on losing a brother – Adam Suits

September 5, 2011

It’s never an easy thing to tell somebody they’ve lost a loved-one but in this broken place it is necessary.  Last night (9/3/11) I received a text message from an old friend that simply read “hey man if u can call me asap.”  Since I hadn’t talked to this guy in probably 15 years or more I thought it prudent to call right away.  He relayed his remorse for having to be the bearer of bad news.  My best friend from childhood and adopted (not formally) brother had just been killed in a car wreck.

Adam Suits (6/1/74 – 9/3/11) is survived by a son, daughter, father, mother, sister and friends.

I make no apologies in that this post is certainly therapeutic as I wrestle with my own feelings and lack thereof.  Not unlike a lot of people I tend to have a delayed emotional response to such losses.  I’m sure that it will take me quite some time to unpack all the emotions and memories I have but I hope this helps.  For those of you that knew Adam I pray that my processing here will help you as you mourn your loss.

From soccer to camping to random acts of insane vandalism, we were inseparable as kids.  Actually that’s not entirely true.  Our parents DID separate us after an incident that provoked a visit from the local Sheriff followed by the FBI (who knew that blowing up mailboxes was a federal offense?!).  I don’t really recall exactly when Adam moved to Greesnboro but we were still very young and since we got to hang out every other weekend and all summer long it didn’t really bother us too much.  We were still able to get in plenty of trouble.

One Christmas I had received a paintball gun from my parents and that night Adam and I wanted to test its accuracy and strength.  So being the genius kids that we were we came up with the bright idea to shoot one another in the back.  Not good!  We had whelps the size of apples but it was something we always looked back on and laughed.

We attended youth groups together at our church and went to summer camps that were very rich and meaningful.  The love of God in Jesus Christ pierced Adam’s young heart one summer and I sensed the change was real and heartfelt.  Yes he had his demons later in life but that doesn’t change what I saw and experienced.  I’m frustrated to a great degree over what may have been for Adam, but I’m also certain that his joy is now complete and his heart is whole.  A few years later Adam would come to live with us full-time and finish high school with me at Trinity Senior High.

Like most brothers do, we got into plenty of fights.  Some were nastier and more physical than others, but we always stuck up for each other.  The summer leading into our Senior year we had attended a party that wasn’t really our “crowd” so to speak.  There were some guys that didn’t really care for my presence (something about me dating one of their ex-girlfriends – mmm high school).  I was never even really in great danger but just the thought of it put Adam on edge and he mouthed off enough that he pretty much scared the other guys senseless before anything happened.  Those of you that knew him know that he was not the kind of guy you want to piss off.  He had this other level to which he could take his aggression and anger and it was palpable to pretty much everyone around… especially if you were the focus of said anger.  While this would be one of his greatest weaknesses in life it was also a means of defending his loved ones and reflected a fierce loyalty.

As people go, Adam was a twisted mixture of virtues such as that fierce loyalty and he also suffered from intense self-destructive tendencies.  He was a talented athlete.  But the same anger and aggression that the football coaches loved to see on the field was the same anger and aggression that caused him to be kicked off the team.

As conflicting reports have come out surrounding his death the few variables that are consistent are:  alcohol, speeding vehicle, and Adam.  Not a good combo.  When I heard that I actually blurted out to my older brother, “that selfish prick!”  In truth it was a selfish act and I’m angry at what that now means for those of us mourning the loss.  I’m mad that I had to tell my mom and my sisters and hear them weep.  In memorial services we tend to only hear the good or funny stories and neglect the whole person.  But we’re called to love the whole person as we are wholly loved in Christ.  You can’t love people in slices. Adam was a great sinner and was a deeply wounded person for whom Christ died.  Seems to me that we do the gospel a disservice by passing over the very things for which we all are in need of a Savior.  So we remember that we too are but dust and are called to faith in the one who overcame death for his own.

The last time I spoke with Adam was about three weeks ago.  He called me to wish me a happy birthday and rag me about being so old… something good brothers do for each other.

I love you and miss you dearly.

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17 Responses to “on losing a brother – Adam Suits”

  1. Wendy Owens Says:

    Very well written! So very glad to see someone not speak of just the “great man” the “awesome person” as after death the ones left behind often possibly fear the morbidity in speaking of a person as a whole as you did! My connection with Adam was through Michelle after High School and by living in Laurel Oak, but I got to see allot of the wounded Adam, It’s refreshing to know and read of the many facets of him. I pray for Michelle as she loved him dearly, his family and his children. Thanks for the post Lee, definitely provided some enlightenment. I will share on my wall.

  2. Joshua Garrett Says:

    Very honest post. I am sorry for your lost.

  3. Joshua Garrett Says:

    “Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend the soul of thy servant Adam, and beseech thee to grant him rest in the place of thy rest, where all thy blessed Saints repose, and where the light of thy countenance shineth forever. And I beseech thee also to grant that our present lives may be godly, sober, and blameless, that, we too may be made worthy to enter into thy heavenly Kingdom with those we love but see no longer: for thou art the Resurrection, and the Life, and the Repose of thy departed servants, O Christ our God, and unto thee we ascribe glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.”

  4. Mary Taggert Goldston Says:

    Adam was a great guy and a awesome father….we all miss him dearly

  5. Zennie Says:

    Thanks Lee for your heart felt response…..I know Adam was loved dearly by your family and I remember him and your “scraps” even today. Take care and know that he rests in a better place today and you’ll see him again.

    Zennie

  6. Stephanie Says:

    I am so sad for our small community…we all have suffered a tragic loss & all of our hearts are truely broken. We need to stand by one another and keep the cherished memories of Adam alive! The people that need us to stand strong & pray together are Hunter & Kiser. Adam would not want anyone to cast blame or judgement on anyone else! Anyone that really knew Adam knew he made his own “CHOICES” it could have been any of us including myself~

  7. Stephanie Says:

    He recently had the word “CHOICES” tatoo’d on his chest and it could not have been proven more true… no one walked in Adams shoes ONLY Adam….no one ever will walk in his shoes ONLY Adam…PLEASE continue to PRAY for his children,Michelle and his family…
    Michelle was a HUGE part of Adams life for a long time thru the good and the bad…I know her heart is into many pieces!


  8. Thank you for sharing your grief. My heart and prayers go out to you and his family and friends.

  9. Marie Says:

    I do not remember Adam, but I was a few years younger. My sister is closer to your age, and may remember him. I think this post was well said and reminds me that we all have demons to fight and people that love us in spite of those demons. Thank you for such a beautiful remembrance of your dear friend.

  10. Elizabeth Says:

    Beautifully written. I’m so sorry for your loss. May you and all impacted by his death know deep comfort.

  11. BCD Says:

    I couldn’t even imagine losing my brother, nor writing about it so eloquently. Great point about not loving someone in “slices” I never thought of it that way. I certainly wasn’t in Adam’s circle at THS but always respected his passion and intensity. I hope that you can find the strength to spearhead an appropriate tribute next year at the reunion. God bless you, God bless us all.

  12. Kathryn Griffin Says:

    Adam was part of the Griffin family in Archdale.. We all loved him as our own and hope that he has found the peace that he has been searching for all his life.. My heart goes out to his family,, I know their heart is heavy as all of our hearts are..
    He stayed in our home and he was punished just as our own boys were.. Adam’s heart was broken when my husband Will got killed,, he loved Will as Will did him.. I know that he loved Michelle and she loved him,, I hope the best for her and not let Adam die in vain,, do something postive with her life.. Rest in Peace my son Adam..

  13. Mom Says:

    Thank you Lee. Your comments have made me laugh and cry. I remember well the Lee and Adam antics that drove me nuts at times! I know Adam knew I loved him and I know that you also know how much I love you. May he be resting in peace now. Your thoughts here have given much comfort to my heart.

  14. Mike Says:

    A little late to the comments – sorry for this loss. Definitely well said in this piece – right on. I really like the “realness” and authenticity of your message. Keep on being you in every phase of your journey … God is at work there.

    love you my k’ville bro!

  15. Tim Kelly Says:

    I had the opportunity to coach Adam in high school. He was quite an individual. I will be coaching his son in basketball. I remember how proud and excited Adam was when he talked to me about Hunter playing at Trinity. I am sure he will be watching.

  16. website Says:

    I was basically wanting to know if you ever considered changing the page layout of your site? It is well written; I enjoy what youve got to say. But maybe you could add a a bit more in the way of written content so people can connect with it better. You have got a great deal of wording for only having one or two graphics. Maybe you can space it out better?


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