Erik Rhodes died one year ago today, but his twin brother says “it’s as if 6/14/2012 happened yesterday.”
Erik’s twin brother, Jon, writes this morning:
I never believed people when they would say that they have thought about a loved one every day since they lost them. But here I am, 1 year later since you have passed and I can honestly tell you there hasn’t been a day where I have not thought of you. A random memory, a song on my ipod, an article of clothes, a picture. my urges to share music and personal thoughts with someone who is actually interested, just the sense of loneliness and loss and wishing I had you to reach out to, Almost everything and anything sparks a thought of you. Sometimes I can laugh but for the most part I fight back tears. I still cant fully grasp the idea that the world has continued on without you. I swear sometimes I think you are just away on business in another state or country and I’ll be able to catch up with you as soon as you are home. Then reality sets in. Its as if 6/14/2012 happened yesterday. I often relive that day and the events that followed in my head. Each detail from the phone call that woke me up, to the songs I listened to on my ipod, the feeling of your cold lifeless hand, your blank stare looking back at me, the sound of frantic agony in my parents and sisters voices, the trail of emergency medical equipment wrappers that littered the stairs to your apartment, the number of 1.5 liter Poland spring bottle next to your blood-soaked bed, the feeling of an intense struggle that filled your apartment. Just complete grim detail to the worst day of my life. Then the days that followed – Identifying your body, picking out your casket and carrying you to the outside cremation service where I left you for the final time. Just things I couldn’t dream I’d have to do for you and that I cant forget. I wish I could remember the better times as clear. But these memories seem to overshadow them all. And from that day forward I’ve been lost without you, I still feel like I have no direction and even though I have some family and few friends as a support system I feel alone. And as much as it’s a sad place to be, I truly believe I belong there. I don’t deserve to be happy, or smile or enjoy life the same way anymore. I still carry this heaviness in the pit of my stomach, for the lifetime of secrets that only we knew, the constant concerns for you that only I felt, the struggles I knew you were going through. It’s now turned into guilt, regret and anger and I can only blame myself for not getting you…getting us through hard times together.
Although we were twins I looked up to you as a bigger brother. You could do no wrong in my eyes and your words and opinions meant more to me anyone else. I was and still am proud of everything you accomplished in your life. Your blog and words that have reached out to so many and affected so many lives, your massive stature that turned heads when walking down the street that was so fun to be around. I’d secretly say ‘Yea that’s my brother’ in my head just for the attention strangers wanted to give you. I used to get excited to tell people I was a twin – I’d often explain ‘imagine me 10x – wait till you see him’. To this day I want to show people pictures or talk about you. Now All I can think these days is that being a twin was a curse. God’s sick joke and mistake. Granted when you were alive it was one of the most amazing things. From birth you are given a lifetime best friend. Someone that will be forever by your side through thick and thin. Someone to experience all of life’s ups and downs and challenges with. And in our younger days someone to cause a whole lot of trouble with. As much as we grew up to become our own individuals we were always the same personality. No matter what we had each others. But with that came the consistent overwhelming concern for each other. The fear of 1 day losing that childhood partner. An inevitable day when one of us would be alone. And that fear came tearing us apart far sooner than I was ready for. I often asked myself what I would do if I lost you. Could I be strong enough to drop everything and join you? I still fight with the question. I just want to see you again, I wanna laugh with you, that genuine lose control laughing moments that usually only we found funny that would annoy everyone else in the room because they just couldn’t understand what we found so funny.
I wish I could write better to articulate how I really feel about you and about the time we spent together but I’m too overwhelmed, you were the better writer anyways.
As much as I am told that I will always have you watching over me – it’s just not enough. It’s just not fucking enough. I want you back.
James – I love you and I miss you everyday. If there is a heaven or an afterlife and you are waiting for me just know I can’t wait to see you, it cant come soon enough.