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.

Breathe

I have posted this a couple of times on Feb 9th which is the date my brother died. Today is the anniversary of him setting himself on fire. Today is 34 years. Thank you to each of you who have posted here. Coming here is an act of hope and it contributes to the survival of each of us.
Breathe
Half my life ago today, 31 years ago to be exact, my younger brother died. He had set himself on fire and lived for 43 days.
Tomorrow he will be gone more than half my life. It is odd to ponder this milestone. Like all of you here, I did not think I could survive those early years. I had to will myself to take one breath and then the next. Everyone else’s lives were going forward, and I was lost in this unfamiliar and crushingly sad place.
For those new to this awful experience, I want to let you know what it is like to be half my life in this place. I have a full life. I can be happy. My brother’s suicide is still the worst thing that has ever happened to me. But over time this life is my familiar life.
His suicide has been woven into the fabric of that life. I am not longer raw with emotion. I have learned to see what gifts have come from this. I can be a voice for others. I can share my experience, strength and hope. While his death was a catastrophic event, it colors who am today. I am in a healing profession and I know the good I do is colored by good times and bad.
Here are some of the things that helped me long the way: writing in a journal gave me a 24/7 outlet, therapy (both with other survivors and individually), learning about better physical health, eating better, waiting (when the awful moments happen, just wait; they will stop), leaning into the sadness instead of running from it. Find someone who can listen. Make a list of what is comforting to you. Keep it close by. Use it.
Breathe. Breathe. Breathe, until you can breathe without thinking about it.
A therapist once asked me what I thought my brother wanted for me. Without thinking the answer came out, “Peace. He wants me to be at peace.”
I still believe that. Keep coming back here. We know. We understand. We care.

Anger

My brother was sixteen when he ended his time on earth a mere two weeks ago. Currently I feel so much anger (much of it I have voiced, no I don’t feel regret for voicing my anger at those who played a huge part in this). I feel hatred towards those who could have helped him, who KNEW he had a history of attempts. To those who are now pretending to have been the closest to my baby brother when they and I both know they are lying through their teeth. I feel so much anger and people have told me I will feel regret saying things to certain people , but I can’t see it. I can’t feel anything but the burning rage of having lost my brother and people lying and creating a false reality.

Where do I start…I love you bro!

I don’t really know what I’m doing here, but I’m having one of those nights where I just can’t stop thinking about that day, our conversations prior, our conversation that night, the guilt because of the feeling I had and didn’t act on when I went to bed, the feeling in the pit of my stomach the next morning and then the worst telephone call in my life from Dad.
A piece of me is missing. Nearly 8 months on and it still takes my breath and the pain hits me like it did the first time. 2020 was going to be the best year, I became a mummy at the end of 2019 to a beautiful baby girl. I’ve had a year off work to be the best mummy I could possibly be, but in April, you turned my best year into my worst year. I can’t be angry at you though, you were hurting and didn’t want to hurt anymore.

I wish I could have done something to take your pain away, I would have done anything and you knew that. I knew you were hurting, and I knew you had struggled with suicidal thoughts in the past, but when we spoke through lockdown, you told me you were coping. We spoke more through lockdown than ever, I loved it, just random chat as well as slightly more serious chat that you always brushed off. You were never one for chatting on the phone, maybe that should have been a sign to me….that night, you called me because you didn’t want me to worry about you, but you knew I would anyway. If I really knew or lived closer, or didn’t have a newborn baby, I would have sat with you all night (and however long you needed) to get you through it. It’s excuses though isn’t it, because I felt it bruv, I felt something wasn’t right and I was scared for you. I didn’t act because you always told me I was being dramatic and assured me you were ok, so I didn’t want to make you mad by being ‘dramatic’. Wow, I would love to make you mad at me now! I’d do anything for you to be angry at me and have an argument with you. I was always scared of arguing with you because I was scared you would cut me out of your life, I was scared of losing you.
There’s no pain like this and nobody I know understands it, and I wouldn’t want them to. I am doing ok day to day on the outside, inside I’m heartbroken and hurting, but I don’t think that’s going to change so I guess I just learn to live with it. I don’t really know how to deal with the guilt I feel and the regret I have, maybe it’s not something I deal with but something I just need to accept because I can’t change anything now.

I really hope you’re at peace, when I went to see you, I wanted to see and feel that but I didn’t. You deserve to be at peace, I don’t want you to hurt anymore. This has helped, writing to you/feeling like I am talking to you has helped. Now I’ll go back to bed.

I love you brother, and miss you more everyday.
Xxx

Three Long Years

Dear Becca,
I love and miss you! Now that’s off my chest. Three years ago, just about 9pm on this day – which seems like a lifetime ago – you, my dear little sister decided you had enough. Jokes on you, life now is much worse for the entire planet although I am doing okay. People always ask me why or how could you have done this? I know you thought at that moment no person, thing or action would make life worth living. Sadly, it was all around you and you didn’t care in that one moment – you had a large family, group of friends and professional support network, each whom you embraced. Despite ups and downs, you were just coming into your own. We were so fortunate to share a sibling relationship together. It saddens me that you had just become old enough where we were becoming closer. You should have graduated high school. Suddenly, in an impulsive decision, you did the life-ending deed, and then I got a call from mom saying you did what you wanted to do. Since that moment in time I have not been the same person. I cannot fault you for taking your life. Life is a decision to the beholder, however, the pain I have to carry is something I can never unburden myself of, the “what if’s” “if I could turn back time” and other nostalgic triggers keep everyone in our family up at night. I would have cut off my right arm if it saved you. But, I digress, what happened, happened, and I am happy to reminisce over you.
Perhaps, suicide is intertwined with basic human genetics, just as mental illness. I tend to agree. Life is lovely and fair to some and sad and ugly to others. It’s unfair. That’s life. In yours, you were witty, artistic, talented, funny and unconditionally-loving to those closest to you. We have a lifetime of memories that I will cherish forever. Fast-forward, 3 years doesn’t make it easier. We’re in the middle of a Covid pandemic that brought me back to living and working at our parent’s home instead of my apartment. Everyday, I am reminded you are not here when I take care of mom and dad. Although they miss you terribly, I have to stay strong for them.
It is painful to say that I know you wouldn’t have survived until this day, December 9, 2020. This lockdown/quarantine would have either driven you to the edge or you could have gotten mom and dad infected with this wretched virus. Who knows!? While fate did intervene, you always got your way – even in the end. The way you went out is something I can never get over. I get flashbacks of that terrible night, the hospital and your condition. You have no idea what mom and dad go through with PTSD. Despite this, for you, I live with a sense of purpose even though I’ve had to put off law school plans.
Sibling love is forever. One thing that I won’t regret is that we ended every day with “Good night, love you” to each other when I lived at home. Shed many a tear knowing our last exchange was “Love you.” It was usually an exchanged pleasantry. Sometimes, one of us was insincere because we had gotten into a fight earlier in the night at the dinner table. Other times, it seemed robotic because it was too routine. If you weren’t in a good mood, you’d still smile when I’d barge into your room to say “Good night, Bex! Love you!” To which I would hear an enthusiastic “Love you too!” before you said “get out of my room!”
I will always miss you.
Love,
Big Bro

Turning 21

I lost my brother when I was 14 years old, he never said bye to me he didn’t even try. I’m turning 21 in 28 days and I wish he knew who I was. I wish I could go to him for advice. I wish so many things and I just wish time stopped so I stayed the age he knew me as. I wish I could talk to him one last time.

Kyle

My brother took his life a few days ago. He was 37 and left behind a baby girl and a family who loved him so much. But his demons were too big for him. And as sad as I am, I’m happy he’s at peace finally. I went to the site today because it still doesn’t feel real. It wasn’t his first attempt but he couldn’t cope anymore. I miss him so much.

IMY

Maddox, its been a few weeks since you’ve passed and it still hurts that you thought that suicide way the way out of this situation that you were in. Maybe i could’ve helped you more but i cant now and i regret it everyday because i was so mean to you and you were mean back but i didn’t take it to the heart like you did and I’m sorry i flipped out on ur mom. i saved everyone else from suicide except you and it hurts to think you’re the one person i could’ve saved. I’m going back to school tomorrow and I’m kinda scared because i know people will talk about you and how you passed. people will look at me and see weak for crying or having an anxiety attack or showing emotion because I’m a guy. but ill go through hell and back to talk to your ugly self one more time and i didn’t mean for it to end this way.  i want dad and heather to adopt someone because its boring without you. you and me had a hate – love relationship and i wish that we had a better relationship. i cant change anything that you did or i did in the past and i don’t think ill ever get over you. you made a dent in my life that can never change and I’m happy and sad about it. i always thought i would be the one to die first but that wasn’t the case. you didn’t deserve anything that happened to you even though you were annoying. i cant believe you died on October, 19 ,2020. everyone is hurting except you because you’re not here, you’re in a wall or something. you were the worst best little brother.

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.