30 years later

30 years ago my 11 year old brother shot him self while I was watching him. I was 14 and my parents took the puppies to training class. That day we played and wrote on each other with markers. I have a hard time remembering his voice now and his personality but on the hard days I comes rushing back. He had talked to me that day about how I would do it and he had written a letter about what he wanted done with his things I even took the gun out of his hand that day and told him he would be in trouble for having it. We had talked a little after and I went down stairs to play a game with him. I yelled up a couple times wondering what was taking him so long. That’s when I heard him drop the ketchup bottle and break it. Now I’m thinking we are both in trouble for it. Little did I know he just shot off his head with a 44. I yelled up a few times and still no answer. Sometime later I went up to find him in my parents room with his head missing and a giant mess all over the wall and ceiling. I froze I think felt like I stood there for hours. I don’t know why but I rode my bike around our small town. Things get fuzzy now but I found a policeman along the way and was sitting in the back of his car outside my house with a bunch of other first responders. I don’t remember much else of the night other then wanting water and my dad asking me if it was the gun. I lost my brother and my father that day. He shut down and 25 years later died from not taking care of himself. Maybe we both shut down and my mom over compensated For it. I still never know when emotion will overwhelm me either good or bad. Maybe his death saved my life because there are time I know how he must of felt that day but I know how how everyone else felt the next. My wife and kids suffer from my demons when they take over.but most of the time we are a happy loving family. They deserve better and it’s not fair to my kids to have to see my bad days. They are few and far between which takes us all by surprise and that makes it worse coming out of the blue like they do. I wish I could have seen my brother grow and have him to talk to. Now my dad is gone I feel because he didn’t want to live anymore either. He died the day they were going to sign paper on a house to move closer to my family.

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4 Responses to 30 years later

  1. Your wife says:

    I love you very much and am very proud of you for taking the step to write this and get it all out .

  2. Kyle Benzen says:

    I’m glad you shared this. I’d love to talk to you. I have the same story, but reversed. My brother was 11 and I was 7. We were best friends. He was my role model and best friend. He used a shot gun. I didn’t see him though. He was at his Dads house out of stat (we were half brothers.) It affects me everyday. If you want to talk about it, I’d really appreciate it.

  3. Kirt Shaffer says:

    I am hopeful for you and your family’s future. By sharing this, maybe this can be the beginning of a new chapter in your life. That somehow, your willingness to express yourself will aid in some kind of healing, in some small way, that will deepen your relationships with your wife and kids.

    I lost my brother 30 days ago, he was 47.

    Of the many things I currently think about, is what it will be like for me and my relationships with others in the long term. Your courage to share is helpful to me as I am just now embarking on a journey I would never choose, or think I would be on.

    Thank you for sharing.

  4. Kirsten says:

    After my brothers suicide I had a therapist ask me what I thought my brother wanted for me. Without even thinking I said, “Peace. He wants me to be at peace.”
    I still believe that 30 years later.

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