Rest in Peace. You are missed.
On Monday July 17, I saw a link on FB from our local newspaper back home that a pedestrian had been struck by a train. Subsonciously, as I would have never said it out loud, and there was no one near me at the time to say it too, I said, it was Tyler. This was near the location of an earlier incident with Tyler before we left PA and I just knew. I stuffed that thought back down in my subconcious and went about my day. I mentioned to Tara that I really didn’t want to go to work, I had a bit of a naggy headache. As I was getting myself ready to go my phone rang, and it was my sister Linda. Odd, but not totally out of the ordinary. We usually text, but phone calls aren’t unheard of.
Linda asked if I was on my way to work, and I said I was getting ready. She then said “Tyler isn’t with us anymore, Hatfield Twp PD just left.” I really don’t remember the rest of the conversation, but she said she had to go, as Jodie, Tyler’s mom (Linda’s daughter), didn’t know yet.
I immediately called work, I was pretty certain that I would not be able to call out, but I was hoping for a couple of hours to process the news. I was able to have a couple hours at home. It was weird going to work after something so tragic, but as I am stiill relatively new to this team, most folks don’t know any of my family history.
Tyler lived with my mother. Tara and myself for close to 4 years. His relationships with family were strained as a result of some of his actions. My mother, no matter what he did, could not turn her back on him. Once she passed, he knew from early on that he would need to find other living arrangements as Tara and I wuold not be able to afford to stay in our apartment without Mom, and had decided quickly we would be relocating to FL.
Mom’s passing impacted Tyler in a big way. She was his person, he was hers. The bond was formed when Mom was in the labor room when he was born. Their connection was frustrating for the rest of the family, as his actions towards her were not always the most kind or loving. She loved him unconditionally and would forgive him. She was not without worry about him, and I know near the end she was worn out from it all.
During the last weeks we were in PA, there were some things going on with Tyler causing stress and anxiety. This lead to an attempted suicide about three weeks prior to our moving and so very much drama, trauma and just plain awfulness.
I have to admit that apart of me was frightened to have him under our roof again, and Tara was terrified. He had been downright awful to her on the last day we saw Tyler. He said things and acted out, I think now more out of fear than anger, but it was concerning none the less. Our last interactions were ugly and for that i will always hold some regret.
By the time we moved, Tyler was in jail. At that point all Tara and I wanted was to have distance from the situation and live in a home with just us. Life was not easy living with an extra person in our apartment. It had stopped really feeling like home to either of us many many months ago.
We have been given a little details of the days leading up to Tyler’s death. He was released from jail, and attended my mother’s interment on July 8th. Apparently after that he entered a clinic for treatment for what I guess was depression. What transpired in the days between July 8th and July 17th, I don’t know.
Why Tyler chose the morning of July 17th to end his life, I do not know, I don’t know if anyone really knows. Choosing to end your life by walking in front of a train to me shows an absolute feeling of hopelessness. The fact that he had lost all hope and was able to overcome instinct to run the other way makes me very very sad. I see my version of the scene in my head almost every night.
There are always the what ifs when a tragedy such as this occurs. I could say what if Tara and I had not moved, what if we had not fought the last time we saw him. But in the end, I think of all the things I did do to help Tyler, even though our livng situation was not ideal.
We talked a lot when we were alone. I helped him with rides to jobs, and appointments. I encouraged him when he was working. I did the things that I could do to support him in making his employment work. I listened when he was excited about a new movie he had seen, or something fun he had done with friends.
Tyler never really found his place on Earth. He struggled with anger, he struggled with being impulsive. When he had your back, he had your back and would do whatever it took to keep you safe, but he could just as quickly turn against you.
There were many things going on with Tyler during our last months in PA, that I am sure this has some bearing on his frame of mind. I didn’t know all the details, he always said he didn’t want me to know so if I was asked if I knew anything, I would not be lying if I said no.
We are in Florida, isoloated from family and I grieve quietly. I know that Tyler’s mother, my niece, is grieving deeply and is heartbroken. Dealing with the death of two family members in seven months is too much for anyone, but when the circumstances of one of those deaths is so tragic it is even more difficult. No parent should bury a child.
Tyler is now at rest in Valley Forge Memorial Gardens, in King of Prussia, in the family plot. My maternal grandparents, my brother, father, mother and now Tyler.