Welcome to the Sibling Survivors Site!

The Sibling Survivors of Suicide Loss site aims to provide a safe place for anyone who has lost a sister or brother to suicide. It’s a place to share memories, discuss your feelings and experiences, and to share photos. It’s a place to connect with others who also miss their sister or brother.

The site was created in 2001 by Michelle Linn Gust. She passed the site on to the POS-FFOS Internet Community in November of 2014. It officially re-opened on January 4, 2015.

We invite you to explore the site and participate. We need you; help us make this site a safe and supportive place for other sibling survivors. You can participate by Creating a  Guest Post, sharing an Inspirational Thought or Message, or Writing a Letter to your Sibling. Please see those pages for more information.

Sibling Survivors is maintained by volunteers from the Parents of Suicides (POS) and Friends and Families of Suicides (FFOS) Internet Community and others. Learn more about these groups on the About Us page.

This is my life now

It was one year since I lost you this September. One year without all the things you did that made me love you, your smile, laugh, wit, kind heart, and open ears, you were truly one of my best friends. I regret not getting to know you sooner in life, I always thought I had more time.
In the harsh days after you ended your life, I thought a year from now I will be “better” as if this grief was a sickness I could cure. One year came and passed and I have been struggling so much more. The realization that time will never heal this ache. The reality that missing you and loving you will always be complicated and intertwined with all of the parts of my life now. Grief has been the rawest form of love I have ever felt. The tears I have shed screaming for you at night are frightening and violent. Then there is the secondary grief in losing who I was on September 19, 2020, the day before you died. That girl was strong and resilient. She was patient and thoughtful. She was happy. That girl is gone. I cannot unlearn what losing you taught me, I cannot go back to who I was before.
When people say I look like I am doing so well, it makes me sick to my stomach. What you are seeing in me is survival. It takes all of the energy I have to try and just be in this world without my little brother. I recall the day I found out you died like it was today. Dad called and said, “Eric is dead.” I wailed and wailed, disbelief, are we sure he is gone? He said, “I have to go call your older brother.” I sat in my home alone, on the floor, my life shattered around me. It felt like being at ground zero of a bomb going off. I will never understand. I am deeply hurt you felt that this was the only way forward. I will love you forever. I will grieve the loss of you forever.


It’s been almost 7 years since you left. I keep switching back and forth between being angry at you and just overwhelmingly sad. The more I try to be around people and fill the gap you left in my life, the bigger the gap feels. I’m still bffs with E and she talks about wanting kids. I’m glad I get another chance at being an aunt but I don’t want to be an aunt to her kids I want to be an aunt to yours. I feel so lost still. I’ll never get used to not having a big sister trying out new experiences before I have to. I feel lonely in a way that being around people can’t fix and that’s because I’m missing a chunk of my life. Things will never be truly okay for me. You ruined my life but I still love you more than I’ve ever loved anyone on this planet.
I have a lot more I could say but it doesn’t really matter because you’re not here to hear it.
Love you,

Dear Joshua

You left us on November 1st, and your funeral is in 2 days. This is the hardest thing I have ever and will ever go through. But I’m not mad at you. I don’t know why, because I feel like I should be but I’m just not. I’m upset you didn’t want to come to me, knowing I’ve been where you are and I got through it. You’re the older one, and the selfish part of me is thinking like “you’re supposed to set an example for me” but the other part, the part that saw the pictures of you during your last month here, sees how tired you looked and how you lost all your happiness for some reason. I don’t understand anything anymore. You never let anyone know you were depressed and I don’t know why. We could’ve helped you, I would’ve been on the first flight to see you. And I’m so upset for your fiancé Amanda. You left her all alone in a state where she doesn’t know anyone and needs a plane to get home. How could you do that when you guys were supposed to get married in April. Things would’ve gotten easier. I don’t know if you did this because of the money problems you were having, but I pray to God it was more than that because that could’ve been fixed. I think I’m just looking for someone to blame because I don’t wanna put it on you when really you are the only one to blame. I hate saying that. It’s only been 2 and a half weeks and I miss you every second of every day. I wish I told you that you’re my best friend. I used to tell everyone that, my clients, my therapist, literally everyone else but you. I don’t know why I didn’t tell you. The day before you died I wrote an essay for school about you and how you became my best friend over the years. I wish I sent it to you, maybe it would’ve changed your mind. We all miss you so much. This feels unbearable. You wrote an 11 page letter and now over 90 people are coming to your funeral, you had to know how much you were loved. It kills me not knowing if you’re okay and if I’ll see you again but it’s the only thing that gets me through the day. I don’t think this feeling will ever go away. I miss you so much. I don’t know a life without you I mean you were there the day I was born. Nothing makes sense anymore. I can’t sleep, eat, go to work or go to class. All I can think about is you. You helped me through EVERY single thing I’ve gone through, big or small. I would call you immediately and you would just let me vent and give me the best advice anyone ever did. And now it feels like I don’t have anyone. Right before you did this, you were talking to your best friend, making plans to come home for Christmas. You told him you were going grocery shopping and instead you shot yourself. What happened? What made you snap? Or were you already planning this because it was the day after dads birthday and you didn’t want him to have to go through this on his birthday. But the day after doesn’t make it any better. Nothing does. I am so sad and heartbroken. I feel like I want to end my life too so I don’t have to live with this forever. Now when mom and dad die, I’m gonna be all alone. Did you think about that? Did you think about me before you did this? Do you know how much I love you? All I keep asking myself is why. What was so bad you couldn’t fix and why didn’t you ask for help. You had to know what this would do to us. I keep picturing your body and it hurts so bad. I feel like I’m going insane and I can’t stop torturing myself. You were the funniest and kindest person I’ve ever known and I’m not just saying that because you’re family. Everyone else agrees too. Everyone’s worried I’m gonna go back to drugs like I did when I was 21 but you would be so disappointed in me. I can’t do that to you. And thinking about the future hurts so bad. I’m scared to leave the house because if something were to happen to me, I’m the only one left. Mom and dad would not be okay. I feel like there’s so much pressure on me to not get hurt. And I feel there’s pressure to have kids even though I never wanted them. I was supposed to be the “cool aunt”. But now, if I don’t have kids, our family ends. There will be nothing left of you on this earth. I don’t know how to come to terms with that so I think I need to have them because a world without a part of you doesn’t make any sense. Josh you were only 28. Turning 29 in December. I already bought you your birthday card before this happened. You didn’t even start your life yet and you spent so much of it protecting me and helping me and saving me but I couldn’t even save you this one time. I keep thinking about when you texted me at 2am in august asking if I was up. Was that the night you wrote the note? If I was awake would you have talked to me and told me what was going on? When I called you the next day I asked you 15 times if you were okay and you kept saying yes. But what if I answered that night. Maybe things would be different. Mom and dad are crying all the time. And you of all people know mom hasn’t been the same since her brain injury so it really just feels like it’s me and dad. Is that why you were depressed? Because mom isn’t the same as she used to be? Did this start when the accident happened? You took such good care of me, you were the ONLY one who really understand how it felt to see her in a coma for so long and now I don’t have anyone to talk to about it. I know you were tired and hurting. And a small part of me is happy that you’re not anymore. I hope with time that happiness grows as I realize you made your choice and you couldn’t handle it anymore. I don’t know if I’ll ever accept this but I will continue to pray to you and God that I do. And I pray I will see you again one day. Never seeing you again doesn’t make any sense to me, so I HAVE to see you one day.

I love you more than anything in this world. And I will miss you forever. I hope you found peace, and I hope you’re okay. Get some rest. I love you.

4 years ago

Today marks 4 years since my brother took his own life. It was a dull, aching day where I did nothing productive and just sat in my bed, listening to music that makes me happy. Today wasn’t for remembering, it was for forgetting. Which is what is happening. If any of y’all are reading this, on the day that my brother died, I decided to google ‘sibling suicide’ – not sure why my first instinct was to google something, but anyway – and I came across this site. My original post is still up, and it is heart-wrenching. I don’t ever want to feel that way again. Life goes on and I go on and saying your name hurts less because you are becoming less and less a part of my life. I have already lived 20% of my life without you. Isn’t that sick? I wanted to post here a couple of days ago, when I became older than you, but I couldn’t bring myself. I went down to the ocean and wrote you a letter but I was late for a party so it was rushed. Look at me, going to parties. Gosh, everything just sucks and I don’t know where this is going but I just had to post something here.

My brilliant older brother

My brother was a very humble person, with brilliance that far surpassed (and came before) David Letterman, Conan, or Bill Gates. He actually developed the letters v v w v v for the internet BEFORE there was www. for websites. He was there at the beginning of the world wide web. When he was TWO years old, he wrote ” I drank the orange juiice” on a note, and all the words were spelled correctly.
It is an indescribable feeling to explain how my entire experience of life on planet Earth has been altered forever by the loss of him and my mother ON THE SAME DAY nearly three weeks ago . It is like the greatness and memories have been darkened by the way it allegedly ended. If you put yourself through the further torture of going to the cemetery after funeral, I thought ” I am not leaving you here” about my family.

Intellectual and emotional contradictions

Last week my sister called to tell me that my brother was missing and invited me to help in the search. When she had called, I was in my car on my way home from work and I was minutes away from the parking lot to a hiking trail head where my brother was suspected of being.
I arrived to the location minutes before my sister, and we met up with my missing brother’s neighbor who had found his car. A few minutes later, the police arrived on the scene and told us that my brother’s wife discovered that there was a pistol missing from their gun safe.
I quickly searched my brother’s car hoping to find his pistol. My brother had placed the car registration on the dash, which I found odd. After a quick search, I could not find his gun.
My sister and I quickly went up the trail to begin our search. My brother commonly went hiking alone, and my sister and I knew the type of terrain he preferred. Immediately, we noticed a large patch of trees, and we strongly suspected that if my brother was in fact there, the patch of trees is where he would be.
We began pushing our way into the trees; I went high, and my sister went low. Within minutes of us starting, I saw a hammock in the trees, and instinctively, I knew that was my brother.
I cautiously approached the hammock noticing piles of garbage from people experiencing homelessness. I hoped the hammock belonged to the same people who left the garbage.
There was a man in the hammock. They were barefoot and they were listening to music. They had a hoodie covering their upper body. While deep down I knew the person in the hammock was my brother, I still hoped it wasn’t. I spoke to the person in the hammock telling them I needed to make sure they were not my brother and that I would leave them alone after I checked.
I lifted the hoodie to find my brother holding his pistol in both of his hands. He had shot himself in the mouth.
At the moment, I was extremely calm. I checked for a pulse and closely monitored his stomach for any signs of life. While he was still warm and had color, he was obviously dead.
I called my sister on her cell phone to tell her to not come any closer and that I had found our brother.
I waited with the body until the police arrived on the scene, and I quickly pushed my way back to the parking lot. Along the way, I finally broke down with such a flow of raw emotions that I had never felt before. I started to hyperventilate and I needed to stop a few times to get enough control to continue down the hill.
While I was returning to the parking lot, I met another one of my brothers and fell into his arms and continued to cry. I stayed there for a few minutes, and noticed that my sister in law… my dead brothers wife… had arrived. She saw me crying on the hill and simply sat down in the parking lot. I ran to her, sat next to her, and told her I had found her husband.
It has now been a few days. The pain is still raw and as I write this, I am crying and shaking.
I am trying to think back and figure out if there is anything I could have done to help my brother. He and I had shared a very traumatic moment earlier this year, and he had taken undue responsibility on how it affected me. He regularly called me and dropped into my house to see how I was doing. I don’t think I once asked him in return how he was doing… not once.
Intellectually, I know that there is nothing I could have done to save my brother. His mind was made up well before he had taken his life. Over the last few days, information has come out about the failure of his business and the loss of money some of my other siblings had invested in his company. It wasn’t just one thing which led to his decision, but rather a series of events.
Emotionally, I am finding ways to blame myself for not doing enough to be a brother.
It is hard.
I have a fantastic and supportive wife and I have 7 other living siblings and we are close. I have a supportive base.
I have therapist whom I trust, and I am continuing to work with her.
It’s hard to imagine a time where I will not be sad anymore, but I hope it will come.


Dear Josh,
I sincerely don’t know where to start this….. I guess I have questions… Why did you have to go? Why did you have to leave all of us?
I feel like I failed you, Josh. I was your big sister. It was my job to protect you and for whatever reason, I couldn’t protect you from your demons. For that, I feel guilty. I wish I had told you more that I am just a phone call away. I wish I had told you I love you more. Thank you for teaching me that I need to make sure that our brothers and sister know this ALL THE TIME!
Before you got really lost you were the most vibrant person I knew. You never cared what other people thought. Ever. You marched to the beat of your own drum always.
You were BRILLIANT, little brother! You could fix literally anything…. and while I didn’t always listen to you about cars and stuff, I knew you knew better than me. I’ll remember to change my oil filter on my car now…
You loved with your whole heart and I know that loving that way is part of what opened you up to the pain that took you from us.
We didn’t always see eye to eye, in fact, when we were kids we were often trying to take an eye out from each other. But the night I came home from a work party and had had too much to drink, you were the one who volunteered to help me up to my room…. Even though I didn’t deserve anyone’s help. That was our relationship until the darkness came. It didn’t matter if we were fighting, we were always there for one another….. Until the darkness came.
I know that you have no more pain. I know you aren’t angry anymore. I know with everything that I am that you are up in heaven with all of our loved ones who went before you. I’m sure some of them had a few choice words for you, but you are free. The world was just too heavy and painful to bear. Fly high with the angels baby brother. Bowl with the angels during the storms so your kiddos, niece and nephews know you’re with us, dance! Sing! There is no more judgement, no more hostility. No more anger. No more resentment.
Give our grandparents love from those of us who are still earthside. Hug Aunt E and Uncle D and tell them everything is ok down here. Wait for me, ok? I’ll see you on the other side.
Your Big Sister

My Brother

Dear Brother, 7 weeks ago today you finally succeeded in doing what you have been trying to do since March. I can’t bear that, that was the only option left open to you. I saw you fight your battle for years. You were a warrior of the greatest kind. I hate that that horrible illness robbed you of so much. I tried so hard to tell you things will get better, that you had so much to live for but I didn’t know if that was true. Perhaps you pick up on that. I was willing you to hang on til we had a chance to see if the new drug would work but it was too little, too late. You were so tired of battling your mind day in day out. I could see the strain in your face. I told you I loved you. I told you I was sorry if I was ever cranky with you. Through all this pleading with you to open up, to hang in there I knew in my heart this day would come. The trail of heartache you have left behind is devastating. I know you would never want any of us suffering like this. I am so angry at the lack of care you got. The fact that you are just another name crossed off a list by an incompetent psychiatrist. The fact that our health care is so substandard and mental health is at the bottom of the list in priorities. Your life mattered. Your life was so very precious. I will have the last image of you etched in my mind forever waving to me as the door opened for you to enter the unit. Why didn’t I get out of the car when I dropped you back? Why didn’t I hold your hand until the door opened? Did I hug you before you exited the car? I can’t remember. Your voice comes to me during the day “Hellooooo, any news”. I will never get to hear that again. I so badly want to hear that again. You asked me to take care of your family but I don’t know how. I have no words of great wisdom that will take away their pain. I promise to keep trying. I promise to never forget you. I will treasure your memory deep in my heart for as long as it keeps beating. RIP dear brother. I will love you forever and always.