I Hope You Find Peace In Your Greif.
Updated: May 2, 2022
After I lost my father and Brother, I remember an old Patron at the Bahia Cabana telling me “I hope you make peace with your grief.” Of course, at the time I took that with a grain of salt, but I did write it down. Its funny knowing I’m an Alcoholic now, but some things old people say at bars will always stick with me. Who knew eight years later that would mean more to me now than ever? Greif has been my number one accuser of many of my relapses, yet it will always be there like your own shadow.
This is a photo of me the last night working at Bahia.
I remember like it was yesterday, my father wanted to go to lunch with two of his buddies from Kentucky. Dave and Walker. My old man was pretty much on his death bed, but we agreed to let it happen. My two sisters and I drove him to the Rainbow Palace. It took us around twenty minutes to get him in the door since he refused to bring his walker. I have learned a lot of lessons from my father and being stubborn is all of it. The owner finally brought out a chair and we dragged his ass to the seat. Unfortunately, I knew this would be the last time he would eat at a restaurant. All he got was the soup, then his mouth started bleeding, I got one of his napkins out of his pocket tee and whipped the blood off his face. I knew at that moment I would never forget that feeling and still don’t till this day. It mindfucked me and made me a bigger man because of it. I thought I mentally prepared myself for my father’s demise, but it just gave me an excuse to drink more.
JJ & myself at Bahia Cabana
I also remember that feeling of loneliness, I was drinking out of a bottle in my father’s office. Seven months prior my brother, Dad and myself were having a weekly meeting about the hotel/restaurant and here I am just getting the news my brother took his own life. Anger and rage ran through my veins when my mom told me. I felt a pit in my stomach when I was getting ready for a Superbowl party earlier that day, yet I had no clue what he did till six hours later. A huge piece of me died that night, a piece of me that has never been seen. I tried to show my true colors when I was drinking heavy yet all I showed was grey and black. If you don’t understand what that means, it means I was a depressing fuck. I’m barely three months sober and I feel more alive than I did those eight years drinking. With that aside, I may of lost my dad and brother in a six month span but I have gained many father figures in my years and many more brothers and sisters to come with that.
A memory that pops up regularly for me is when I went to see my brother in treatment. I thought it was going to be a one-on-one type of session, but I got brought into a room filled with eight or nine Alcoholic/Addicts. I sat there feeling very uncomfortable because I had to share how my brother’s disease has affected me. I don’t remember what I said but I was told the hard truth. I will likely become an Alcoholic as well. That was the first time I got vulnerable. I find Vulnerability to be a beautiful monster. It has taking me a few years to get comfortable with it. I mean the worse part about Rehab is when you have that hour and a half process group everday with a bunch of strangers. A bunch of strangers that turn into friends and family. Greif is an extension to vulnerability. Here’s my two cents on becoming vulnerable, you could know a guy for two months in a treatment center and if you get vulnerable with them every day for sixty days, you both could leave that place feeling like you have known each other for a lifetime….
My Father, my brother and myself.
Anniversary's do suck though; every anniversary of my brother’s death is not enough. You also got his birthday, holidays, every time I see anything about Anthony Bourdain, I think about him. I can’t even watch football, thank God the Dolphins suck this year. The same thing with my dad, he had Adele’s CD 21 in his Cadillac. Every time I drove him to his doctor appointments, he always had it playing. She now has the number song in the nation. To anyone out there grieving the loss of someone, I just want you to know that your not alone and I hope you make peace with it.