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If it weren't for the new rules, I wouldn't write a diary on this.  The thing is, I just really need somewhere anonymous to vent, because this goes into some family history that probably isn't really appropriate to share with personal acquaintances.

Today, at 2:39 PM PDT (5:39 AST), I received a call from my parents informing me that my older brother passed away last night from a heart attack, supposedly from a cocaine overdose.  I wish I could say I feel really sad and empty that he died, but I'm finding that my feelings for him are not that straightforward.  The truth is that I didn't really see him as the greatest person.  I feel very ambivalent, and that might be the saddest thing of all.  In my mind, I have not been able to consider him fully alive in years.  I regret that I wasn't there for him when he was alive.  Maybe if I had done things differently he still would be alive.  Probably not.

My brother and I used to be close.  Really close.  He used to always be there for me, even going so far as to protect me from threats of physical harm, which wasn't uncommon in the neighborhood I grew up in.  We shared a lot of the same friends, and I introduced him to a friend who became his serious long term girlfriend, which I now regret.  Things started to slip right around the time I ended high school.  First his arrest for drug possession.  Then when I found out he beat his girlfriend, one of my best friends, I was so angry I stopped speaking with him.  I can't help but wonder now if that just made things worse.  Soon after, I transferred out of UPR to go to college in the states, and haven't really had much contact with him since.

I don't post this to speak ill of him after his death.  He made a whole lot of mistakes and did some really horrible things that hurt the people around him.  But, still, I think he was a good person at heart.  I still remember how good-hearted and generous and friendly he was when I was younger.  I feel as if that person, my good-hearted and generous brother, died a slow death years ago, and that's the man I choose to mourn.

I will be flying out to Puerto Rico on Monday so I can make peace with his death.  I know dailykos is primarily a political site, and I know I don't spend a huge amount of time here anymore, but I appreciate the sense of community that has emboldened me to share this as a sort of self-therapy.  So, thanks everyone for your support.

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