the day jeremy payne died

J2What did I feel when I heard Jeremy Payne died? Complete disbelief. Where was I? In my kitchen picking up the house phone. It was Annabeth with some disturbing news. I was shocked and at first I didn’t believe it. I started looking for evidence online. Then the Facebook posts started appearing on his and his sister’s wall. I half expected there to be some huge misunderstanding that would manifest itself online. Or maybe another really close call. My progression of feelings was disbelief, shock, and as it slowly sank in, sadness then anger and back to sadness. My last sputter of hope that this was a misunderstanding was extinguished that morning with his sister’s blog.

My Jay-Bo
July 29, 2009 at 4:31am

I keep telling myself this is not appropriate… but my journal is in the car, and it is 4:02 AM. Bubba would be proud-I am up past 9:30.

All I can think about is: my daddy, being at home in our house on Andrews (which I am not), and curling up in Jay’s bed. Why? I don’t know. Does that sound weird? I know it does… But I don’t care. Who’s judging me now-I don’t care about that either. Like Jamie said, the only people judging now are the ones who didn’t know him whole-heartedly. Sometimes we do all we can and it will never be enough. You want it to be, and they want it to be, but the battle is almost always a losing fight. I never gave up on him, but I understood his daily pain.

I came to the realization a while back that he did know how much we loved him; he finally knew he wasn’t alone, he knew some of the “friends” he had were not friends at all. But you know what? People like that accept people like themselves-but he was not like them. He was an angel from God.

I am mad sometimes. I think about all these stupid freakin dopers, and by that I don’t mean the ones who battled with him (you know who you are- my heart goes out to you as well). I mean the dopers who took advantage and looked at him like another one of them. He wasn’t like you-Jeremy had a heart of gold, and a love of life, a passion for helping others and was NOT a lost cause.
But what is life when you cannot live it? I am thankful he is at Peace, and I know he is; God has reassured me of that. However, no one can convince me it is real.

I shouldn’t be writing this. It is 4:08 am now, I am wired to the brim, drinking coffee because food won’t suffice, and very much alone. God’s Word says I am never alone-but is it okay to sometimes feel like you are in a black pit and everything is moving around you? Because I am lost..

I am hurt, angry and scared-Why did you leave me alone? You said you would always be there, and where are you now?! I know this is selfish, and I suppose realizing that is a good start. But what am I supposed to do without my brother? My BIG brother who loved me no matter what, talked me through my first anxiety attacks, my first dates, my first days of high school and threatened to kick anyone’s ass who touched me? What do I do now? I couldn’t cry anymore before, but here come the tears. If I could, I would give you all my tears so you could dry them and tell me it will be okay. I know you would. I want to hold you and get my big bear hugs, the ones where you never let go and I can smell your cologne. I tried to protect you, I tried to save you. What did I do wrong?! Why couldn’t you stay here, with me?

The Lord knows what he is doing, and I knew it was coming. He told me the other night, but it wasn’t real, and I saw you online-you were there. Things would be fine.. just taking it one day at a time. But He knew you were tired, He knew it was Time.

I feel like by leaving you in Memphis I am leaving you all alone, and you hated being alone. I don’t want to go without you… I need you, I need you.

But I need you to know how proud I am of you. You were the smartest person I knew and such a big teddy bear too. You were passionate about helping other people, and you wanted to live life like all of those around you. But the torment wouldn’t let you, and I understand. I want you to know I understand. I forgive you for giving in(-but I am still mad). You were the best brother I could have asked for. I will cherish every minute of our time together, even if it hasn’t been much lately. I will miss your blogs, and your cynical (VERY cynical) sense of humor. Only you can make people laugh by saying things like that. I am thankful you were at home, and even more thankful you let us in your life the last year-we needed that, you needed that. I think He knew we needed that time to build back those relationships with you before you Left. I am thankful.

Last year I wrote a blog about 2008 being the worst year ever, and how I almost lost one of the MOST IMPORTANT people in my life-YOU. But now, I am alone… and I regret ever saying I still had you. Maybe I jinxed it. Maybe I didn’t pray hard enough, or try hard enough. But I was so afraid of pushing you away! I didn’t want to lose you again, like before.

I am, in your own words, so blessed to have a family that had you in it. With that, I will leave you for now, but I will see you when I am able to sleep-I always have and I know it won’t stop now.

I love you Bubby,

J1Minutes after Annabeth told me the news, a heavy rain started. I remember thinking that the movies are right, it does rain during sad parts. I am fortunate in that I’ve never had someone I’ve known as well as Jeremy pass away until now. Just the night before I heard about it, I talked to him on the phone at 8:02 PM CST. While he could barely get his thoughts together on the phone, I never thought he would overdose pass away hours later. He told me that he had a car full of groceries and that he needed to call me back. I said OK and didn’t think much of it at the time. While I was convinced he actually did have a car full of groceries last night, I’m not so sure this morning. How could he drive when he could barely form coherent sentences? Apparently he did have a car full of groceries. I’m so glad that I was convinced correctly. While I know it wasn’t my fault that he died, I can’t help but feel like there was something… anything I could have done to save him. This was the first time I cried in front of my son, Elek whom Jeremy was very fond of. Jeremy also got along really well with my wife, Diana. These were her words:

it was great to have you in our lives for a short time, Jeremy. thank you for sharing your self and your time with us. we are so lucky to have known a happy, healthy and truly sweet soul.

for those of you who had the pleasure of meeting Jeremy, he is no longer among the living… please send your love and light to his sister… and those who loved him best.

I am thankful that I had the opportunity to get to know Jeremy, though I’m sad that I didn’t have more time with him. He was always so happy to see me. Jeremy Payne was a cuddly bear of a guy. He had no harmful intentions. He was sincere, intelligent, funny, animated, straightforward, and kind. Jeremy was my friend and all I can think about now is giving him a hug.


Donny was a good bowler, and a good man. He was one of us. He was a man who loved the outdoors… and bowling, and as a surfer he explored the beaches of Southern California, from La Jolla to Leo Carrillo and… up to… Pismo. He died, like so many young men of his generation, he died before his time. In your wisdom, Lord, you took him, as you took so many bright flowering young men at Khe Sanh, at Langdok, at Hill 364. These young men gave their lives. And so would Donny. Donny, who loved bowling. And so, Theodore Donald Karabotsos, in accordance with what we think your dying wishes might well have been, we commit your final mortal remains to the bosom of the Pacific Ocean, which you loved so well. Good night, sweet prince.

Below are some comments some of you left Jeremy and his sister, Meghan.
Facebook - Photos of Jeremy Payne_1248973762605
Facebook - Jeremy Payne_1248973189745
Facebook - Meghan Payne Wright_1248973578601

Jeremy’s memorial was held this past Sunday Aug. 9, 2009 at the P&H Cafe in Midtown Memphis. It was simply amazing. Kendall and Sam really did a tremendous job at putting the whole thing together. Their skit with Kendall doing Jeremy’s voice was hilarious. Kendall’s solo of Amazing Grace was so very touching. The duet with Kendall and Sam’s sister was awesome. Annabeth’s instrumental piano piece that she wrote for Jeremy was absolutely amazing. I am so glad that my wife and I got to go. It was great to see everyone that Jeremy was friends with and to meet his sister. I loved hearing the different stories that people had to tell about Jeremy. This event really helped people with closure and that’s very important when you lose someone like Jeremy Payne.

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , , , ,

16 Responses to “the day jeremy payne died”

  1. dave Says:
    July 31st, 2009 at 10:22 am

    wow. gutpunch. i barely knew the guy but i liked him so, so much. this is awful. condolences.

  2. VICKI Says:
    August 2nd, 2009 at 7:28 am

    I don’t know any of you but Jay and Meg but I want to thank you for your kind words and prayers. Jay has been in my heart since the day he was born as has Meg. They are two of “my” kids, a part of my life I will treasure forever. They will both be in my heart until we meet again in Heaven. I watched Jay grow from a precious baby into a HUGE teddy bear that was kind, loving, smart and one of my “boys”. Jay never said a hard word to me or did an unkind thing toward me. I am so thankful that he stayed with me and Paul as long as he did. That bond was there and it will forever be. He loved his Dad, Mom and Meg so very much. He only wanted them to be happy. Remember him with love and kindness and keep the faith so that we can all meet again some day. Pray for us that have a hole in our hearts, that our tears will be used to grow love, kindness, patience and a greater need to “do what Jesus would do”, love unconditionally, forgive the shortcomings, pray continually and be available when needs arise. May God bless each and everyone of you.
    Uncle Paul and Auntie

  3. Your friend forever Says:
    August 2nd, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    No one knows me, but I want 2 say..Jeremy meant the world to me. I know it’s been days since I was told he is gone, but I’m sorry I don’t and won’t believe it. Jeremy was like my knight in shining armour, he understood the pain I go through each and every day. For those who want to no, I suffer from major depression and have attempted to end my life on several occasions, but Jeremy seemed to know before I ever said anything. He understood me and was always there to lift me up when I was down and tried to hide it. I wish I could have done more for him and I hate myself because I don’t think I tried hard enough. I don’t want to believe he left me without saying good bye, because it hurts sooooooooooooo much to know that I don’t have him near to give those hugs when I needed them. I tried calling him hoping he’ll answer cause I can’t accept the fact that his gone. Jeremy I miss you, and I can’t see myself making it through a rough day without you there with me. How could you leave me without taking me with you? If I could’ve taken your pain so that you could stay at my side longer, I would have. I don’t know what to do, I cry for you each day as I am right now. Believe me all when I say, Jeremy was a friend everyone would love to have had at there side and in their life. I wanted to see him one last time and say good-bye, but I couldn’t and now I don’t know if I can ever really accept the fact that his gone. Someone, anyone PLEASE tell me how can I begin to accept the fact that his gone and stop hurtin so much inside waiting for him to call me? I’m reaching out to anyone who cares just a bit, help me. Who is going to help me like he did, who will ever understand me like he did? I’m lost and I need help to find my way back.

  4. Your friend forever Says:
    August 2nd, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    Jeremy was more than a friend to me.
    He was a part of me that you couldn’t see.

    He left me and it hit me hard.
    It was his time, cause God drew his card.

    I ask God why, did he not draw mine.
    Why didn’t he put Jeremy back in the line.

    His words to me were strong and bold.
    His friendship to me was worth more than gold.

    I wish I could trade places with him, with a pull of a lever.
    But I know I can’t….So in my heart he’ll remain forever and ever.

  5. Meghan Says:
    August 2nd, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    You wish you could have done more to save him… but we have all been saying that.
    I want you to know you did all you could and even if you sometimes feel like you didn’t, it’s okay. Everyone who knew and loved him is feeling some guilt… but it is unnecessary. Jeremy would not want us t feel that way.

    Just promise me he won’t become an after thought, or be casually forgotten.


  6. Peter Owen Says:
    August 3rd, 2009 at 7:56 am

    Of course he won’t, Meghan. He will live on through each one of us.

  7. Debbie Says:
    August 3rd, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    I was Jeremy’s supervisor at the IRS. In the short time that I knew him, I felt I knew him well. He always stopped in my cubicle and we talked. We talked about him and his feelings, his games online, him playing the guitar, many things. I grew to love him in that short time and have been crushed by his passing. He hasn’t died but gone on to a higher plane and is watching and guarding over all of the people he loved and who truly loved him. Jeremy would call me in the evenings just to talk and he was my friend and always brightened my day.
    He will always be remembered and loved by all his IRS friends. Good-bye Jeremy, I love your and miss you terribly.

  8. Christine B Says:
    August 3rd, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Jeremy was a very passionate person. Yes, he struggled daily, but he learned a lot of himself and others around him through his struggles. I worked with him, and on occasion, played LOTRO with him in off hours. He was as giving in his games as he was in real life.

    His concern was for others. Sure, he was concerned with his own issues too, but they were secondary. He was a friend to everyone who knew him. In ways, he was a better friend to us than we were able to be to him.

    I think all of us are carrying around the same, “if I had only…”, or “I wish I had known…” guilt. I have my own share of guilt. I knew he had a panic attack on Monday. I was at work. He went home early. I called him later and we talked. I was the one that got to tell him that his clearance for work had come through. The joy in his heart at that momemnt was undescribable. For him, it was “beginning” again. Things were working out this time. That was one less stressor on him. We cried on the phone, but I had things to do (I was still at work). I wish I had taken more time to talk to him.

    Tuesday morning he hugged me. There was no panic. No anxiety at that point. He was a ray of sunshine – all smiles.

    Wednesday he was gone.

    Jeremy wouldn’t have wanted us to be hurting (not that any of us can help it). He never wanted anyone to hurt. He hurt so much inside, he didn’t want anyone else to hurt too.

    Life will never be the same….

  9. Vicky Says:
    August 3rd, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Mikey was my friend…I miss him.

  10. Tristan Says:
    August 6th, 2009 at 7:38 am

    Jeremy Payne was a good friend of mine the time I had gotten to know him…I worked many hours with him at mci and had a blast every chance i got to talk with the man…Jeremy came to my Haunted House last October because he knew it meant alot to me…That was the kind of friend he was…I dont even know what to think or feel after hearing about this…Jeremy Payne will live on!


  11. Annabeth Says:
    August 15th, 2009 at 1:58 am

    I cried again for a while last night. Then I had a dream about him.

    In the dream, I got to see his body. But he was dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, and nothing was wrong with him, except he wasn’t breathing. I touched his skin, because I wanted to feel how cold it would be, to let it really sink in that he was dead. But, in the dream, his skin was a little warm. Not as warm as I had always known it to be, but definitely not cold. And then a finger moved. And I said something, and he spoke. I don’t know what, cause I was shocked. Then I asked “Who am I?” and he said “Valentine.” For some reason, in my dream, that confirmed his death. Yes, he was speaking, but not really. Then I asked him something else, I don’t remember what, and he said “Meghan.”

    When I remembered the dream this morning, I thought it was bad, because I thought it meant I still don’t think of him as dead. But now that I write it, maybe it was just him reminding me never to let him be dead in my heart. And to say how much he loves his sister.

  12. Peter Owen Says:
    August 15th, 2009 at 7:58 am

    What a wonderful dream.

  13. Chris L Says:
    August 17th, 2009 at 10:33 am

    I worked with him at MK. I just got the news. Mike was a cool guy who worked here only about a month after I started. He seemed a little distant, but one day over luch we got acquainted. He had a comical personality and we began speaking more often. Then he left and I was told he moved really far away like Kansas or Wisconsin. I wanted to keep in touch with him, but he left so abruptly. I wish I had gotten to know him better and be a friend to him. He was an awesome guy. My heart goes out to you all.

  14. Allison Says:
    August 28th, 2009 at 9:17 am

    I just heard, and then found this page. I’m so sad, so speechless. My husband and I loved Jeremy, dearly. We didn’t see each him often, but when we did it was like no time had passed. The last time we talked to him he sounded so happy, so hopeful. He was gonna come hang out with us soon…

    Jeremy was a breath of fresh air. I will miss him.

  15. John Says:
    August 28th, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Lunches of cheap sushi and cold jasmine tea, philosophical discussions on organized religion. In stature he was large but not imposing. In personality he was a cross between PT Barnum and Hunter Thompson. A mad (both entendre) scientist, a walking PDR. So intelligent and capable of love. A man that had a knack for walking into the best and worst of situations, with the ability to talk his way out of either. I treasure the time I got to spend with him. I am better for having known him. To hear of his finality breaks a constant. The phoenix is dead; long live the phoenix.

  16. TheSixthApostle Says:
    January 7th, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Sad news as I jet found out about this I have had a problem keeping in touch with people but I went to school with Jeremy and also played games with Hume online we also worked together at stream I still remember staying at his house and hanging out in miss Hayes class at school sorry if this post is to little to late but I can only say that I am sadden by this news and wish I would have had more time with him I hope his family is well as I have lost more then I can count so be strong for that is what he would want you to do

    Do not think of the weakness we have in life but the struggles for we are all heroes in our own chapter of life yet in this world for those who do not know us we are judged when that chapter ends

    RIP dechlorianb deobelli my friend and brother Jeremy Payne


Leave a Reply