In Jag Lever, Writing

The important truth about losing my brother.



The story I’ve been waiting to share with you guys for over a year.



My brother passed away of a fentanyl-laced heroin overdose in 2016. If you don’t know what fentanyl is, click here. Something that i feel needs to be known because each day someone else in my tiny city alone is in the news passing from the same exact thing. But that wasn’t him. The drugs did not define him. It wasn’t a part of his identity. He was brilliant. So funny that I would cry from laughter until my abs hurt at his jokes. He was handsome. He had just obtained his degree in journalism and he was an amazing writer.

We were always on the same wavelength, knowing what the other was thinking without saying a word. Drug addiction and all, I was still so thankful he was my brother and I wouldn’t give that up for the world. Unfortunately the drugs decided that for me, way earlier than him or I could have ever imagined.

I would love to shed some light on this topic as I feel it’s something that it’s not talked about enough in our society. It’s so important to know that if one was to use drugs today whether it is a pill or a hard street drug anything can be laced with fentanyl and one would never know. It only takes as much as a tiny grain of sand worth of fentanyl to cause someone to go to overdose. It’s insanity how powerful it is. Typically it’s used in very small doses and hospitals to ease cancer pain and side effects. But now like most drugs it has made its way onto the street.

My brother was 34 at the time of his passing, two months away from his 35th birthday. I was in Chicago at riot Fest music festival and I will never forget being woken up at 8 AM on September 19th by a call from my grandmother and I knew it was bad before even answered.

When I could hear my grandma on the other line choked up with tears I knew someone had passed. I never in my wildest dreams thought I could be my 34-year-old brother, even though I was aware of his using on and off.

I had never heard of what fentanyl was until his passing. And makes me angry although I probably could not have done much to change this outcome however I would’ve like to know that I would’ve had a chance to speak with him about it or to warn more people about this terrible thing that takes so many lives. I felt so uneducated, that I should definitely have known what this was.

We had to wait a grueling few months long for the autopsy and for so long I did not know what the cause was even drugs to begin with. That was the hardest part. My family was frustrated, my mom was especially frustrated and nobody had answers.

The first time I returned home after the funeral I drove to my brothers house walked into his backyard and looked in his window. I saw things that we lovedd together and his house in the proper places that they always were in and it just was so bizarre to me that he was no longer there and he spent his last moments and his own home, where I could see from looking into the window. I felt like I was watching a movie and it felt so weird and empty, yet all of his things were still there. I pictured him walking out of the kitchen like he used to. Myself, him and my mom walking around the house. I even pictured him and my mom and I playing games in the living room on the floor. All of that was now memory.

This was no longer my brothers house. This was no longer the place I would stay when I come home to visit. Visit was no longer where we would order pizza and play Xbox and laugh at the silliest stupidest things ever.

One of the worst things in life of having to bury a child I’ve seen my mom go through things that are so difficult I’m so proud of what she’s been able to overcome in the past couple years since my brother‘s passing.

With writing this I really just wanted to share my story with you all since I never really announced what happened. I find it necessary to tell you guys because I think it could be really helpful and bringing awareness about the opioid epidemic we face today.

I love you guys so so much and thank you for letting me pour my heart out.

If you or someone you know suffers from an opioid addiction and needs help please call 1-800-662-HELP

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Jag Lever

I love blogging, fashion, cooking, my cats and coffee.

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  1. KAyleigh
    6 years ago

    Rachel, this is such a sad and brave post. I’m so sorry to hear about your brother; he sounds so nice and fun. He clearly meant the world to you and your family. Fentanyl is so terrifying and I can’t imagine how morally bankrupt the people are who cut drugs with it without telling their clients. It’s causing so much unnecessary death when people already lose way too many friends and family to addiction.

    Sending lots of love to you and yours xox
    KAyleigh recently posted…January BluesMy Profile

    1. Jag Lever
      6 years ago

      Thank you so much for the kind words. It’s so scary!
      Jag Lever recently posted…The important truth about losing my brother.My Profile

  2. Alea lovely
    6 years ago

    I love You fiercely ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️

    1. Jag Lever
      6 years ago

      Thanks my love <3
      Jag Lever recently posted…The important truth about losing my brother.My Profile

  3. Didu
    6 years ago

    I’m so so so so sorry for your loss. When you made the video about your brother’s passing I’ve cried plenty. You never think something like this will happen to you. I hope he is in a better place and I hope you are too. I feel so bad for you, for him and especially for your mother. Be close to her please, it is never easy even if she is the most strong woman on this planet, she needs love and for someone to care for her and you. I’ve always been here watching your journey and you are a wonderful person but please take care of your soul and your mind. I’m so sorry for what happen… Your brother seem like the most nicest brother in the world.

  4. sara
    6 years ago

    this was really an amazing post. Through blogs, instagram and these fake lifes, sometimes we loose the meaning of real life. In real life also bad things happen. You have been really brave! I am close to you and your family, since I experienced something similar with a person really close to me.
    sara recently posted…Tinos, the island covered in marbleMy Profile

    6 years ago

    Thank you so much for posting this. There have been a number of deaths in my city caused by fentanyl and it often affects casual users. The families are sometimes embarrassed to talk about it and it frustrates me because I feel like its hiding the truth and the problem is growing. Its so good of you to be so honest. Im sorry for your loss

  6. Maryjo
    11 months ago

    At the point when you quit drinking you quit pausing. Caroline Knapp”It’s an extraordinary benefit not to drink among hard-drinking individuals.


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