This is going to hurt.
Some of the details are going to be specific. Some will remain vague out of respect for those appreciating privacy.
The author advises anyone who isn’t ready to confront the durable pigments contained in this article’s headline to avoid this obit. At least for now.
There are likely details that you won’t be ready to confront. Most are typical. None are cliché.
Which is to say, please, that tag just doesn’t apply here. Or, for that matter, in any commemorative, floral magazine article. Even those that will get tacked on the back end in a potpourri of terse little SEO optimized “flags.” As in, “death,” “memorial,” “Minneapolis music,” “opiates,” “Blood of the Young,” and “epidemic.”
On Saturday night, around 7 p.m., whatever hope of recovery that remained was essentially vanquished. Diminished to the imperceivable fractions that those close to Blood of the Young record label owner Nick Blood will likely hold onto forever.
As in, “Maybe we are mistaken?” The final tests in the battery revealed what had been physically apparent since the body arrived at HCMC. As in, there was blood flowing. As in, there was still a heartbeat. As in, but the connection had been severed.
The brain can only survive so long without oxygen. At some point, there is life support.
At some point, the decision a 16-year-old made in some insufferable Twin Cities DMV — to allow his organs to be harvested for the good of the lot — needed to be respected.
At some point – and, again, the author is reminding you that this will hurt — many, many brutal hours later than initially intended, the inevitable came.
On Monday, the plug had to be pulled.
Here it is now forever: Nick Blood, 37, is dead. Result of synthetic opiate analogue overdose. Results permanent. Leaves behind torrential history within the millennial Minneapolis music scene, fiancé. Did not intend flame to go out like this.
The details stitched together are incomprehensible.
There was a history. There was a pizza. There was an incident inside of a car that even the detectives and physicists are baffled by. An inspired arrangement of variables stacked like the Blood of the Young vinyls in the trunk. A dental procedure. A relapse. Pills for pain.
Assume there’s a reason for everything. Assume there’s some comfort in a legacy. Assume Nick would appreciate the generous outpouring of support. Assume all the music pressed on Blood of the Young and all of the music that could still be dreamed of will go on and on.
Then assume the author has had about enough of writing these kinds of articles. Assume the author has some experience with opiates and opiate analogues himself. That he’s been to the hospital. Assume the degrees between getting high and life support are slighter than you imagine. Assume life is fragile.
Do not assume that you understand what any other human being is going through. Do not assume your threshold for pain and that of others is comparable. Do not assume you occupy any measurable territory of moral high ground because you’ve avoided this terrain yourself. You have no idea.
Assume there’s an insidious epidemic in this country. That if we can’t confront this, our next generation will essentially be corrupted. Regardless of who wins the high seat in November, we’re doomed if we can’t have this conversation openly.
The author has had enough. The author would like to remind the reader that this is the second obituary he’s written for this paper in the last month brought on by opioid overdoses.
Assume that this has to be the last obit. At least for a while. That the author always assumed this onslaught of grief would occur in middle age and not on the ripe side of 30. That he has a hangover. That he told himself just yesterday he’d avoid writing all of this. That variables change.
If I could go back this would all be different. I’d hug everyone a little closer. I'd turn up the volume when I said I love you. Let the record state that none of this can be qualified or mitigate with my words. But that doesn’t mean I won’t give an honest attempt.
Know that you are not alone. That the missing contraction is intended for emphasis.
Know that you can never delete your words. That there is now a cloud. Even if your last conversation holds in ember the procedural glow of a drug deal. “Cool cool, brother. Is it alright if I split the 8th into both products? You know I love that KUUSSHH!”
Try to take it easy on the people you know and the people you don’t. Try to take it easy on yourself.
Let a little love inside.
Be careful. Be brave. Cry when you have to. When there’s nothing else left to say.
Let's have the remainder of this article fill up with memorials from those a little closer. If you have your own memories, and certainly you do, please leave your words in the comments. Nick will appreciate it.
May we all be a little stronger. May we remember this forever.
I love you brother.
This post will be updated with forthcoming details about a memorial planned for Nick Blood this Thursday.