FACT: You can’t fucking die twice.
what hurt them more than the death was the blatant lie. perhaps it is politically incorrect, even shameful if you see it in that light, to list suicide as cause of death in the paper. but how correct is it lie to hundreds of teens who know the truth? did it help them cope any easier? fuck no. did it probably hurt the process? hell yeah.
whether intended or accidental, it didn’t happen at the hospital. it happened in the rec room, downstairs. it didn’t happen when the dr tiredly looked at his watch and ‘called it.’ it happened when the boxes and the cooler fell and the rope tightened. it happened before the hospital, way before. before the rope was cut, the shit cleaned up, the pissed-in boxers exchanged for something a little more fresh.
but it happened after the birthday. after the crash. those happened at the same time. but this, this happened after.
16 years after the start of one came the end of another. to the day. and 4 days later, the end of the first.
none of this erases the fact that he was dead before he got to the hospital. there’s no way to die after you’re dead. they didn’t have to write about the rope burns on his neck, or the shit on the floor, or any of it. they could have just said ‘accidental causes’ because that is closer to the truth.
none of them knew if it was intended or accidental. but it’s sometimes difficult to believe that someone can accidentally call his best friend, (4 days after the death of a friend and his own 17th birthday, shortly after breaking up a pretty serious relationship, hours after having a screaming fight with his parents…) tell him to come over in an hour but NOT before, then accidentally tie a rope to the ceiling, a rope that happened to accidentally be connected to his neck, then accidentally climb atop boxes and a cooler that just happened to be stacked, accidentally of course, under the aforementioned rope. it is more plausible, granted, for them to believe that stepping *off* of those boxes was accidental. and perhaps he tried to pull himself up, get the rope off. The thought always crossed their minds…a former wrestler…strong biceps…weightlifter…why couldn’t he? Or lift himself up long enough to ease the strain on his windpipes so as to shout to parents, sister, neighbor. Unless his neck broke seconds after his feet slipped.
None of them knew, or will ever know, for sure. They all have their speculations.
Accidental or not, they all know he didn’t die in the hospital.