We never got to say goodbye. My brother Gary was stolen from my family. He was 39 years old. Gary wasn’t the only victim. There were many victims in this murder. Gary is no longer breathing, but he leaves behind a mother, father, older brother and sister. We were a close family. He also had a sister-in-law, brother-in-law, nieces, nephews, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, a fiancé and her children, a longtime love, friends, customers who became friends, and two young boys who called him “Uncle Gary”. All have been impacted by the callous decisions of one person.
My brother was not perfect. He was human. He made mistakes, as we all do, but he never harmed anyone. He was kind, very generous, funny and thoughtful.
There were two last times I saw my brother. One time, alive, it was a few weeks before he died. He was taking my kids to their very first Patriots game. He invited me, too, because I celebrated my birthday recently and he wanted to spend time with me. My kids jumped at the chance to go with their fun Uncle Gary, but it was a rainy and cold day, and it did not sound like fun to me. I’d give anything to go back to that cold, rainy day and go to the Patriots game with my little brother. I will forever regret not going. When he dropped my kids off, I cannot remember if I hugged him. I definitely said thank you and I love you. That’s something we do in my family. I replay the drop-off many, many times in my head. Did I hug my brother? How was I supposed to know it would be the last time I saw him alive?
The next time I saw my brother was when he was dead, lying on the ground at the murder scene. This haunts me. It keeps me up at night. My brother lying dead, unmoving, on the cold ground, not breathing, blood everywhere. That was the hardest day of my life. Or so I thought.
On November 21st, my father called me on the phone, telling me my brother was dead, that he just found him in his truck with the cup holders filled with blood. My dad’s moans, an indescribable helpless sound; gut-wrenching screaming; telling my children and husband that Gary was dead; driving to the location. The hardest thing we ever experienced until:
- Seeing my brother lying on the ground; waiting to find out who killed him; finding out it was someone we knew. Unbeknownst to us all, the murderer led us to the crime scene and was standing beside us the whole time.
- My family having to view my brother’s body more than a week after he died because we had to wait for an autopsy.
- Choosing to view my brother’s body three separate times in the basement of the funeral home because the people who loved him couldn’t do it alone.
- Going through pictures for my brother’s service and finding pictures of the murderer at parties and on camping trips when we were young.
- Watching my parents devastated, picking out the clothes for their youngest son’s service.
- Reading a eulogy at my brother’s service and saying goodbye. It was the last time I hugged my brother. His body was cold, lifeless and badly bloated. This is my last memory of him.
- Doing my brother’s taxes; my heart breaking all over again when the accountant broke down in tears over Gary’s passing.
- Having to go through three bail hearings, anxiously awaiting to hear if the person who killed my brother would go free.
- Arguing with the loan company for my brother’s new truck that he was murdered in. The person on the phone told me that I had to pay a $500 cleaning fee — telling me I had to pay a $500 cleaning fee to get the blood out of the cab of my brother’s truck that he was murdered in.
- Calling my brother’s credit card company to find out why there was a $14,000 charge for a medical procedure. It was for fertility treatment — finding out my brother was trying to have a baby, and knowing that I will never get to meet his child or children.
- Worrying about my parents’ and brother’s health. The stress that we all have experienced has impacted us all.
- Accepting that Gary will never stop over after work ever again. He will not have dinner with my family or go out for Rita’s Italian Ice. It was his favorite. He will never go on annual summer vacations with the whole family. He will never go on more adventures like camping or boating with my children. He will never go to the Big E with us, buying everyone cheesesteaks. I will never hear my brother make appreciative noises while he is eating, to show appreciation for a good meal that I cooked. There are so many things he will miss. He would have been around at least 40 more years of birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, births and everyday occasions to make memories.
I’m not sure my worst days are over. I have spent hours/days/weeks/months/years of settling my brother’s financial and personal matters. These issues will be ongoing. My brother was stolen from us, but hours, days, weeks, and months and years have been stolen away from my family. My children now have a different mother. My husband stated that he missed the old me. I’m not sure she is coming back. I am not the same person. No one in my family is. We are all broken.
I also have physical symptoms from this murder. I have gained a lot of weight due to stress. I suffer from PTSD, anxiety and depression. I never had these issues before my brother Gary was murdered. Every day, I am confronted by triggers due to this trauma: a car backfiring, someone standing too close to me, lack of trust for people I do not know well, seeing white pickup trucks and landscaping equipment. To treat these ailments, I also spend time in trauma therapy. It is once or twice a week, and it will continue for a long time. Again, more time is taken away from me and my family. But I will do what I have to do.
My brother will not be forgotten because he gave us so much to remember.
Tracy Gaudette Langevin (Gary Gaudette’s sister)