Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Death in Tijuana

My younger brother, Daniel, had gone to Tijuana for the weekend. Everyone was worried when he didn't show up for work on Monday. An aunt contacted the morgue today. He was there, dead, having allegedly fallen down and hit his head and died from the injury. However, I think it is much more likely that he was "rolled" and died by someone hitting him in the back of the head.

This is a very sad day for our family. My brother was only 37. He was a complex person. In many ways very talented and intelligent, he was also naïve to a fault. He thought that if he was kind and just to people, they would return his kindness. This is magical thinking. I have engaged in this sort of magical thinking, myself. My brother's death is a wakeup call for me in many ways.

I never would have guessed that his life would end in Tijuana, which, despite being so close to us, is such a foreign and dangerous place. My father used to take us there when we were teenagers to hand out money to beggars. It was very sad to see such poverty.

People regularly disappear in Tijuana, though it's not politically correct to say so. My late father knew a family of four daughters from Tijuana, one of whom just disappeared off the streets one day while she was walking home from school. He was good friends with the two older daughters, Herlinda and Dalia, and he talked about this kidnapping so often during my childhood, that not a day of my life has gone by that I haven't thought of this lost sister. This tale inspired me to be very cautious.

As much as I enjoy my solitude, I do not hike alone. It is simply too dangerous.

So when I got an e-mail today from a family member, stating that Daniel had gone to Tijuana on Saturday and hadn't returned, I knew he was no longer with the living. My mother said she knew right away, too. We talked and consoled each other. She really loved him so much.

My brother's body will be shipped back to Los Angeles and his funeral will be held soon. There is no way to find out what really happened, who might have killed him or exactly why. I guess it's not for me to know. And sometimes it's better not to know.

I will not be visiting Tijuana in the near future.

Best Wishes,



marina said...

your brother was a very sweet man and very intelligent.let us know when his funeral is. marina

marina said...

so much corruption, crime and drugs in Tijuana, a horrible place.

Jennifer said...

Thank you, Marina. I'll definitely let you know when the funeral is. I appreciate that you would want to attend in remembernce of my brother's life. His body just arrived in Los Angeles this afternoon, and we'll plan for a service very soon.

Tijuana is a bad place, but at least Daniel won't have to be buried there.

You know, Daniel really was very intelligent. I wonder why he didn't recognize the realities of Tijuana, though. I guess we all have our blindspots.


marina said...

yes, let me know about the funeral...well,I don't have the answer for so many questions about Life and all of the pain that sometimes we have to go through, but your brother was one more victim in the hands of soul-less men, Daniel was a sweet person and we will remember him and all the good he represents, despite the way he left this physical world.

Jennifer said...

Dear Marina,I will always remember Daniel's good qualities, too. In a way, his death at the hands of these thieves has made me renew my commitment to life. It's also given me a deeper appreciation of why greed is one of the seven deadly sins. The people who robbed and killed Daniel did so for money.

Thank you for caring.
Jen :(

♥ T is for Theresa ♥ said...

omgosh Jen I am soooo sorry to read this, my heart breaks for you! *big huge hugs* This must have been such a hard time for you all.. I hope you had a good support system though your family to keep you going.

Oh dear..I have no words :( I am just soooo sorry for your loss sweetie. I can only imagine your pain. :(

JKAGPR said...

I'm sorry for your loss.

I am a friend o Billy's and If you know him then I believe it was your brother that was sought to represent me.

I believe the day of his funeral was also the day of my hearing.

I'm truly sorry for your loss and after being raised by a judge who had a very challenging life his loss affected me.

Kickin' Poe said...

Hello Jen,
I am so sorry for your loss!
My name is Peter and I am an art dealer from San Diego. Daniel was a client of The Zetter Collection, until Lois Zetter passed away. I worked with Ms. Zetter for over ten years. Daniel then contacted me,as he was still interested in collecting and I had the connections. I had numerous conversations and e-mails with Daniel, mostly about art. I found Daniel to be honest and dedicated. I truly am so sorry for your loss. God bless!,
Peter Riordan

Jennifer said...

Thank you for your lovely comment, Peter. I am happy to hear from anyone who has fond memories of Daniel. He truly was an art afficionado, just like our late father! We do miss Dan very much. But I am having a baby in a couple of months, and we will name her Daniela, in honor of her late uncle.


Jen :)

carmen said...

Hi Jennifer,my name is Carmen and I knew your brother Daniel, he was my first boss in my first job in the commonwealth office when I was 18 years old, that was ten years ago.He was a nice,quiet and shy man who loved his diet coke.I just found out about his death and I am truly sorry for your loss,I am shocked.I just graduated from college as a Paralegal and the experience I had in that office started my path to a career in family law. I always remember Mr. Sid Taylor he was such a nice man he treated me with kindnessh.I also remember your other two brothers as well. again sorry for your loss

Jennifer said...

Thank you for your kind words, Carmen. I wish you all the best in your career as a paralegal. I'm glad that Daniel and Sid were kind to you...you always remember how people made you feel, don't you? Best Wishes, Jen :)

Dianne Schuch Lindsey said...

Your father took you to Tijuana to give coins to the poor children?
How do I find that hard to believe? Perhaps because the truly altruistic do not brag.

Jennifer said...

Dianne, you sound bitter. Your interior life must be bleak for you to leave such a harsh comment on a stranger's blog.