August 7, 2002 My mom's phone rings. Everyone in the family is headed to Men's Warehouse to get suits for a big event coming up. Craig isn't with us, and calls my mom to let us know he was stopping home to get life jackets. Okay says our mom. But we weren't there. As my mom talked to Craig, he told her he was going to sell his Mitsubishi Eclipse, probably his most prized possession. Everyone in the car was shocked. What would suddenly make Craig want to sell his Eclipse? Likely, he just couldn't afford it since he was a young college student, planning to go to law school, and was working great hours to try and pay for everything himself. Even when my parents offered help, he only said he wished he could help them more. "I love you, mom." That night I found a shirt. The shirt had me and all my other brothers on it, but not Craig. It was from when we were little so before calling it a night I went upstairs and asked my mom, "How come Craig isn't on this shirt?" My mom's reply, "He couldn't be with us that day." And I headed off to bed. August 8, 2002 I was sleeping. All of a sudden in my dream, Craig came to me. He was laughing and smiling, and about 15 again, and I probably thought it was weird, since my brother is 20. But I remember, trying to talk to him, and I would. But he wouldn't say anything back, and I was getting frustrated. He just stood there in his orange Nike baseball hat smiling. But he couldn't talk to me. My mom opened the door and woke me up. She said there was something very important she had to tell me, but I had to come upstairs to hear it. So, I crabbily got out of bed, blanket wrapped around me and went upstairs. I saw my brother, Travis, hood up, head down on the couch. What could be so important you had to wake everybody out of a good night's sleep? "Craig's dead." My mom just blurted it, and burst out in tears. I remember my brother Todd yelling, “What????” That's right. Craig was gone. The hardest thing our mom ever had to tell us and the hardest thing we ever had to hear. I was a couple months short of turning 11 at the time; I remember it all so well. It was such a shock, but what we found out about his death is an even greater shock.... Craig died of a heroin overdose. Before you stop reading here, listen to what we have to say. Craig was not a drug user. The cops told us they could tell, but we didn't even need that reassurance because we already knew. My 20 year old brother was not using drugs. There was no way, no how. After people die, you always hear about all the good things about them, right? Well, the newspapers trashed my brother's name. He DID NOT deserve that one bit. The real story...? Craig had been getting hounded to try hard drugs, especially heroin, for a long time by a guy that lived in his dorms and his "friends". He wouldn't do it, he simply refused. So one night, they were out and a “friend” decided to trick Craig. He told Craig he was taking a pharmaceutical that was not addictive; he would just have fun for the night. And heroin is normally done through a needle or whatever right? Well, he melted Craig's onto a spoon and fed it to him through the mouth, to disguise it. -This experienced drug dealer gave my inexperienced brother enough to die three times.- Not only that, but he also decided it would be funny to take pictures while Craig was passed out, unconscious, and dying. I saw those pictures. =( Needless to say, the weeks, months, and years following have been very hard. That “friend” got 10 years in prison, when I feel he should have got more. Many people know Craig wasn't using drugs, and I know people always say this about those who died, but he honestly was probably the best kid you would ever meet. I don't even remember him and my mom fighting. He was always doing his chores without a problem, watching us kids, and working or hanging out with friends. He was too good for Earth. May Angels Lead Him In.
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