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.

For my older brother

Dear S,
There is not a day that goes by where you are not on my mind in one way or another. This May will be two years since your death. I wish I could say that your death has somehow made me a better or stronger person but thats just not the case. I am still broken, I am still coping, still trying to find new meaning in life after whatever my previous life was got shattered to bits.
How is it possible to live your entire life with someone and then in an instant have them ripped from you entirely? You were always someone I looked up to growing up and even into my adult years. You were the smarter, funnier, weirder older brother and I wish I could look you in the eyes now and tell you just how much you fucking mean to me.
The note you left you mentioned how you saw me as the bigger more mature sibling, how you looked up to me in a lot of ways, how you were tired of fighting, to take care of mom. I’m doing my best but some days it just really weighs down on me.
You were supposed to be there through all the milestones in my life. You were supposed to be there cracking jokes and playing guitar through all the hard times. You were supposed to be there.
I’m still here and I’m still fighting but sometimes I wish that I would wake up from this bad dream and see you and hug you and tell you just how much i’ve missed you.

My baby brother

My little brother shot himself in the head on February 21.  I found him  covered in blood in my parents room. There was no signs. He was playing uno with us. He asked if I could fix his sweater. He had plans this week with friends. I can’t look at my parents room cause I still see him and all the blood. I can’t sit in silence cause I hear the noise…

My baby brother

He was a kid. 17 years old. And in one second he made the decision to end his whole future. I don’t thing he thought it through. We cant find any evidence he planned it. He shouldn’t have known the combination to the gun safe. Less than 30 minutes before we played uno. A few hours later we cried around a hospital bed where he laid dead.
We all forgot how to drink water, eat, breathe. Exist. A world without him is wrong. Everything about this is wrong. I miss my brother. I want him back. And I wish I could have helped him.

Hello Snarl

OMG, what a year it has been! Do you know how many times I would have loved to called and vent to you about all the ridiculousness going on around us!?!?! Ugg, no one else would understand but you. And mom and dad….where do I even start with that and them becoming hermits through all of this. Tried to tell C but he doesnt understand the family dynamic. So frustrating as I just feel like a buoy in the middle of the ocean all by myself. Anyways, got your memorial tattoo started. Looks cool. I can see you rolling your eyes. HAHAHA. Work is good. Im a detective now. Got your picture up in the office. Well just wanted to say HI and I love you and miss you more than you will ever know, sis.

Broken

I have worked in mental health for 10 years and have a Bachelor’s degree in psychology. I work with children and adolescents with behavior and mood disorders — mostly adolescents suffering with suicidal ideation, and some have made attempts, but nothing could have prepared me for the phone call I received late Friday night on January 22, 2021.
I ignored the first call because I did not recognize the number, then a text came through that said he was a friend of yours and to call asap. I thought you had been in an accident or something so I called immediately, but then a state trooper answered the call and said the words I will no longer forget “Shane is no longer with us”. It took my breath away, the shock and disbelief overwhelmed me. I said “is this a joke?” and he repeated it. I said “No, you wouldn’t tell me this over the phone, you would come to my house”. He stated my sister in law needed me. I asked to speak to her because I still did not believe it. I thought it was a joke. I then heard her hysterical in the background, his friend took the phone and confirmed it was not a joke. I asked what happened and he said “He was upset” and that’s when I knew.
Then I needed to spring into action. My family needed me–my parents, my sister in law-I needed to get there, but I couldn’t. My 10 month old daughter was asleep and my husband who works overnights was at work. But I had to go there. I needed to be with my family.
I first called my husband and told him. There was silence at first. But he was going to leave work as soon as possible to get home-about an hour drive. I then called my parents-my mom answered. She was already on her way and crying. I just wanted to hug her so tight. She said she wasn’t going to call me, but I assured her I was on my way. She just pleaded with me to “be careful”. Then I called my in-laws who live 10 minutes away and they came right over to stay with my daughter until my husband got home.
It was a 10 minute drive to his house. I remember pulling up to all of the police cars. I got right out and ran to my mom and took her in my arms and hugged her so tight. All my life she had said things like “no parent should have to bury their child” and “if anything ever happened to one of you…” And now her worst fear was a reality.
My sister in law was sitting inside the police cruiser and would not open her eyes, I hugged her and comforted her as much as I could. She kept saying she was sorry-placing all the blame on herself. Her sister was there and my brother’s best friend and his wife, and my dad (who was my brother’s step-dad but had pretty much raised him since he was 2).
We stood outside for almost 2 hours while police cleared the house and it was cold that night. I learned of some of the details. I remained strong for everyone around me and though that night is somewhat blurry, there are pieces I will never forget.
I knew you were struggling the last few months. We were 7 years apart. My older brother who I literally looked up to-a foot taller than me- and figuratively. I got involved in sports when I was younger because my big brother played sports. Life took us on our own paths and we only saw each other a few times a year but mom would keep my updated. I’d always ask how you were and I had been saying after some things mom told me that you needed to get help, you needed therapy. She said she knew and talked to you about it, but that was it. Just deep down my intuition was telling me you were struggling-I just didn’t know how bad it was.
But despite our busy lives, you were always there for me. During the start of the pandemic when I was pregnant you called me and got me supplies because you didn’t want me going into the stores and when we lost power for a week in the summer with a newborn you were trying your hardest to get us a generator and the last time you text me was a few days after Christmas telling me Lowe’s received more generators. The last time I saw you was Christmas Eve and we played a game as a family for the first time and I thought it was the start of a new, fun family tradition.
But you were unhappy with your job, had relationship conflicts, and we suspected PTSD from a car accident you were involved in several years ago that was never your fault. I can’t imagine the emotional pain you were experiencing and the physical pain because you had back pain and more recently over the last few years digestive issues. But something happened over the last few months that drastically affected you.
Now that I know some of the events leading up to your decision, I wish I had known more. I wish she had communicated with his family that you were not okay and yes I have been cycling through the stages of grief- anger, sadness, denial- experiencing some guilt and anger towards others, ultimately I tell myself this is what you wanted, even though it hurts so bad, you were hurting more.
I just wish I knew. I wish we could have helped you. I have access to so many resources, if only I was aware that you needed more interventions. But I know what I need to do for my own mental health and I am seeking the support I need and figuring out how I can turn this tragedy into advocacy.
I just wish you knew how much I loved you and appreciated you. You truly were a loving, caring man who was always helping others, you just had trouble helping yourself. I hope that I can take this tragedy and turn it into something good- like advocacy. You will always be my big brother, and now my sweet daughter has the BEST Guardian Angel and I will make sure she knows just how wonderful her Uncle Shane was.
I pray to God every day that he has you wrapped up in his arms and that your physical and emotional pain are gone. I hope you are playing basketball and catching touchdowns, eating like a King, and blaring your rap music. I love you Big Bro. Rest In Peace.

Christopher

I’m writing this January 29, 2020 a little over 2 years ago. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was a freshman, now a junior in high school. I was already having a rough day at school and something was giving me bad vibes. My mom went to work at 6 am and I didn’t wake up until 7 am. It started off a typical Monday except I went to school with the intentions of asking my mom after school if we could go see my brother the following weekend. My brother lived with my grandpa at the time. I got off school and went to walk to my grandmas like I do every day after school. At this time I had a phone but it wasn’t turned on. I guess my mom tried calling me but obviously I didn’t get the calls. She also asked the school to tell me she was picking me up from the school that day. So I walk across the street to wait with my friend until her mom got there as I did every day. I tried connecting to the WiFi nearby and I ended up connecting and as soon as my phone connected it started blowing up with calls of my my and messages of her asking where I was. I told her I was at the gas station across the street from my school and she told me she’s on her way now. She pulls up and as soon as I get in the car the whole atmosphere changed. It was just all sad vibes all around. I could tell my mom had been crying. That wasn’t even the first thing that was weird to me at the time. My moms best friend was with her and she didn’t say a word the whole time we were in the car which is highly unusual for her. I’m cracking jokes trying to lighten the mood because I had no idea why everybody was so quiet. So we drive down the street to my grandmas house and as we pull up I see my dad and my little sisters getting out of my dads car. Which was extremely weird because my dad and my mom don’t get along at all and neither do my dad and my grandma. I also noticed a whole bunch of my family members outside which was weird and I just thought maybe we were having a little get together. Me and my sisters were about to go inside and eat and settle down but all of a sudden we hear our dad say “girls don’t go in there yet come here sit down we need to talk” my initial thoughts were “oh I’m probably in trouble what did I do let me think of what I could’ve done” but no. Everybody’s eyes were on me and my sisters. Then all we hear is my dad say “he’s gone” and me and my sisters looked at each other confused. Then he said “your brother is gone” my head immediately hit my lap and I felt a strong turning in my stomach. I remember I didn’t go to school for a week and a half and people thought I dropped out. After my brother passed I hated everything he loved because it just brought back memories and feelings I didn’t want to feel. I had no motivation for school .No motivation for sports. Not even enough motivation or energy to shower or even get out of bed. I would have bad anxiety attacks out of nowhere I’d have breakdowns at least once a week. My brother had 2 birds that we took on after he passed. One night I was sleeping and I thought I heard something but obviously I thought it was in my dream. But I wake up and look over and I swore I seen my brother standing there holding one of his birds on his shoulder smiling at me and saying “let it be” which was his favorite song.

Experience

I don’t know what drew me to this site today. I’m not exactly sure how I stumbled upon it. My brother Christopher, shot himself in the heart, while I was driving up the driveway, on May 7, 1983. He was 16. No one saw it coming. I was 18. It has taken decades to develop the tools to manage my life in the wake of this trauma. If I could be helpful to anyone, I am here to be of service. Thank you.

Who You Are to Me

Damian, I miss you every day. I miss your awkward laugh and unnatural dimple. I miss arguing with you about who would get to control the TV. I miss your alligator tears that would show like magic after taking a few bites of your food. I would have never imagined just one day no longer being able to see that. I always pictured myself passing before most of the family, but especially you and April. It’s unnatural to experience the passing of those younger than you, which is what makes it that much harder to bear with. On top of this, I find it so difficult to wrap my head around the decision you made to end your life. Not a single one of us would have ever thought you were capable of willingly leaving everyone behind like you did. I still find myself getting angry with you sometimes because of the pain that I experience, but I want you to understand that it’s not you – it’s solely your actions.
You were a blessing in everyone’s life and you took that from all of us when you left. I wish you would have vocalized your pain – we are all here for you. We miss you. I can’t get over the pain of missing you, although I find myself begging for it everyday.
I’ll never forget us sitting in my room talking about God and how I refused to accept this idea of God knowing that he chose everyday to bring pain on the lives of people across the world. I replay that conversation over and over and over again just thinking about how annoyed you probably are with me now being a believer, but only after you’ve already passed. I know you’d make fun of me, but better late than never, right?
Damian, you changed the worlds of all those that were fortunate enough with your presence. As your older brother, I felt an almost parental-like responsibility for your well-being. You know we love you, that we care for you. I’ll never know why and I’ll never get over that, but I want you to know I still love you through everything. I never realized how much we all seriously needed each other until your passing. I think about you everyday and I know that it won’t ever change. I am so glad your pain is over. I know you’re resting with Him and appreciating all that life had to offer you in all your 16 years. Brother, please continue to watch over me and the rest of the family. I love you.

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.