I miss my nephew, Scott

Eric Cravey

He was always one to try and sweet-talk you by using his sparkling blue eyes and his stoically stunning smile. For that, my sister/his Mom called him a con-artist. But Scott had always been a 'handful' to his Mom & Dad. He and I had what I thought was a special relationship, because I had been with him at what I thought were very significant times in his life. I had also baby sat for him at different times and even liked to think that I had some positive influence on Scott's value system.

He was a handful in school. I remember the whole family breathing a collective sigh of relief when we got the news that he was going to graduate from high school. Academics were merely an after thought, not a means to an end for Scott. He'd rather chase girls and drink beer. We all attended the graduation and my younger sister Laurie later told me Scott was stoned during the ceremony. I was beginning to learn that he had very few boundaries about right and wrong.

In 1991, when my wife and I got married, it was Scott who ruffled the feathers of one of my wife's nieces at the wedding rehearsal dinner the night before. Both were serving in the wedding party. Scott got angry and left the dinner early and I had gotten back reports that he had bailed out on me. When it was time for the wedding the next day, Scott shows up just one beer short of being wasted. It would later be alcohol and drugs that would lead to him committing suicide.

After a string of Driving Under the Influence charges as an adult and Drinking as a Minor Charges prior, his attorney had counseled Scott that he would have to serve a minimum of three months in a Georgia prison. Being vain due to his good looks, this distressed Scott to worry about the possibility of being sexually assaulted while serving the three-month term. Weeks went by and he had attempted to use his wife's pain pills combined with alcohol to try and end his pain in his sleep.

But, the final blow came on Thanksgiving Day when he and his wife had a dispute in the car on the way to my Mom's house (his grandmother) for the annual festivities. He told her to put him out of the car and he walked back to their apartment where he broke in and ransacked the place. The afternoon was filled with Scott on the phone calling my Mom's telling everyone that he was going to do it and No One took him seriously. Meanwhile, I was in another state not knowing this was happening. I feel so bad. I wish I could have held that receiver that day and encouraged him not to hurt himself. I would have told him "Scott if one person out there anywhere loves you, that alone is reason to keep living. I love you. Please, don't do anything I wouldn't do to you." The phone calls shifted back and forth from North Georgia to South Georgia. His Mom was there and he didn't even want to speak to her because he blamed her for "ruining his marriage" and making his wife not trust him. Around midnight that night, the Fulton County Sheriff's Department called my Mom's house to try and get Scott's Mom's phone number and she asked the Deputy what was wrong. It was then she learned that her grandson had killed himself. An autopsy would later reveal that he had cocaine and Darvon in his system.

My last fond memory of Scott is a visit we shared at my Mom's house in the Spring of 1996 when he was joking around with me telling me "What a good-looking man you've turned into." I told him, "Scott, you're a good-looking man too, but you need to straighten your butt out" (as I embraced him in a headlock). My wife looked on and smiled because- she said later- she could see how much I loved him and that she could see me being a good father to our son who was then 2-years-old. She said that was a special moment for her.

I just hope that wherever you are, Scott, that you know in your heart, as I do, that I love you and miss you like hell! Eric Cravey

You can send email to Eric at: [email protected]
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anniversary date 11-28-96
date of post 07-19-97

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Crisis, Grief, and Healing: Tom Golden LCSW