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.

Aaron and Steven

Aaron,
It’s been 2 1/2 years since you’ve been gone and I can still feel the emotions like it was yesterday. You were my best friend, protector, inspiration, my safe haven when life got bad. You pushed me not to follow in your footsteps. You make the bad times better and the good times amazing. I think about you every single day and my heart cannot let go. I’ve suffered PTSD since that night I found out.
I remember the chilling voicemails that mom and dad left me. I feel the guilt of having a feeling I should’ve made the 3 hour trip home that weekend but I stayed in my dorm instead. I can’t help but think, if maybe you would have seen my face as you were holding that gun, if it was me and mom, you wouldn’t have done it. You would’ve seen my face and said like you said so many times “I love you sissy” and put the gun down.
I have all of these dreams where you come visit me. You tell me you love me and we relive our relationship, just to have it taken and for me to relive the heartbreak. If only you knew the devastation your death left on the family. Aaron I don’t understand.. and I never will. You left me broken, confused, lost. I lost my big brother and I lost my best friend. The person that I could go to for anything, the person that could put a smile on my face at any time, the person that kept me sane. I miss you so much and I hope you’re proud of who I’ve become. Because it’s taken so much strength to get to this place. & despite the time, I still refuse to believe you’re gone.
Steven,
How could you? How could you talk to me for a month straight, tell me you wanted to be closer to me as your little sister, know me better as a young adult, knowing the pain that Aaron’s suicide caused? How could you do it too? I always saw your pain, I always wanted your connection, but you never saw your worth. You were a light and you didn’t even know it. You caused pain that is indescribable. Handling Aaron’s suicide was hard. It still is, and adding yours makes life 100% harder. I loved you even though we weren’t as close. I love you still and always will. I hope you’re at peace with yourself. I hope now you can see the impact that your life made on others. You left me with a piece of cake and took it right away. The idea of having a big brother again, to take over the protector role that Aaron abandoned, just to have it ripped away with the words “Steven shot himself”. I spoke to you that night but I didn’t realize you were saying goodbye. I would’ve said so much more and I wish I could. I love you. I love you both and I miss you more than you could know.
Sincerely,
Your grieving sister of 2 lost brothers to suicide

3 years ago

3 years ago today was the beginning of your last 24 hours on earth. I thought that the world would stop spinning and the sun would stop shining without you, but it didn’t. And life goes on, no matter how painful. I try not to think about you too often because of the physical and emotional pain, but I also feel guilty if I don’t think about you often enough, as if my thoughts and dreams are keeping yours alive. I will always stand guard over your dreams, big brother. I love you more than anything in this world and once my life has run it’s course, when I have grown wrinkly and grey, I will see you again. I will tell you about all of the things you missed and I will hug you like I’ve never hugged before. Life is so difficult without you – you would have been wise, almost 25. I will be the same age as you soon and I will do my best to live my life in a way that would make you proud to be my brother. I love you, and I’m sorry that I couldn’t save you.

Jail or death…. or so he thought.

I’m not really sad anymore about what happened, but that is because of the circumstances that I’ve come to understand much better now, and because I’ve had the opportunity to gather and learn information and process exactly how things all went down.

My brother Michael committed suicide September 1st 2020 at 11:42:26 p.m. I often feel like I have to at least try to bring logic to illogical situations. I’ve got to dig in, figure out how things work, and break down a timeline to figure out how things all went down. I guess it’s the “Sailor”, and more specifically “Submarine Sailor”, in me than anything, that demands to know how things happened. Whenever even the slightest thing goes wrong, we get together and have what we call a “Critique”. It’s how we breakdown the events that lead up to mishaps.

For one thing, our family is and has been so far beyond dysfunctional since I can remember, that it’s no wonder that someone that never escaped that environment would resort to such an end. Although I wasn’t immune to it as a teenager, as an early adult I was afforded an opportunity to escape it by joining the Navy, and in my escape, came to the realization that this is not how normal healthy families operate. I’m so much f***ing better than all of that now.

My stepdad stepped out on my mother some 10 years after my joining the Navy, which unfortunately created a situation where my brother, who was 12 years younger than me, was pretty much given free rein in a house without any other dominant male to keep him going in the right direction, not to say that if Stepdad was there it would’ve really made much of a difference. Under my advisement, my mother informed my brother he was to no longer engage in certain activities so long as he was living in the house or she’d call the police, and if he were to continue this, he had to leave. He moved out and began renting a house.

Sometime later my parents became officially divorced and sold the house. Michael was renting was in a less than desirable part of the community and decided to buy a house in a quiet sub-division. He enlisted my parents to assist him in making the purchase by making a down payment, money which they had received from selling our childhood home following their divorce. Michael was never held accountable or made to experience the consequences of bad decisions he made – only when he was in relationships that were ending. He’d threaten suicide if the relationships were going to end, and early on, within the first couple times, it would work. Being lonely, depressed, angry, that wasn’t really enough for him to do it, I don’t think. I think his relationships played a part, but it wasn’t the ultimate factor. See, although I don’t discount that he did have emotional, depression, or other psychological issues, Michael was setup for failure and could not break his own cycle of making bad decisions.

On the night Michael killed himself, he and his girlfriend of 3 months had a dinner date, and had an argument. He drank too much that evening, and she informed him once they had arrived back at her home that if this was what a relationship with him would be like, she couldn’t do it. Not that they were breaking up, but that his behavior couldn’t continue if they were going to be a couple. He took this to mean they were breaking up. He informed her that he’d kill himself if they were to breakup. She told Michael she had to go to the bathroom and immediately called my mom and informed her that he was saying the things he was saying.

She recommended my mom and Stepdad go to Michael’s house, get his gun out of the house, and come pick him up. During that conversation, Michael secretly leaves her home, and arrives back at his house around 11:00pm. Michael had the Nest camera system set up in his home, which stores footage on a cloud and can be later viewed or live streamed on his phone. This is footage I later viewed after the police returned the phone to me. Following his arrival at his house, due to his movement through the house, the cameras begin recording. My parents arrive at his house shortly after he gets there, about 15 minutes or so, at around 11:17pm.

Discussions take place between Michael and our parents. Discussions about his behavior, how he can’t threaten suicide, and he has the gun in his hands during all of it. He kicked them out of his house around 11:25. Fearful he might actually hurt himself, they call the police. Less than 10 minutes later, around 11:35, the police arrive and are speaking with my parents outside the home, unbeknownst to Michael, as he’s been upstairs talking to his girlfriend who has said she’ll come over and talk to him. The phone line between them will remain open for the next 22 minutes.

At 11:41 he comes downstairs without the phone, gun in hand, disarms his alarm, unlocks his front door, lays the gun down on a table by the front door, and exits his house. On his living room camera, through one of his front windows, he can be seen looking around, as if to see if his girlfriend has arrived, and where my parents are.

He hasn’t stepped off the porch or out of the view of the living room camera that can see out the front window. He puts his hands back down, turns around, opens the front door, re-enters the house to the police shouting “don’t go back in the house!”, shuts the front door, locks it, picks up the shot gun, racks it, and disappears up the stairs. Once he reaches the top of the stairs his bedroom door can be heard opening, and slamming shut. About three seconds later at 11:42:26, the blast from the shotgun can be heard, followed by the sound of his body and the shotgun hitting the floor. His girlfriend texts my mom, I think he just fired his gun, he’s not saying anything. She won’t arrive at his house until 11:56.

At 11:44, the police can be heard on the cameras from their loudspeaker attempting to inform him that they just wanted to make sure he wasn’t going to hurt himself – they didn’t want to take him to jail. It was too late. He had already killed himself, senselessly. Michael’s girlfriend finally arrives and tells police she thinks he already did it, she heard the gunshot on the phone, but they discount her assessment saying that if there was a gunshot they would’ve heard it. Eventually they convince my parents to leave, come back in the morning, and disestablish the scene. My parents return at around 7:15am, and go in to find my brother lying on the floor.

Don’t tell me you’re sorry for me, you’re praying for me or my family, or any of that. Michael made his decision. It was his to make. There’s nothing for any of you to be sorry for or pray about. The end.

Emil, my dear brother

My beloved little brother, who was just 11 years old, hung himself in his room two months ago. I am his older brother who’s 19. These past two months have been literal hell on earth, the sorrow and grief are just so unimaginable but somehow yet so real and brutal. It all began last October when he began getting headache attacks, brutal ones that put him in the hospital. No one could figure out what it was until they realized that it was a mental issue; there was something in his mind that caused physical pains. He was such a loving soul, so fantastic and wholesome, and he always put the people around him first. He always bough be candy when he was in the store with my parents, and he put them on my desk together with a cute note. But since his attacks started his personality changed, and the rage attacks began instead, together with frequent passing outs and memory blackouts. This went on for several months and I was just so angry, so confused and so worried. Something was obviously seriously wrong, and I thought he was receiving the help he needed from professionals, I TRUSTED THEM, but as it turned out, he in fact received no real help at all, since therapy “isn’t for children”. I didn’t notice it, but he was deeply depressed for several months from spring to summer, oh how could I not see it? I moved out at the beginning of summer due to studies and was mostly removed from the progress for the last months. One week before his suicide I visited home, and he was happier than I had seen him in months, and he was finally sleeping in his own bed. I was so, so happy, and we all thought that he finally was getting better. One week later I receive a call that I need to get to the hospital as fast as possible, and that cops were coming to give me a ride. At that moment, some part of me realized what had happened, but my hope that he still lived was so strong all the way until I received the news from my crying mother. I can not believe he is gone. The thoughts of passing through life without him by my side make me want to disappear, oh they are so brutal to me. I want him back, please come back. Sometimes I dream of him, and it is so real. I tell him that he is so loved and that everything will be fine soon – I REALLY THOUGHT SO. I miss you so, so much, and I know that you are up there, watching down on me. You will always be in my heart, and I will never, ever forget about you, your kindness, or your beautiful smile. I love you.

Grief

3 years after you’ve left us but yet it still does not feel real. None of it does. I have dreams of you at night, where your back from the dead. My heart races as it feels so real. I have a sense of yearning and joy like I have never experienced in my life at the thought of having a second chance with you brother. A second chance to be there for you like you have always been for me, and I make a promise to never leave your side again. Then I wake up to this painfully excruciating reality that it was all a dream. That you are really gone. Out of my reach. I find myself bitter looking at my friends and their brothers, knowing that should have been you and me making those memories. I still have not found a way to cope with our loss. Yet in the exterior I have managed to keep up a great facade. I miss you more than you could’ve ever imagined.

Little Brother

This December will mark 3years. My little brother ended his life at 22yrs old. So young, so much potential, so many things he will miss. We grew up very close bc our mother was very strict and basically kept us together at all times. It was rare that we’d be separated for anything. This was until college and I barely seen my brother bc he was always working and I lived on campus. My brother was the funniest person I knew. I can’t help but to think he enjoyed making ppl laugh bc he knew what it was like to feel sad. He was a good person, we just grew up in unfortunate circumstance that I believe contributed to his mental health. He left a note but of course that didn’t ease anyone’s mind. Still so many questions and of course still grieving. My perception on life has drastically changed and I find myself doing good some days and other days completely falling apart. I hide it though because I don’t want people knowing I’m still hurt by it. But then it comes out in the way I treat my family and in my attitude. I just feel like something is missing in my life and nothing I’ve tried has been able to fill a portion of that void. I miss my brother’s presence. It’s hard you know? You can’t just lay in bed all day and cry. You have to get up and pretend like you’re getting stronger and that you’re not still so deeply hurt by it. It somewhat gives me comfort that I’m not alone in this. I hope and pray that we all find a way to bring peace to our minds and souls so that we can live our lives for the siblings we lost. I personally feel like I owe it to my brother to live my life to its’ fullest potential for the both of us. Peace & love

Leo

This is my first time going on this site. I am 18 now, but when I was 15, my 13 year old brother hung himself in our room, on our bunk bed. There was no note, and seemingly no reason as to why he did it, or what he was thinking at the time. I was the one who found him. His name was Leo and he was my only sibling.
Over the years I have felt so numb and different. Sometimes I feel like I have no emotions and I feel nothing. Having his suicide been 3 years ago, enough time has passed to where I have adjusted to my own unique reality. I notice a huge change in my relationships with people. It was not instantanious, but it took time for me to realize. I have trouble dealing with anything commitment. I feel as if I can easily find the flaws and bad in other people; and that forces me to push them out of my life. This makes me feel like I’m not normal and I’m just a really evil person.
Going from having someone I can talk to all the time about anything, to nothing at all; i feel betrayed. I’ve isolated myself from a lot of things. I spend most of my days just playing xbox. I dont share how i feel with my parents because i really don’t know how to express in words the amount of pain and feelings of abandonment that i experience sometimes.
Being only 13, it hurts that much worse. He wasn’t an adult. He was a child. And he committed suicide. The suicide aspect of his death adds a personal touch to his departure. Almost like it was directed at me and my parents. Growing up, we had a really great life. He was not bullied in school. We didnt have family issues; in fact, we had a really strong family bond. So when I start thinking about reasons why he would do it. I start thinking because of me. I was his older brother, and I couldnt be there for him and now I will never be able to.
Adjusting to that reality, i dont think, is possible. And if it is, it takes longer then 3 years. Me being 18, I have to struggle finding my own personal identity. Figuring out who I am in life. That is not easy. On top of that, dealing with grief and everything that comes along with it, just sucks. No other words to describe where I am at right now, except just stuck.
His 17th birthday is in 2 days from writing this post. Usually, the 2 weeks leading up to his birthday are usually pretty rough, and then his birthday just comes and its, okay. I just figured I’d share my story on here, because I’ve never done something like this before.

3 years…..feels like a lifetime

Dear Baby Brother,
Wow, it will be 3 years tomorrow. I started thinking about it today at work and started crying. I think about you everyday. Its getting better but you still broke my heart. With all this shit going on in the world right now, I wanted to txt you so many times and hear your dry sarcastic responses to things. HA!
Made Detective finally, but I think you already knew that 😉
Guess I dont have a lot to say as I talk to you all the time at night. Labor Day was awful. Couldnt stop crying as this was the last time I saw you. CW and the kid just left me alone. I blamed it on the bonfire smoke so I wouldnt scare the little guy, who is getting BIG!! Online learning right now, could have used you for computer advise the other day. All these little things of daily life you take for granted until someone is gone…..fuk!!!
I will say it feels like so much longer that just 3 years. Maybe because I feel you took our childhood from me. I dont even like to look at pictures because I see you and wonder when it all changed. It was me and you and now its just me and it wasnt suppose to be like that! I then I think about all the family responsibilities you left me with. Now I have to make decisions by myself. Im not prepared to do that!!! Its not fair! There, I said it!! And after mom and dad are gone, it was to be us helping each other out. Bouncing life ideas off each other. CW is around but he is my husband, not blood and he didnt grow up with the experiences we did. Its not the same. I still need you!!!! Now I feel like I could throw up. I miss you so much!!!!!!!!!!!! I love you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sis.

I’m having trouble because the losses are continuing!

I’m having such a hard time right now. 2020 has been a horrible year and not just because of the COVID crisis.

I lost my stepdad in January due to neglect.  My brother took his own life while going through a horrible divorce. I tried so hard to help him but it was just too much for him to bear.

I lost my sister to breast cancer 10 weeks after my brother died. I have lost all my siblings and now I must make the decision as to whether my mom (she’s 86) can live alone anymore.

I don’t know how much more heartache I can take! I talk to a therapist once a week, otherwise I don’t know if I’d get through these past nine months.

I wish I could take my mom out more (she loves to go shopping) but I am too afraid due to her age and the possibility of her contracting COVID.
Thank you so much for letting me get this off my chest! I feel like I’ve cried on my loved one’s shoulders too many times! Sometimes even telling my story to complete strangers can help me make it through another day. Thank you again!

How I miss you…

My dearest sista put a gun in her mouth today and pulled the trigger. She is now on life support with her 2 grown sons at the hospital. I am far away but my nephew said not to come. She won’t make it past tomorrow. She just turned 51 and I am devastated. Cradle to grave I thought. My ride or die through life…my best friend…how do I go on without her???