Flashback: RIP Jeff and Wakana

A flashback from five years ago. RIP Jeff and RIP Waka… Love you always..

Thirty (More) Days of Dougie – Part 26: RIP Jeff and Waka

Thirty (More) Days of Dougie – Part 26:  RIP Jeff and Waka

Sometimes, old memories are stirred up and hard to deal with. Someone might make a joke or think they’re being funny… or maybe they’re trying to make a point.  Who the hell knows?  But there are some things that just aren’t worth joking about and even I draw the line at.  Maybe it’s because they’re just too real and personal for me.  And one of those things is suicide.

I’ll joke about it to a point because I love dark humor and sometimes, it takes a topic that’s just that serious to really point out the insanity of a situation or set of circumstances.  But someone dear to me brought it up, in a manner of speaking, earlier tonight and my humor not-so-strangely vanished very quickly. I didn’t then and don’t now see any humor in the situation.  And maybe there wasn’t supposed to be humor?  There are other factors involved and I suppose my friend was just thinking out loud.  I do that sometimes too, as we all know from these pieces, and when it happens, it’s rarely fun or pretty.  It’s just real.  At least to me.

And if you wonder why I get upset or this bugs me so much, I’ll tell you why with two names:  Jeffrey Darryl Maynard and Wakana Fukayama.

Jeffrey Darryl Maynard is my older brother. He died on “Good Friday” in 1988 after taking a sawed off shotgun and blowing away his own chest.  And yeah, there were reasons that I’m not going to go into here.  But he died, not instantly, but slowly, bleeding, alone in his small trailer.  He was discovered the next day by his landlord / employer.  And when he died, part of me died as well.  My family fractured and everyone was injured and hurt. And let me tell you something – some wounds never heal.

You always wonder “what if…?”.  You always see things that bring back memories and make you wonder if you could have done anything differently.  You wonder what he would be like today and how things would be if that person was still here and alive.  How would the family be different. How would I be different.  I miss my brother immensely, and I wish he was still alive.  I wish he was here, sharing a beer with me and pulling pranks and cutting the fool.

But I do realize that “what if’s” are a fools dream. I can’t change what happened and I look back and don’t really see anything that I personally could have done at the time to make things better for him or make him reconsider his decision.  He made the call and we all have payed the price. And I was bitter and angry for a while.  Who wouldn’t be?  And I got over that and mourned the loss.  And now, I just feel sad.  At what could have been and never will be.

As for Wakana, she was an amazing young lady from Japan that attended St. Andrews College and was part of my social / partying group in the late 80’s.  She was so smart and so funny and just a great person to be around.  A loyal and true friend that would do anything for anyone.  That was also her downfall.

She tried so hard to fit in and be part of the crowd that she spent all of her time and energy to be one of the group and not focusing at all on her studies and grades at school.  And the inevitable happened and she flunked out.  She had the brains, but was more inclined to party and raise hell than study and pass her classes. Her parents, in Japan, got pissed and told her that she was going to have to come home.  She didn’t want to and from the conversations that I had with her before she left Laurinburg, it was an honor thing and she felt that she had disgraced the family and was ashamed.

So she took off from Laurinburg to drive across the country in her small car, with the plans being that she would drive to California and then fly home to Japan from there.  She did drive across the country and went to the Grand Canyon.  She sent me a post card from there.  And somewhere out there, in the midwest, she finally pulled her car over, hooked a vacuum cleaner hose from the exhaust to the interior of the car, rolled the windows up and went to sleep, suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning.

She was only twenty two years old.  My brother was twenty-four when he died.  So young – both of them.  And such a fuckin’ waste!

And there are a few others.  My Uncle Buck.  My ex-sister in laws mother and brother.  A few other acquaintances through the years.  And yes, I’ll be absolutely honest here.  I’ve given it thought myself… many times.  But I’ve lived through it and I managed to survive.  My problems might suck but as bad as they may be, the permanent solution is NEVER the answer.  I’ve seen what happens to the family, the friends, the “survivors” and while the problems are over for the person who decides to kill themselves, they’re just beginning and never truly end for the rest of us.  Never!

I’m crying right now as I think about and remember my brother and Waka and so many others who have passed on far too soon.  Anytime someone dies, especially a friend or loved one, it hurts… badly. And when it’s so damn stupid because they took their own life, it’s even freakin’ worse.

And I’m not even sure where I’m going with this anymore. My eyes are so blurry, I can barely type any more.  I don’t want to hear anything else about “ending it”.  I don’t think I could handle it anymore.  Not again.

I’ll see you tomorrow.



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