In 2002, my sister and her husband David moved to Ann Arbor Michigan. My brother-in-law suddenly moved back to Phoenix a year later in 2003 with his two daughters without my sister. My sister was having an affair with another man. My sister and David went back and forth between Michigan and Phoenix. Some weeks they were together, and then he or she was back in Phoenix, then back in Detroit. It was crazy to say the least. The family kept out of their personal issues. My brother-in-law ended up living in Phoenix with his little girls. I stopped by one morning at 7:30 a.m. To have some coffee with him before I went to work. I wanted to catch up on the latest with my sister and him. When he answered the door, he was hammered. He had a glass of booze in his hand. When he saw me, he almost closed the door in my face. After that, the girls went back to live in Detroit with my sister.
Christmas was just three days away. When I called my sister in Detroit to ask about the girls, and I asked if she had spoken to Dave. And she said no, which didn't surprise me. When I spoke to Dave in Phoenix, he would always say my sister wouldn't talk to him. He said she always handed the phone over to one of the kids.
The day after Christmas, my phone woke me up around 5:00am. I've always hated phone calls in the middle of the night. Nine times out of ten, you know it is someone in trouble or someone died. It was the police.
"Mr. Bruise, this is Officer James (?) with The City of Phoenix Police Department. I'm sorry to tell you, but we have a situation here that we hope you can help us resolve."
I thought to myself... My God! David did something to my sister and kids! Then I realized David was here in Phoenix.
"Do you know a person named David (?) "
"Yes I do. Is there something wrong?"
"Yes there is Mr. Bruise, can you come down to Good Samaritan Hospital Emergency room."
"You there Mr. Bruise?
"Yes. I am"
"Mister (David's last name) has listed you as a contact. The first contact name is (my sister's name) and the other contact is you." "They could not make contact with your sister, so we called you."
"Mister David committed suicide."
"We need you to come down to the hospital emergency room Mr.Bruise."
Once I got there, the emergency room was completely empty except for a nurse behind the reception desk. She talked into the intercom, and a police officer came out. The Police officer explained that there were three nurses that experienced my Brother-in-law's suicide.
On Christmas Eve my brother-in-law walked into the emergency room and asked if this was the emergency room. And they said yes. They asked him what his emergency was, and he said "Someone's going to die." They made him fill out some insurance forms and called the Police Department. Etc. He said: "This is the emergency room. Am I correct?"
The nurse said "Yes." He took a gun out of his jacket and put it to the side of his head and said: "Well, you have an emergency." Then he blew his brains out.
My sister never answered her phone until two days after Christmas. I was so angry with my sister that she never picked up the phone or ever spoke to David when he called and she knew it was him, nor did she let him talk to his girls. After hours of calling, she finally picked up the phone and I said: "Have you spoken to David lately?"
She said: "No. But I just saw him. He came by Christmas Eve and ran up the stairs to give the girls their Christmas presents and to say goodnight and wish them a Merry Christmas. He told me he flew in from Phoenix special for the girls. I waved at him from the kitchen and smiled and saw him run up the stairs with presents under his arms, I saw him run down the stairs with his glass of vodka in his hand and wave at me again as he walked out the front door and left." Then she said: "The funny thing was, on Christmas day when my girls opened their presents, there were no presents from David." I said: "Sister, that's impossible. You could not have seen him on Christmas Eve. David's dead. He committed suicide on Christmas Eve here in Phoenix. There's no way he could've been in Detroit on Christmas Eve." She started crying.
After I went to the hospital and identified David's body, we went to his house with the Police to get his personal belongings. David was an only child, and both parents died in a house fire when he was only twelve years old. His parents were alcoholics and all of his relatives were born again Christians. David hated his relatives because they berated his mother and father for living the evil life. When the Police and I went into his house it was a shock. When the Police opened the door to his house, there were bottles of Vodka all over the place. We could hardly walk without pushing Vodka bottles aside. There were Vodka bottles in his kitchen sink, in his closet, in his bathroom sink, in his garage, and even in his bedroom dresser. Some bottles still had Vodka in them. The most heartbreaking thing of all was his bedroom. Next to his bed where he spent most of his time watching television were more bottles of Vodka, many still full, and a big pile of Christmas presents all wrapped up with beautiful ribbons and "From Santa" cards addressed to his little girls. That was a little too much for me.
History repeats itself:
When I talked to my sister, I said: Don't tell them their dad is dead. I'll send the presents to them from Phoenix, and you can tell them that their dad was too busy, and forgot to send the presents before Christmas. You can tell them later about their dad's death.
Don't ruin their Christmas for them. I'm curious. What would you have done? She was pregnant from her lover, and bore a son after David died. She died at 57.