To My Baby Brother’s Drug Dealer: I Refuse to Hate You

white painted wall
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Dear Dealer, ,

I know you didn’t mean to kill my baby brother. You sold him a bag, smaller than a postage stamp. It’s hard to imagine that something so small could unleash so much devastation. I want you to know that the boy you sold heroin to was somebody’s baby.

Dear Dealer, I know if you could take back the pain you caused my family you would. But life doesn’t work that way. A year ago today we woke up on the first day without him. I can vividly remember my parents faces, wrinkled in pain as they wept for their baby boy.

Dear Dealer, …did you know my brother’s name was Jake Mackenzie Toole when you sold to him? Did you know we called him Jakey and that he loved chicken wings and riding bikes and playing Yahtzee with my Mom? Were you a friend of his? I sometimes wonder if you showed up at his memorial service, hugged my mother and father. I wonder if your guilt eats you alive.

Dear Dealer, I pray for you all the time. I pray that you will be forgiven, and that you will never hurt another person again. I pray that the beautiful, broken souls you’ve dealt to in the past find healing.

Dear Dealer, I refuse to hate you. Not because I believe you deserve it; but because my brother never hated another soul in his entire life. He fed each and every person he met love and positive energy.

Dear Dealer, it’s been a year since you killed my brother. I hope that you aren’t still selling death. I hope that the next time you have the urge to make a quick buck you think about the exquisite pain you would feel if one of your own family members was taken away so aimlessly.

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