My brother suffered from this disease for several years before he finally passed December 14th, 2016. As I sat down to write his memorial, the last years of his life were hard for him, as well as for the rest of our family, as we tried in so many different ways to help him overcome it. My older brother wrote a passage from "A River Runs Through It" that I think encompasses what most people have had to deal with:
“Each one of us here today will at one time in our lives look upon a loved one who is in need and ask the same question: We are willing to help, Lord, but what, if anything, is needed? For it is true we can seldom help those closest to us. Either we don't know what part of ourselves to give or, more often than not, the part we have to give is not wanted. And so it is those we live with and should know who elude us. But we can still love them - we can love completely without complete understanding.”
We loved Brian, we loved him with our whole heart, he was more than just a person with an addiction, he was a kind and caring person, he was one of the most persistent people I have ever known. He loved the outdoors and taking photos of the beautiful surrounding of Glacier National Park where we both grew up. He loved people and animals, and he had a desire to do more with his life.
His addiction was not a moral failure. Whatever he did to overcome his addiction, we know he did his best. However we tried to help him, we know that we too did our best with the knowledge that we had. There is no blame. There is only love. Brian fought bravely, he struggled, but he fought it the best he could. Ultimately the disease took his life but it could never take our love for him. We will forever be proud of him and we will forever love him.