that I would be there, on that couch, just in case he changed his mind and wanted to see me.
When he didn’t respond to my first 2 texts, I called and left a message on his voicemail with the same sentiment— “I am not leaving here. I will be just feet away from you if you change your mind and want to see me.”
Then after another few minutes with no response, I sent the same text messages. Honestly, I think maybe I was simply trying to determine whether he was conscious or not. Surely, he would at least respond to my messages in some way—even if it was to confirm that he didn’t want to see me. (I didn’t believe the nurses when they told me that he didn’t want to see me).
About 15 minutes after this second round of texts, a security guard walked up to me. I knew what he wanted. I knew he was going to ask me to leave, but I was going to stand my ground. I was not going to leave my brother there alone.
The security guard could tell I was distraught over the situation. I was still sobbing and clutching the pictures of my brother and pulled the emails from him, out of my purse. I held them up and said, “See, I’m his sister. These pictures are all that I have of him, but I know his birthday, his social security number, his phone number and address. The nurse said that he told her that he hadn’t seen me in over 30 years—that proves that I’m his sister and that I have the right to know what’s going on—the right to see him. Why is everyone being so secretive?”
The only reply I received from the security guard was, “Ma’am, you have to leave the premises”. I told him “No! Not unless my brother tells me himself that he wants me to leave.
At this point, I was getting “loud” and the security guard took hold of my arm. I began to fall to my knees, begging him to let me just stay in the hospital—anywhere in the hospital—just so I could be close, in case Greg changed his mind and wanted to see me—in case he needed me there, by his side.
I could tell at this time, I was going to be escorted out and there was nothing I could do about it. The guard told me that I couldn’t stay in the hospital or even on hospital grounds. He was to walk me to my car and ensure that I knew I was to never come back.
I asked if I could wash the tears off my face in the restroom before he took me downstairs. He agreed. I went into the restroom and fell to the floor, praying to God that he would put it in Greg’s heart to let me help him, to let me be by his side. I asked God that if he was going to take him from earth, to take me instead.
The cold water felt good on my hot face, but as I wiped tears away, more would come. I rolled up a handful of toilet paper and put it in my purse because I’d gone through an entire box of Kleenex while driving to Indy and throughout the last couple of hours.
As I walked out of the restroom, I handed the 2 pictures that I had of Greg to the security guard and asked him to give them to Greg. Please tell him that I’ve always loved him and love him now. Tell him that I’ll be just 2 hours away if he needs me. Tell him….” I love him”.
The guard told me to put my contact information on the back of the photos, in case my brother wanted to get in touch with me. I wrote my email, work number, cell number, and “I love you and am here for you—anytime you need me”. I took a picture of the pictures with my phone, so I would have something to remember him by, in case I would never get to see him before I died. It turns out that I never got to see him before he died.
The guard literally walked me all the way out of the hospital and to my car. He told me that he was so sorry for the situation. I begged him to answer one question for me, even though I know he could lose his job if he told me the answer.
“Does he have someone who loves him, by his side?”
“Does he have someone who loves him, by his side?” I asked again in between my sobbing and trying to catch my breath.
The security guard finally, put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Yes”.
I asked, “So he’s not alone?” “No, someone is with him” said the guard.
His telling me that Greg was not alone and had someone who loved him by his side were the words that I needed to hear, to be able to put my foot on that accelerator and drive off the property—leaving my brother behind. I will never know if he really had someone who loved him by his side that day, but God Bless that security guard for saying it was true.
Greg and I were sent to the Baptist Church since we were 4 and 5 years old. We grew up in that church. Our home life was so horrible that we made up church activities just to get out of that house. I even skipped school 36 times in one semester and walked to the church. I would clean the pastor’s car, the nursery, and sometimes just sneak into the balcony and lay there all day.
It must have been horrific and terrifying for Greg to listen to how “Gay” people would burn in hell. Decades later, my mother told me that she knew he was gay because she caught him wearing her makeup when he was 4 years old—which is about the time we were sent to the Baptist Church. I’m guessing that my mother thought somehow that the Baptists would “straighten him out” and make him believe that what he was— “gay” was wrong and that if he didn’t change his ways that he’d burn in hell for eternity. I say I’m guessing those were her intentions for sending us to the church, because she and I haven’t spoken in years.
Over 30 years ago, my younger brother, (by 17 months) simply disappeared. For weeks I had tried to find out where he was. I’ll always feel guilty for not being a bigger part of his life back then—in our twenties. I was married, with 3 children and living in another city. Oh, how I wished I’d paid more attention to his life. For all those years I had no idea what had happened to Greg. I’d prayed every single night that he wasn’t laying in a ditch somewhere. I thought he might be an alcoholic because it runs in our family and Greg always shook so badly that I thought he was detoxing all the time.
Our father was an alcoholic and left our family when Greg and I were just toddlers. We only saw him one more time, when we were teenagers. We were staying at my grandparent’s dairy farm and a man walked in who I didn’t recognize. He said hello to me and told Greg he needed a haircut. It took my grandmother all of an hour to get me to believe that this was my father.
I’d never seen Greg that happy. We had dinner with our dad and made plans for the next day, then went to bed. When we woke up in the morning, our father was gone. Gone for good. What a traumatic, disgusting, selfish thing to do to a teenage boy and girl who so desperately needed a father in their life. We’d both prayed for years that he’d come back from Germany and we’d be a happy family—just our dad and the two of us.
No wonder Greg and I had horrible relationship issues throughout our lives. Our father abandoned us and created a new family in Germany, complete with a boy and a girl. Our stepfather literally said that we were, “just another mouth to feed”. Our stepfather hated us—he had a son of his own who was king in our household. My mother hated us, I think, because she saw my father in us and she hated him beyond belief.
About 32 years after Greg left, I was chatting with one of his high school buddies at a local festival. I asked him if he’d heard anything from Greg. He said that at their class reunion, a couple girls said they saw him working in a TGIF in Indianapolis.
I called every TGIF in Indianapolis and asked if Greg worked there. The last one that I called said, “Yes he does, but not at this location”. This was an odd response because I had already asked all the other Indianapolis locations and they said he had never worked there. These folks would not tell me at which location he was working. Again, I thought the secrecy was astounding and confusing.
I asked for the Regional Manager’s phone number. When I called the Regional Manager, I explained to him that I was Greg’s sister and that I’d like to get in touch with him. The Manager was cryptic and didn’t want to tell me anything. He wouldn’t even confirm that Greg worked for TGIF. His non-response was so strange that I thought that maybe Greg was in the witness protection program. I finally persuaded him to take my name and phone number and asked him to pass it along to Greg. I told him that I, “Didn’t want to bother Greg, but I needed to know that he was alright”.
Within seconds of my hanging up that call, I received a text message from a computer. All it said was, “What’s up?”
“What’s up?” I texted back, “Who is this?”
The text came so quickly after speaking with the Manager, that I thought he might be
trying to trick me. I asked him a question that only Greg would know the answer to.
“If you’re Greg, what did carve into Willie’s new maple desk?”
“Your name”, he quickly replied.
Ok, this was my brother—the one who disappeared decades earlier, without a trace, and now he simply answers my frantic call to a Manager with, “What’s up?”
It made me smile. This was Greg alright. He always was a little “different” than most folks. He put his television in the fireplace and instead of washing pots and pans, he’d just put them in the oven until they grew moldy and then threw them away and bought new ones.
I asked him if we could meet for lunch or a drink to “catch up”.
I asked if he would send me his phone number to chat.
I asked if he would let me have his email.
I cried myself to sleep that night—thinking that I would never see him or speak with him—ever again, but I texted him my email and said I’d love to hear that he’s doing ok.
The next morning, I had an email waiting—it was from Greg!
It was just one line.
“BTW, I’m fabulous!”
I replied by saying, “I’m not…just got old and fat” LOL
(I knew this was my brother because he had once sold his Chevette car to get a “nose job”. His appearance was very important to him)
I told him that I’d tried to find him for years but after a while, I thought that he didn’t want to be found—that he wanted to be left alone, so I stopped trying to find him.
He said that he’d never tried to hide.
I never told him, but I didn’t believe him. He could have called, texted, or emailed, to let me know he was ok.
He said, “Do you remember how I used to shake uncontrollably?”
“Yes, I replied. I worried about you all the time.”
He replied, “A week after I moved to Indy, my shaking completely stopped”.
Now I knew why he moved to Indy. He had to get lost in a big city and be able to blend in with a crowd. He also, I’m sure felt like there were more people who would love him, just for being him than in this small town of people who were hatefully, unjustifiably, critical of anyone who wasn’t just like them.
I asked if he ever got married and had kids. To which he replied, “Your kids scared me from having any of my own”. He told me that he was married for 9 years but that his husband had passed away. This was the first time that I believed he was gay. I never believed my mother when she told me he was gay—I thought she was just being her usual mean self.
I told him that I was so very sorry for the loss of his husband, and that I hoped he’d find love again. At least he was loved—that was important to me.
He always said, “Go forward, not straight.” I don’t know if this was his sense of humor or if he wanted me to know that he was proud to be gay. Probably a little of both.
He said that he’d had his cheeks sewn into the bones by the same plastic surgeon who Matthew McConaughey uses. Greg told me that he’d had skin cancer and that’s why he couldn’t send any current photographs. I didn’t believe this either. If he was “fabulous” and had plastic surgery to look better, wouldn’t he want to show me pictures?
I searched everywhere for a current photograph. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and then I thought maybe he was dating online. I looked on every online dating site for gay men and sure enough, there was a picture of him. He looked very handsome and healthy. I knew then that he didn’t want me to see him as a gay man—he thought that I would judge him. I wouldn’t.
What he didn’t know all those years was that I didn’t give a crap about his sexual orientation. Just because I grew up in the same insufferable household and judgmental church didn’t mean that I believed the brainwashing of how “Gay people would burn in hell”.
During college, he was in jail for a few days, (I never knew why). I took him copies of “Playboy” magazine—yup—that’s right. I didn’t know back then that he was gay. Greg had a great sense of humor so I’m sure he laughed about it, and probably made some “straight” friends because of it, (at least that’s what I chose to believe. I pray to God that I didn’t cause him any pain or suffering). Quite the opposite. I felt that gay folks were kinder to others than those who judged them. My opinion is that it’s like cake. He simply likes strawberry cake and I like chocolate—who cares? I don’t care what other people do in their bedrooms. Seriously. I’m sure the Baptist’s would condemn me for not doing everything my husband wanted me to do in the bedroom—they taught girls to become submissive wives. My point is that we all sin and maybe we should spend our time trying to be kinder, more understanding, and more charitable of those who are different than us? Churches are full of sinners and people who profess to know the teachings of The Bible, but the dust on their Bible might be clouding their judgement.
Anyway, we only emailed for a couple of days and then, he was gone again.
For years, I’d email him messages about how I was so sorry for not taking more interest in his life, that I would never have judged him for anything, that I’d love to just be able to know that he was alive and well. For years, I’d email him a simple request, “Please just put two letters in your reply to this email—please just write— “OK” to let me know that you are doing well.
I never heard from him again—ever—in any format.
A couple years before this email exchange, I was visiting my mother in Colorado. We were having breakfast when she decided to tell me that “Greg is gay and living in Indianapolis”.
What? She’s known all these years that he was fine and living just a couple of hours away from me and didn’t think I’d want to know?
So, as I was eating a bite of chocolate chip pancakes, I learned that my brother had not disappeared, but left town on his own accord, because, (according to my mother), he was gay and wanted to live in a larger city.
I didn’t believe my mother’s explanation. There were no signs of Greg being gay while we were growing up—at least not that I remembered. He was a good-looking guy who dated girls. Was it all fake? Did these girls who know that Greg was gay but didn’t want him to be bullied or worse, so they became his “girlfriend”. I don’t recall him every being affectionate with these girls. Did they want people to think they were boyfriend and girlfriend because Greg was so handsome? Remember this was back in the seventies—back when teenagers didn’t have sex until much later. Did he hide it so well that these girls really believed they were his girlfriend? Greg was a nice guy, a handsome guy who was kind hearted and fun—maybe that’s why he “dated” these girls. Or maybe they did have sex because he was confused and took on all the brain washing of the Baptist Church, so maybe he tried his best to “not be gay”.
Occasionally I would send Greg a text telling him of any family news or that I simply loved him and wished he would contact me. On his birthday, at Christmas and any other day that I was thinking of him, I’d let him know that I still thought of him, still love him, and still want to be a part of his life…even a small part. I tried not to text but just a few times a year because I didn’t want him to change his number.
In May, our Aunt passed away. I sent Greg a text to let him know.
The text came back to me as undelivered.
I knew, in my gut what that meant.
I frantically searched for his obituary in Indianapolis.
There it was, Greg’s obituary. It simply stated that he was a resident of Indiana.
That’s it. He was a resident of Indiana.
He passed away in February.
I called my other brother—our half brother to tell him the news. He told me that his father, (Greg and my Stepfather), had died in February also, exactly 3 weeks after Greg’s death. I know it’s not nice to say, but I at least would have hoped that our evil Stepfather would have died before Greg. I know—not my finest moment. I’m usually a kind person.
To re-cap on the same day, within an hour, I learned of my Aunt’s, my brothers, and my stepfather’s deaths. I believe my stepfather went to hell and Greg went to Heaven. I have no idea as to where my Aunt was called to spend eternity. I guess the good always comes with the bad.
When I called my half-brother to tell him the news, I asked him to tell our mother. He refused and said that I should. So, I did. She didn’t want to discuss anything having to do with his death. In the end, she didn’t even want his ashes, a picture, or even a piece of clothing I brought back for her. She only asked if he had a computer. I told her that he had 3 computers but that 2 had passwords and 1 didn’t work. She simply stated, “I’m having a hard time with this” and hung up. She was always so angry at Greg for not contacting her all those years on her birthday, Mother’s Day or at Christmas. Was she mad that he hadn’t, somehow let her know that he had died, or was she truly grieving for him? I’ll never know what was truly in her heart.
It happened to be a Sunday when I learned of Greg’s death, so I left a message on the Funeral Home’s website for anyone who knew Greg to please contact me. I also left messages for the funeral home to contact me the next day so that I could find out more about what had happened to him and why I was not contacted. (Greg and I had many mutual friends on Facebook who would be able to give the funeral home my contact information, but they didn’t bother to try to find anyone who would want to know that Greg had passed away.
The funeral director called me and gave me a little information from the files. He said that Greg was taken by ambulance to a hospital where he’d suffered a heart attack and then
passed away within an hour in the emergency room. The director asked me questions about Greg so that he could complete his death certificate. The only information they had on his death certificate was his name, birthday and last known address.
I let the Director know, in no uncertain terms, that I was very angry and in disbelief that they did not bother to even attempt to contact any family or friends of Greg. I showed him his Facebook page and the multiple friends he and I had in common who would most certainly have gotten in contact with me had someone from the Funeral Home messaged them. This was not a small family run funeral home. It was one of a large corporate conglomerate which owned multiple funeral homes. They knew better. They knew how to locate family or friends of those who pass away.
He then had the nerve to tell me that I must pay $250 to receive my brother’s ashes! The hospital paid for his cremation. He told me that it costs $250 for him to retrieve my brother’s remains from storage. It took everything in me to hand over my credit card and not school this man on how to be respectful to someone who has just lost a loved one! I signed the credit card receipt. He asked me if I wanted a copy of the receipt. What! I grabbed my brother and ran out the door, then sat in my vehicle and as I held the ugly little plastic box they had put my brother’s ashes in—sobbed like I’d never done in my life.
No one had contacted the funeral home or the hospital to inquire about Greg. No one.
The director told me that the hospital paid to have him cremated and that he was “in storage”.
I’m thankful that the hospital listed, “heart attack” as the cause of death, but, I know that the funeral home employees knew the real cause of death.
He said that if nobody comes forward to claim his remains, then the ashes are put into a plastic box in storage. They didn’t even put his name on the box or any dates. His remains were unceremoniously put into storage and nobody knew about it.
The Director told me that, “This happens more often than you think—where there is no family to claim the body and they are put in storage”. He went on to state that I, “was the first person to ever claim remains once they had been put in storage.” What purpose did it serve to tell me this? Why in the hell does he keep using the word, “storage”, like my brother was to be put away in a box and forgotten forever?
I asked him what would have happened to his remains, if I hadn’t contacted them. He said that after 2 years in storage, they would take his ashes and put them through a plastic tube into a communal garden. (And, that’s all I have to say about that…I’m a writer but I cannot find the words to describe my thoughts about this statement).
I made an appointment with him the next day to “get him out of storage” and decide what to do with his remains. I was struggling with where he might want to keep his remains.
He hated our hometown, and for good reason. We live in a small town where it’s rumored that a gay man was murdered by his father simply because he was gay. Small towns can be so judgmental.
He’d lived in Indianapolis for all his adult life and I assumed he had a lot of friends there, so maybe I should leave his remains in an Indianapolis cemetery where his friends could visit him. Except that nobody had inquired at the funeral home where they could pay their respects. He’d been “in storage” now for weeks and no one even sent flowers, a card, or wrote any type of sweet notes about him on the funeral home remembrance section online.
I asked the funeral director for his last known address. After some persuasion, he gave it to me, but he didn’t know what apartment complex that address would be in. So, the day that I was to pick up Greg’s remains, I went to that address.
Legally they weren’t supposed to let me in his apartment, but I was crying and begged them to just let me see if he had the 2 pictures that I had left for him at the hospital—in his apartment. Truth be told, I was praying that he’d left a letter for me, saying that he knew I loved him.
As we took the first step into his apartment, I grabbed one of his shirts laying on the floor and held it tight to my chest. As I looked up, one thing stood out. It was a bright red couch with white sheets thrown around. A bed pillow laid at one end and an end table by the side.
I can’t get this image out of my head because of some paperwork I’d found as I was going through his paper looking for those 2 pictures and possibly a letter.
When I sat on the floor to calm myself and looked around, I realized that he didn’t have a single picture of any human being or even his beloved dog in his apartment. I completely fell apart and cried out to him, “I’m so sorry that you suffered here, alone, on this stupid red couch! I’m so sorry Greg that you didn’t feel like you could call me to come and take care of you! I would have come! I would have come! I would have come to take care of you!”
As I was searching through his belonging for a letter or anything with his handwriting that might tell me anything about the life he lived, I found 5 pieces of paper that stopped me in my tracks. There was one page, each was dated a different year for the last 5 years. He was required to report his status on having HIV/Aids.
Oh, my God…. Oh, my God. How he must have suffered. My poor brother….
Now many things made sense. This is why all the secrecy when I spoke with anyone who “knew” him they only had spoken on the phone or emailed him—no one had ever seen him in person. I knew that he’d coded websites for businesses, so it was easy for him to never see anyone and make a living.
He was suffering for 5 years, had been on Social Security Disability for 3 years with a horrible, slow, painful existence. He was alone all that time.
The only person that I know of who even knew his name was his neighbor who called 911 for him the day he died. The day I went to his apartment to say my “Goodbye” she refused to return my calls or answer the door when I just wanted to thank her for helping my brother in his time of need. I left a note on her door. I had an appointment at the funeral home, so I had to leave his apartment for a while. When I arrived back at this apartment a couple of hours later, the note was gone from her door. At least I was able to tell her how grateful I was that she called an ambulance for my brother on the day of his death.
I wonder what Greg told everyone about his family. The hospital had no contact information for me, and now his neighbor didn’t want to see me. He must have truly believed that I never wanted to see him again—that I thought his sexual orientation would somehow make me hate him. How could he have been so wrong? Did he talk himself into this idea or me not wanting him in my life to make it easier for him? Did he worry that if he did invite me into his life that I would reject him—just like our father, our mother, our stepfather, and the church had rejected him. I wouldn’t blame him for feeling this way. I do blame myself for not making sure that he knew it wasn’t true—that I loved him—that I desperately wanted to be in his life. After all, he was the only other person in this world who knew what it was like to grow up in our house, being, “just another mouth to feed”.
The office folks at the apartment complex told me that his neighbor had found someone to rehome his precious “Burp” with. Burp was his little white dog whom I know he loved very much because Burp’s picture was on his Facebook page. It must have been the worst day of his life to give Burp away, knowing that he could not take care of him anymore and that he would soon die, alone without Burp by his side.
In the end, I have Greg’s ashes in my living room and plan to purchase a final resting place in a cemetery in our town. I’ve left a note on Burp’s veterinary file that if whoever has him cannot take care of him, to please contact me and I’d love to care for him.
I brought back just a couple of shirts, 2 worn baseball hats and Greg’s desk to my home. I’m writing this on his desk now. I also brought back his “bankers” light which was on his desk because he always said that he would be a millionaire.
I know unquestionably, that Greg would have been a millionaire, if he’d had more time.
A quick note about social media. There is so much hatred for anyone who is different than us on social media. I hope that somehow this story, about how someone who was a “Facebook friend” that I’d never met, posted a note about being worried for my brother led to my brother knowing that I loved him and would care for him, even as my brother was alone and going through unspeakable suffering in his dying days. Please take a moment to post on social media a note for anyone who is missing from your life even though you think they may never see it. I learned too late that Greg had been watching my Facebook page all those years, and I wish I had posted so much more about missing him and loving him.
He knew that I would be there for him, care for him, and had a place for him in his final days. It was such an unselfish act to not allow me to watch him suffer. I know now that he couldn’t respond to my texts because he was too sick. I believe he also didn’t want me to be exposed to anything which might hurt me. Even in his most solitary, darkest moments of death, he kept himself from me. This is what defines him—his selfless acts in his years of suffering—NOT his sexual orientation.
I selfishly wasn’t there for him in his life, but I unequivocally would have been there for him in his death, even though he unselfishly kept me out of his life and his death.
Jesus, please give Greg a hug for me and tell him that I love him and have always loved him. Please show him a little extra love and kindness because he was a sweet, gentle hearted, kid from a small town who didn’t know that people can be so wrong about what love is supposed to look like.
Greg, I know it’s too late for you to realize that there are people who love everyone—no matter who they love, but maybe in telling your story, someone else might realize that there are people who know that they are not bad people for who they love. I’m so grateful that you found true unconditional love in your life and that you are now in heaven with him. Please give him a hug from me and let him know that I love him because he loved you.
Jesus, please give him a hug from me—every day—until I see him again.
A couple of emails I sent to Greg..with no response:
know your bday isn't until Sunday 28th..but, I wanted to make sure
you get this on Sunday....just wanted to say. Again...I miss you,
wish to God you would talk to me, pray to God that you're ok, and...
I hope your birthday is amazing. I hope you have tons of friends, and
a special person who loves you to share the day with you...I wish I
could be there. To at least give you a hug. Even though my family
will tell you that I'm not a hugger, I'd sure love to just put my
arms around you..skinny..lol..and say..happy birthday!
Our mother, I'm sure would want u to know she thinks of u too...we don't talk...she's mean to me. Anyway..
We didn't have dad, our mother. Less than affectionate and loving, and I'd give everything I have. Which isn't much..lol..but the sentiment is the same. To see you again.
I recently had a major health scare. And have a new hospice patient who became ill overnight and close to my age. Just waiting to die. Makes me cherish every day more and want even more to see you. Or just email..or text..talk on phone..any little thing..just one more time....just a reply of "I'm ok" from you would mean so much to me.
I went to our second cousins graduation party at Aunt Sue’s. It was Tracy's boys...they had hundreds of happy photos of him growing up…..I sobbed like a baby..wishing u and I could have had a decent childhood...yours much worse than mine...
I can be in Indy in two hours.....
If someone else is reading this and my brother Greg needs help, I beg if you to contact me so that I can be there for him..I swear that I won't tell a soul
Love you Greg Your sis, Robin
wanted you to know that I think of you often, pray that you are happy
and well, and hope that someday, you will allow me to at least have
conversations with you via email again.
with most people, I think of those who are not with us, the most at
holidays, and today being Christmas, well, I am sobbing because I do
not know if you are well, or happy. Oh, how I wish I could
from you, Oh how I wish that you would simply write an "OK"
in reply that all is well with you.
talk to Aunt Sue sometimes, she says she talks to our father every
month, she says he asks about us. I choose to believe it's
true. I wonder how different our lives would have been had he
stayed. Knowing he was an alcoholic, would our lives have
better or worse?
guess it is what it is, no changing the past. God, how I wish
I found a man, on a country road, who had shot himself in the
I hope and pray that you never have had these thoughts, I hope and
pray that you are not answering my emails because you just choose not
to, and not that you are ill, or worse.
feel alone. I hope you have someone in your life who loves
deeply. I know you did at one time. I know your
passed away and am so desperately sorry that you felt that I would
not support you. I pray that you have good friends and a new
family who loves and supports you.
hate this town, our family, this society, for hating others who have
a different idea of what their life should be. Who the hell
cares? Especially "Christians".... If I remember our
Baptist upbringing, God loves everyone, and everyone does something
that the Bible, "supposedly" says we shouldn't do...again,
who the hell cares?
someone other than my brother is reading this, because he cannot,
please, I'm begging you, please let me know...please let me know if
he needs help. I will do whatever he needs, will find a way
get him whatever he needs or wants, will be there, if he will allow
it. I have a home with three extra bedrooms, I keep one
for him, if he needs or wants it. I live in Plymouth, only
hours away. I can drive there in 1 1/2 if he needs
you can show up at my doorstep any time, any day, and I will welcome
you with open arms. You are my brother, it seems our family
doesn't take the idea of "family does for family" as part
of our moral code. Hell, I made mistakes, big ones with my
when they were little, and am, will be "til the day I die,
trying to make up for them.
just know, I love you. Truly. Without hesitation, without
condemnation as other family members might have made you
If you would let me back in your life, I promise to not tell ANYONE,
NOT ANYONE, PROMISE.
just write an "OK" like you used to do, in reply, just so
that I know you are well and don't need help.
hope you have a Merry Christmas with those you love. I can't
wait until the day is over. New Year's is my favorite holiday
as I get to start over...kind of a do-over for another year.
few unanswered texts I sent to Greg—not knowing that he was
laying on that couch, slowly dying, alone.
I wish to God that I could know if u are ok, if u r sick and need help, a home, A hug, a friend, a sister, I could, would, love nothing more than to b in your life in anyway
I miss u so much
If u need help, please, please contact me, I can help, whatever u need, a kidney, mascara, money (I do not have a lot but know how to get it, if u need it) please. I just want my brother back, no judgement, who cares...I have stuff people judge, it is just who I am, who gives a crap...u r my brother
I have a bedroom set up for u, if u ever need a place
love u, miss u, need u, and really want u in my life Thinking of you
so much these days. I’ve had my fill of our mother.
Really wish I could know if you're ok...really could use a brother. You...
you like crazy for 25 years.........
let someone know you're ok....
Greg, please just reply. Ok… And I swear I won't bother u..
Please text, email, call, mail note. Anything that you're ok. Or let cliff know you're ok, and he can pm me on Facebook. ..
If I don't hear from you by Monday night. I’m driving there tues to go to hospitals etc...
Please Greg. Just an. Ok...and I swear I'll leave u alone
Misc. Messages regarding Greg
Tammy, my brother Greg hasn't been heard from in over a month. He lives in Indy.
I called all the hospitals, but, I'm not sure they could tell me, because of the law, if he is at their hospital. How can I find out if he's a patient? Would it be worth driving down and going to each hospital? I'm only his sister. Not spouse, would they even let me know if he's there?
I even looked at all the obits from Indy funeral homes. He had pneumonia 4 months ago and was in a hospital...
I don't know how to find him. What about nursing homes. Hospice? How can I even get an answer of where he ok. With the law being the way, it is?
Thanks so much!
Yvette Myers is an author of general non-fiction books and feature stories regarding true stories of her life and self help books such as “Money in Your Pocket” How to have more money in your pocket on payday, and “Life Lessons-- How to create the life you deserve.”