What follows is an open letter to my brother Greg, who passed away July 18, 2018, from an accidental overdose from Heroin and Carfentanyl written by my mother, Lisa Sokoloff.
This letter was the best way I felt that I could get some of my feelings out. The family is gearing up for July 18. Your physical body left this earth one year ago. It is so unbelievable and surreal.
I have struggled this past year. I am sad, in pain, mad, understanding, and so many more emotions. You never had children. The love and bond between a mother and her babies is intense and goes so deep. Let me be the first to tell you that I love you and your sister more than life itself. I couldn’t have helped, guided, advised, or supported you any more than I did.
I have learned a lot about addiction over the last ten years. I was with you in Florida two weeks before you died, and I asked you to be honest with me about whether or not you were still clean. Your answer was, “According to recovery standards, no. I am just smoking pot. I will never go back to the hard stuff that almost ruined my life before.” I flew home that Saturday. You stayed with Liz and James for another couple days to help finish their backyard fence and then you all went out for some gaming fun and riding go-karts. That was the last time any of us saw you.
I am so grateful to have had a beautiful relationship with you in your life. We were very close. I think about you all the time when I am doing something or experiencing something and picturing you teasing me (or Liz). You were so loyal and honest. You were very sensitive and did not judge others. Your circle of friends both near and far miss you terribly. Though you wore a smile, I could tell you were depressed in the last three months of your life.
My last year is tough to describe. I cannot put my grief into words. Your Stepfather demonstrated his love for all of us again when he supported and encouraged my relocation from Pennsylvania to Florida. He wanted to honor my grief journey and help me heal by being closer to Liz and her babies. You and he were finally beginning to develop your relationship. I am in a support group and doing daily devotions and praying a lot. I am trying to take care of myself. I keep praying that I will see you in any way, whether it’s through an animal, or my dreams so you can let me know you are at peace in heaven.
It’s weird, I like alone and quiet time because I don’t have to talk to people, but too much of it makes me sad and miss you. I still cry a lot but try to let that shit out because it is essential to healing. I will never be the same, but I will continue to work hard at getting my life back on track.
I am going to try to pay this nightmare forward by helping anyone struggling with addiction or parent of an addict.
I miss you so much, and I hope that you are at peace. Liz and I have beautiful necklaces that each hold some of your ashes. Ashes to ashes dust to dust. We will all return there one day. You went way too soon. You had such an incredible soul. I will see you again. Trust God. Now you understand how awesome he is…Big Bang or not.