Name: Andrew Braden
Location: Norwalk, Ohio
DOD: August 17, 2017
I’m thankful for the 30 years I did get to have him as my little brother. I’m so beyond thankful that even with his struggles, he had gotten to experience his once in a lifetime love. His wife loved him through all of his troubles and slip ups, and he loved her like he could have never loved another woman again. I’m happy she never gave up on him, even when she had reason to doubt. He had been doing well and working hard to show his love that he wanted to live clean and sober, with her and their 2 little boys. He hadn’t used in several months, but apparently, he made a choice to do it once more. He chose it not knowing it was going to be his last time, and we would never see him again. Not knowing that his wife would come after work to wake him only to be the one to find he was gone. That through the tears she couldn’t give up CPR attempts. His wife was the first to administer CPR and the last, she climbed on the table in the emergency room, after the doctors had given up and tried again, willing him to wake up. He would have never knowingly put her through something so painful, or be willing to leave his sons behind, to go on without him. He was such an incredible dad, even as an addict. He loved his boys with a fierceness. You just don’t fully know loss, until you lose a sibling, especially at such a young age and in such a tragic way. At this point, I can’t ever imagine healing from this, not hurting as badly, or missing him any less. There are 5 of us left. We are all broken and lost. So broken we haven’t even been able to band together and give eachother strength or lean on eachother enough to begin to cope with the fact that this awful drug, that was so powerful our best friend couldn’t get out of the grips of it. He couldn’t win his fight, no matter how badly he wanted it. We had to bury our sibling, our parents their child and it’s the hardest thing I’ve dealt with in my entire 33 years. I have an empty feeling now that I can’t fill, at least I have finally been able to let go of the anger. I was so beyond angry with him after the initial shock wore off, and so was one of my other sisters. We were angry that he’d be so selfish as to go back to his drugs and furious that his choice left the rest of us shattered. It did no good to be angry, it was draining and exhausted me. I had to let my selfish feelings go and realize that he wasn’t ready to give up his battle. He would have continued in his fight had he made it through that last relapse. He wasn’t a sad and depressed person who was trying to use to mask his pain. He was happy for the first time in a long time. Really truly happy. Everything was going well for him, all of his hard work was paying off and he was slowly starting to regain all of the things he lost with his addiction. My brother had the twinkle back in his eyes, the joy back in his heart and he was ready to work hard and support his family the way he had up until this drug got it’s tight grips on his life. He had gone from a supervisor at 23 years old making $25 an hour to living back at home, separate from his wife and kids, needing rides everywhere he went, bumming cigarettes and money to get something to eat. But he was coming back up, he secured a good job, gained the trust back with his wife and our family, he was looking for a new family home and couldn’t wait to be able to have his family back together under the same roof. He was going back uphill full force, but the addict in him took over and his trigger, having money, was much more powerful than he was and that last dose took him away. I’ll never get to see my little brother again.
We have now become proactive in this fight to help other addicts from meeting the same fate. We are all slowly finding a voice in this fight and I feel if I help even one person from leaving their family in the state mine is, and from losing their battle, I will be victorious
Goodbye Message from Terra Hinckley:
Andrew, I love you so much little brother. I am missing you beyond words. It’s hard to accept you’re gone. You will forever be our angel. And though I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy, I can’t help but wish it hadn’t been you. We are lost, please look over us and if at all possible, let us know you are with us somehow.