Dealing with the Death While in Prison

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First time offender Craig Cesal, serving life for marijuana, in happier days, with his children Curtis and Lauren.

First time offender Craig Cesal, serving life for marijuana, in happier days, with his children Curtis and Lauren.

Marijuana Lifer Craig Cesal on how he’s dealing with the tragic death of his 23 year old son, Curtis.

Curtis’ wake is under way right now. The corrections staff, the actual big muscular guards, have been really, really good to me throughout this ordeal. They are good by simply leaving me alone, and they’ve went out of their way to do so.
The top staff, Associate Warden Esquibel, Case Manager Coordinator Doeher, and Counselor Gibb actually had a duty to process an application for an escorted funeral trip, for me to attend Curtis’ funeral, or his wake. They simply said they would not process the application because it was a lot of work.

The inmates have been the angels. Of the 1,100 prisoners here, well over 100 have approached me, expressed their condolences, and offered any assistance.

A Mexican guy, though broken English, told me how, in 1996, his 16-year old daughter died of cancer. He mentioned he had great insurance, and the San Antonio hospital managed to use chemo to finally kill the cancer. But, they also killed her resistance, and she died of a simple infection. He couldn’t tell me without tears. He taught me a lot.

Another prisoner’s seven year old fell out of the crib and broke his neck. Same thing, he couldn’t tell me through dry eyes.

These people reached out to me, well beyond the obvious call of duty. These are the real people, and it’s obvious who the real criminals are. The inmates have the heart, and the conscience.

I will get better, and I’ll be patient. But right now I still feel as though I’m under water, unable to get to the surface.

Craig Cesal

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