Jodi's Story


At around 7:00, I began watching my t.v. show, the OC. Devon and his friend Shawn Gordon came into the living room. I didn’t have a problem with them being in there but Devon just looked totally messed up, really tired and drained looking. As much as we fought as siblings, I care about him and worry just as any family member would. He was just relaxing having a smoke and talking with Shaun about drinking that night. I told him not to go do drugs as he was doing so well being off the drugs, five days now. He told me to mind my own business, as it usually came out to be. We got into a bit of an argument and I told him that he was better off being at Jamie’s during this withdrawal and that he should go back there. If I would have known what was going to happen an HOUR later, I might have chosen my words differently.

Shawn went home to have a shower and he said he would be back in a while. My show was almost over and all of a sudden I heard this loud bang through the floor. It seemed weird but I just thought Devon had dropped his weights or something. I shrugged it off and kept watching my show.

When my show was over at 8:00 pm, I decided I was going to have a bath and then go hang out with my boyfriend Garrett. Devon came up the stairs and I handed him the phone. “The phone is always for you anyways so take it. I’m going to run a bath and then do some laundry. If Garrett calls, tell him I’ll call him back”. I was expecting Garrett to phone at around 8:30 or so.

I began to run my bath and did my usual routine before I have a bath. I was getting everything ready when I decided I wanted my house coat from the laundry room. I have no idea to this day why I turned off the bath instead of just letting it run… I was only going to be a minute. But I turned off the bath and headed for the basement.

Devon usually had music on downstairs as he was usually working out. As I started to walk down the stairs, there was no music… just silence. A little weird but I shrugged it off. When I got to the bottom of the stairs, I looked in the rumpus room because the lights were on. I was curious as to see what he was doing. Drugs I thought. He wasn’t in there. I walked towards the laundry room and the door was half closed. I thought it was odd that it was half closed. It’s kind of a blur, but the best way to describe it is well, you know when your watching a scary movie, and the person is going to look in a room and opens the door really slow? Well that’s basically what I did. I’m normally a freak in the basement anyways, since childhood. Nothing was going to prepare me for what I was about to see.

I opened the door and there he was. He was hanging there from a wooden beam on the ceiling. So lifeless, so distraught, so gone. I froze. What seemed to be minutes was probably seconds I just stood there. I finally ran upstairs, grabbed the cordless phone and for some reason, I phoned my parents at my sisters instead of 911. How STUPID could a person be. Your brother is dieing or already dead and you call your parents first. Instinct I guess. I was screaming and screaming, not even crying at that moment. I tried to tell them but how the hell do you explain that your brother hung himself to your family over the phone. I was all alone and had no idea what to do. My dad finally got on the phone and told me to call 911. I called and the lady kept telling me to calm down. Screw you. You see what I just saw and then calm down. She said if I can get him down, they may be able to save him. I grabbed a pair of scissors and still on the phone with 911, I ran downstairs. I grabbed his legs and tried to pull him up but I couldn’t bring myself to do anything. I threw up everywhere. The sight was too much. He was gone or to me that’s what I thought. The way he looked, how could he be alive?!?! I ran upstairs and the paramedics ran in. They ran downstairs and the police officer grabbed me and took me into the computer room. She began asking me questions. It was all too hard because I didn’t know what she was getting at. It seemed like this was a murder or something. I tried to answer the best I could. All of a sudden I heard my mom. I ran into the kitchen and my sister Jamie grabbed me and that’s when I started to cry. It was becoming real. My mom tried to run downstairs but was forced upstairs by the police. I grabbed her and we fell down crying. The police took us in the living room as they were bringing Devon upstairs. Garrett finally came through the door and just fell on me. He was my greatest support. The poor guy was distraught and didn’t even know what to say or do. We finally got up and decided to go to the hospital. That’s when all the waiting started. Waiting and waiting and more waiting.

That night was the worst night of my entire life. Nothing prepares you for that. There is so much guilt and pain for the fact that I couldn’t take him down. WHY?! Why couldn’t God give me the strength to save my brother? I still am glad that it was me and not my parents. They would have died right then and there. It’s a sight no one should ever see. I have to deal with this every day and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about it or see those horrible images in my head. But seeing Devon now and when he smiles and makes an effort to do things makes my days so much better and I know that angels are watching over my brother and my family.

This is what drugs lead to. Heartache, suicide, pain, suffering and loss. Families get torn apart. My family will never be the same because my brother needs constant care as he is now handicapped. The images will never go away, the guilt will subside but will always carry with me. I was so angry with Devon at first. He knew I was home, he knew I would find him. Was this his revenge towards me? I then realized, months later, that it was beyond his control. The damn drugs. People should be put away for murder for selling these drugs. I love my brother and I’m glad I have a second chance with him, but this is not the way he wanted to go. If he had control, he wouldn’t have done this. I know Devon and he would never have wanted to kill himself. It was a cry for help, a very silent cry. A cry that was heard too late.

As I finish my story, I want you to all know that I love my brother very much and I wish I could have been stronger. I can never go a day and say “I did all I could do”. I could have done more. As much as people tell me I did, I know I could have done so much more. It’s a guilt that will forever be embedded in my mind. You never know until it happens to you. I really hope this is a lesson learned and no one else will ever have to go through what I went through that night. It’s something that will stay with me for the rest of my life.