Honest but not brutal
The conversation grew awkward. We had caught up on old times, and run out of things to say. Out of the blue, Teller asked, “Do you think my brother’s overdose was accidental?”
I wanted to give Teller some comfort, maybe tell him his brother wasn’t aware he couldn’t mix those drugs. I couldn’t - Teller’s brother was very street and would have known.
I could have sugar coated my answer, telling him we’d never know for sure. That was sort of true. We couldn’t be 100% certain, maybe only 95%.
People I knew would have enjoyed being brutally honest. ‘I’d bet the damn mortgage your brother couldn’t stand the life of a crack addict one more day. You better watch yourself with the painkillers or you’ll end up the same way,’ they’d say, happy to have a good reason to confront someone. I could find no joy in answering his question. I just wanted to tell Teller the truth, without adding to his pain.
“I don’t think it was an accident, but that’s just my opinion. Please be careful. Clearly addiction runs in your family. Your brother didn’t start out smoking crack, he worked his way down to it. You know how that road ended. I don’t think taking painkillers for legitimate pain will set you on that road, but you need to be cautious.”
Today I’ll try to be honest without being brutal.
Life on Life’s Terms II © 2015 by Ken Montrose