Eric“Eric.” It sounds like the title of some claymation film. But more Mary and Max than A Close Shave. But I thought it might be a compelling title to this article. I had been thinking of trying to make these 8:05 posts more often little personal essays where I talk about the things that are on my mind or conscience or whatever. I was really thinking about that.

Then last night, as it must to all men, death came to my brother Eric. It was not a shock, because he had been ill. But it was surprising, because he had been on the mend. In fact, he died in a physical therapy facility. But maybe the doctors were lying to us. Doctors are actually more scummy than lawyers. But I spoke to him within 12 hours of his death, and he sounded great — better than he had sounded in a very long time — eager to get back home.

And then I got the call. That’s when all hell broke lose with calls to and from everyone involved. And then there is the practical side of things: getting him to a mortuary, making “plans,” and so on. These are the only things I can even vaguely manage with the slightest amount of composure.

People who have been reading this blog for a long time know Eric. He’s my older brother who I used to take to the movies to watch films that almost always offended me. That’s because he liked action films. He was also a hardcore Christian and politically conservative. It’s amazing to think, because my brother was fragile, and part of my liberalism is about taking care of people like him. He was no more in control of his life than any of us are — that is: not at all.

It was nice over these years to get to know him. But now it seems downright creepy, because I reacquainted myself with him to a large extent because I knew that he wouldn’t live long. And it was great to see him open up to me over time. Eric was not one to let people into his world because he had be so badly scarred from the past. I could explain that more, but it seems wrong. Let it rest at this: some people are born to be abused and other are born to abuse. And they always find each other.

The last time I was actually with Eric was at his apartment. We watched the new Star Wars film together. I had been planning to bring over the 3-hour cut of King Kong (2005) for us to watch. I know he would have loved it.

He was some kind of a man… What does it matter what you say about people?
–Tanya in Touch of Evil.
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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

10 thoughts on “Eric

  1. That’s a wonderful drawing. Don’t be too angry with the doctors. Many are jerks. Not all. Often people with physical fragility are more vulnerable to a lot of surprise problems. You can’t catch everything.

    Sounds like you were a kind friend.

    • I’m not really mad at those doctors. There were many things wrong with Eric, physically. But I do have a low opinion of doctors.

      I like to think that I was a decent brother. I certainly could have done more. But I’m glad that over time our relationship changed and he did open up to me more. That made me very happy.

  2. Sorry for your loss, Frank. It sounds like you were doing a good job at making Eric happy, and that’s a great thing. I hope you and your relatives can pull through what must be a hard time.

    • Oh yeah, we’re managing. I am realizing only now that I have all kinds of great Eric stories — some heartbreaking but others wonderfully funny. He’ll be well remembered by those in his life.

    • Thanks you, Jurgan. Death comes to us all. The day after Christmas I’ll be doing my second to last act for him: moving him out of his apartment. It all helps.

  3. My condolences.

    I’ve typed this note many times and it always comes out too personal.
    Knew Eric only as the guy who parked his motorcycle on the walkway in front of your parents place on Anson, a couple times a year.
    Think it was there I last saw him.
    I know you went out of your way, much, in the past few years to care for his needs and entertain him. Your level of effort along those lines was very touching.
    We must soon toast to him.
    If i can be of help, please let me know.

    • Thank you, Will. You are correct, although the street name was Adele. I remember that he had gotten a new motorcycle (new to him). That was when he came back into my life after a couple year absence. I actually thought he was pretty cool. That was before his life fell completely apart. It’s good that you remember him from that time.

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