Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Yesterday, the 10th, was the 18th anniversary of my brother Brian's death.  I counted the years out in my head, then did the math on paper, then subtracted my current age from the age I was when Brian died (12), then pulled out my calculator.  I just couldn't believe it's been 18 years.  Not many memories remain of my big brother, but I pray he's at peace.  Do you know the story?
Brian joined the ski team in his freshman year of high school (same year he died).  They had a vigorous training, I remember he did a lot of running.  The ski team was at Caberfae ski slopes and he went down South Peak.  He collapsed on the way down the slope and his teammates thought he wiped out.  Instead, his heart had stopped beating.  The ski rescue people got to him, then they brought him to Mercy (where my mom worked).  Caberfae is about 30 minutes by car outside of Cadillac.  They were doing CPR the whole way.  I do remember the phone call, my mom answered and I remember her asking if he was conscious.  When my mom and dad came home from the ER, they told us Brian was dead.  An autopsy showed cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart).  He probably went into a lethal arrhythmia (a heart beat that doesn't pump blood to the body, therefore causing death of tissues, guessing Vfib for my medical friends).  It's the same sort of thing the young athletes make national news about now...happens often, it's not a new phenomenon.  He had had a physical before joining the ski team.  The medical people weren't sure what caused it, probably a virus.  It happened so quickly and randomly and unfairly.  I thought today a little about what he would be doing, if he were alive today.  I imagined he'd be doing something great.

I have a different perspective on his death, I feel, with Patrick.  Say a prayer or think of my mom, will you?  To lose a child... your first born and only son.  I always knew it was hard, now it's hard to imagine.
I wonder if any of his old friends remember him or that he died on the 10th of january, 1994?  There was no facebook back then, no opportunity to unite in the loss.
Rest in peace Brian.  You are missed, loved and never forgotten by your family.


Amy Starkey said...

Praying for you and your entire family!

TB said...

he has NEVER ever been forgotten by my family either Jenny! That I promise. We talked about him a lot with Tom and still talk about him in our family. Brian was a wonderful guy and I was so lucky to have known him. I will also never forget his funeral--watching my brother carry Brian's casket. Amazed that fast forward from your brother's funeral, mine had his own.

my heart is always with you. <3 TjB

Oli and Kelly said...

Thanks for sharing Jenn, what a hard time. You Gable women are stars, xoxoxo