My brother Calin Robert Sender passed away on 17 January 2020 of an accidental overdose. He was 30 years old. Calin loved life and he thrived on family and friends. He had the gift of making everyone laugh. In a senior project he wrote that he wanted to be remembered as “the guy that could always make you smile.” Calin’s smile would brighten any room, and wherever he was laughter would be heard.
Calin loved music, specifically rap music. Calin wrote his own lyrics as well. He enjoyed paintball with his dad, soccer, wake boarding, and snow boarding. Calin loved to cook and was really good at it too. Calin dreamed of being a chef and starting a family one day.
Calin’s struggle with addiction started his senior of high school in 2008. Calin partied, as most seniors do, but during that time, his best friend passed away, and it affected Calin deeply. Calin struggled with guilt and depression with the loss of his friend. For years, Calin was taking opioids. Even though Calin was taking pills, he was still a very hard worker. He always kept a job and he liked working.
In 2017, while living in Las Vegas, Calin reached out to me for help and I flew him to North Carolina. I helped Calin detox for a few weeks and then I had to deploy. I hated that I had to leave him. For the next few months my brother lived with my husband (boyfriend at the time). When I got back from deployment, Calin flew back to Las Vegas and unfortunately, relapsed.
In 2018, Calin’s cousin took him in to her home and enrolled him in rehab for the first time. He was sober for months. He looked great and felt great. He loved living with his cousins.
In 2019, while I was in California for work and seeing family, my brother came over. I couldn’t tell if he was on anything, and even if he was he would deny it. During this visit, I needed help with my one year old daughter. My brother watched her for two days. After he watched her, he admitted to me he was taking pills again. I was never mad at him, I was sad, because I knew his potential.
In summer 2019, Calin took the initiative himself to enroll in rehab. I thought this was a good thing because he was doing it for himself this time. Calin knew he struggled and even requested to stay longer at the rehab center. Calin spent his 30th birthday sober and was baptized on 22 September 2019. We were all excited for Calin and his plans for the future. Calin got a job at California Pizza Kitchen and moved into a house in Temecula.
At the time of his death, Calin was planning on attending EMT school. Calin loved interacting with people and helping people. He didn’t want to die; he loved life.
Calin is finally at peace in the arms of God. Calin will be missed by our parents, Kelly and Cory, stepmom, Roxanne, his step-siblings, all his cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and friends.
I love you bud.