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It’s a rather strange feeling to bury a sibling. You see your own mortality. You wonder for a moment if the stars have aligned themselves in some weird way. You spend your time before and during the final preparations trying to wrap your mind around the fact that your sibling is gone. You want everyone to know that this is your brother/sister lying here. This isn’t just any other person. That feeling never goes away either.

I recall like yesterday, the last time I saw my brother. He was sober as a judge. We talked about shopping and of all things, my love for Michael Jackson growing up. Before I left him that evening, He said very honestly, “You know I love you and I am proud of the young woman you have become.” I kissed him on his cheek and told I loved him too and left him. I didn’t look back. I never saw him alive again. That was the last time I saw him. My brother died three months later. Funny thing, I was watching interview with Tito Jackson and he said nearly the same exchange happened between him and Michael three weeks before he died.

It’s been six years for me. There is never really any closure. It just lingers. You try to use it as a teaching moment to those you care deeply about. That’s why his siblings are speaking now. They need the world to hear them and understand Michael was their brother. They need to explain that they tried. That’s why we are hearing from them. His brothers and sisters want you to know he was human and flawed but definitely should not to be treated the way he was treated in life or now in death. They want everyone to know that all the gossip and malicious stories have no truth to them. In other words they are cleaning the slate.

I think we should show the respect and deference needed and listen to  their story.

Here are a few tips that were helpful for me. I call them them my ” Get List”:

“7 Get” Commandments of “Getting Real” with Family Addict

1. Get to a realization someone addicted to drugs is not always a low life, criminal, or bad person

2. Get strong find friends, get over the shame, and know there are many resources to help you.

3. Get educated. Look up every symptom and learn as much as you can

4. Get your plans for your intervention together with concrete options for the right now

5. Get Honest. Don’t cover for them. Don’t make life easy for them by enabling them.

6. Get counseling for yourself. Reach out to Alcoholic Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous

7. Get Proactive and Organize and protect yourself and things.

Reach out to the support groups below.

Alcoholics Anonymous:

Narcotics Anonymous:

Christian Rehab Centers:

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