My Big Goofball Brother (SiblingsSurvivors Guest Post)

Subject: My Big Goofball Brother

The night before we played with the dogs breaking in their new toys. Pearl of course took all her toys to the bedroom and you snuck in and took them all away only for her to take them back in. This happened 5 billion times.
Later we sat on your bed drinking hot coca specially made by you, heavy whip cream on top. We were browsing your liked videos on youtube and joking about how some people are so foolish. We made some stupid inside jokes, OHMS, ba doom tssss, Jorge or Jorge.
That silly Darth Vader shirt you had on, “free throat hugs”, clung to every single one of Felix’s hairs. I left your room that night with you two wrestling with Felix’s new stuffed squeaking pig. You always loved dogs. You even brought home the best dog in the world for me.
I’m might be headed to college next year but I still nesd my big brother to send me shitty videos and tell me what I should watch and do.
I was ganna teach you how to drop in on a pipe (snowboarding) on Monday, now I don’t think I can even go snowboarding at all. You were right beside me when I learned. Falling every time I falled or making me fall.
I love you even if you left me this confused and sad. I’m still waiting for this to be a prank.

Miss you, baby brother (SiblingsSurvivors Guest Post)

Subject: Miss you, baby brother

My baby brother hung himself in his home, 4 months ago. We were close, and I never saw this coming. He’d been depressed for the last month and a half before he took his own life. We talked often, I still didn’t see this coming. He was having marriage troubles, was working in getting his license back, and had some debt he needed to clear up. I was helping him get back on track. He came home from work early in the 12th anniversary of our fathers death and caught his wife with one of his best friends (who also happened to be our cousin). That was it. No note, nothing. I miss him so much. I try so hard to block out the “what if’s”. But it’s hard. Aside from the month a half before he died, he was always happy go lucky. I miss him so much. It’s a pain that you can’t describe and a pain that only anyone who’s ever lost a loved one to suicide, can ever understand. I know that time is supposed to help. But I feel like it’s getting worse. I miss him more and more everyday. Til we meet again, baby brother. I love you!

To my younger only sibling.. (SiblingSurvivors Letters)

Subject: To my younger only sibling..

If you only knew the anger, depression and sadness I felt. If you only knew the insomnia I’m riddled with now after you took your own life. If you only knew how many outbursts I’ve had and days I’ve missed from work would you have thought twice about your decision. Did you think about our childhood and what we did together.. Did you remember any of the great times we had. The laughter, the tears. Did you think about any of that before you decided to take your own life. Did you think about the sunsets you would miss, the beauty of a thunderstorm, the sound of rain hitting the roof. Did you think of the big life events that you would miss.. like your own wedding, my wedding, the birth of our children. Why did you forget about the beauty in life rather than endlessly searching for negativity, tragedy and sadness. Everyone goes through hardships in life. Everyone. Why did you think you were so special in the way you felt about life? You never tried hard enough to better yourself or your life. You let depression run your life and you created tragedies in your life on purpose. It’s like you wanted to hurt as much as I did but you had it easier so you made your life much harder to counter-act that or “show me up” in hardships. I never understood that about you. Did you think you would be your own demise all along? Why would you put our family through this? I don’t sleep at night and I need therapy now.. counselling. I’m freaking out randomly on poor Travis. He doesn’t deserve that! But I can’t deal with these emotions this time through. I thought my hard life was over and now it’s the worst it’s ever been. What went through your head when you hung yourself! Why did you do that! Around the corner from Mom’s house!? Why!!! It was horrible to find that out that day after you had been missing for 4 days. My vacation from work turned into a horrible, crazy search for you and then a tragic, terrible ending finding out you had died. I cried so hard I fell on the ground and couldn’t get up. Why would you do this? Now I’m alone. When Mom and Dad pass, I’m utterly and totally alone. The oldest sibling left alone by herself. I felt lonely for a long time but now I feel a different type of loneliness. A very painful, emotional loneliness where I am completely unmotivated a lot of the time.. when I was always so optimistic and looking on the bright side of every negative situation. Now I don’t really see much of a bright side anymore.. I see dimness and desperation. You forgot how you got here and what we did together as kids, teens and then adults. You forgot it all and thought about only yourself. You ended your life at 23 so abruptly not even realizing that you could have changed your fate. You could have changed your ways. You could have changed your life!! You took my life with yours you know. Now I suffer and if I suffer too much, I push it away so I can work.. so I can nurture my relationship with Travis and my friends but then it blows up in my face every time ten-fold. I love you Laura but you have stolen a massive piece of me and took it with you. If you only knew.

I can’t deal with this. (SiblingsSurvivors Guest Post)

Subject: I can’t deal with this.

Scream. I want to scream my lungs out. I want to break everything and cry my heart out. I am feeling things which I cannot even put into words but what tops my list is WHY ME? Out of the billion million people in this world why did this happen to me?
It has been almost a month since I lost my brother, a term which I hate using anymore.
It feels like I have so many things to say but don’t know how to convert my thoughts into words. How to utter these words which will reassure that this is the reality. How to I accept something which I cannot believe is true.
I have questions and I have a handful of them. I am angry not only on him but everyone around me. I have guilt, lots of it. Why are people trying to be normal around me? Why are people laughing and doing what they are supposed to do? What is this? Do we just go on like this? Can we do nothing at all?????
I feel distant from each and everyone. People closest to me have their happy life and they are just sorry and sad for me. They just come, try to make me laugh and go. They leave me with these feelings all inside. Right now, at this very moment I am so annoyed how each and every person out there is doing some routine work in their life with no idea about what I am feeling. They are sorry that they cannot be present, that they have some other priority at this moment when I need them. I don’t understand how do I understand this? How do I understand that they are not here when I need them the most. I need them here all the time but I find myself all alone, all day long.

He left me (SiblingsSurvivors Guest Post)

On august 5th 2013, he left me. I saw him lay there looked as if he was asleep. I walked away in pure shock. I turn around me see my father holding my mother and my two other brothers holding each other. That’s when I realised… if it was to be anyone else (which I would never wish) you would be holding me. i will be mad for as long as I need to be but he is in a better place and away from any trouble. I love you and I always will

Half My Life Ago

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 no 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 goods 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.

Miss you Fat Boy

June 2017 my brother hung himself in the basement at home. Danny fought long and hard with depression. We lost our mom when he was 9 and I was 11 to cancer. It’s so hard to live when the only person who understood the pain you were in is no longer here. We never talked about her but the pain was always there for both of us. His was just more, too much. I wish we could have helped him more. I didn’t know what to do when his world was collapsing. He was only 18, his entire bright future ahead of him. A true genius, an artist and a wizard on the computer and piano. I miss the sound of you playing beautiful music, flooding the house with it. I miss you so much Fat Boy. I hope you are resting in peace. Love you.

Happy (belated) Birthday!

Happy belated birthday! Not sure why I couldn’t bear to write this yesterday. H already didn’t even know it was your birthday, poor kid. She’s going to forget you, you know? I wish I could forget you too. I just turned 18, and you missed it!! And O just turned 21, and I know what you would have said to her lol. H made her a card, and it looked just like the one she made you for your 21st birthday. It has been 90 of the worst days of my life since I last saw you. Unless I am asleep, I don’t go an hour without thinking about you. I haven’t cried in so long. I’m just shocked and terrified every day that I have to go through the rest of my life without you. How are any of us going to possibly do that?! I can’t smell you when I go to the basement anymore, and everything down there is just as you left it, except for your clothes. Mom’s friends washed all of them and wanted to donate them but we told them to wait. They are on your bed in a pile, your backpack is in the corner, your laptop is where it usually is. Mom still hasn’t gone down to the basement, and we are moving soon anyway. Not sure to where, but the house is being renovated. Just wanted to let you know that we all miss you so f*** much! And I am so glad that you aren’t hurting anymore, and you are probably having a fantastic time up there when I’m trying not to fail Calculus. Don’t know why i’m still in the class to be honest. Guess it’s only because that was the last piece of advice you ever gave me. I hate math, and even math reminds me of you! I wish you could help me, O doesn’t know much math to be honest. We are all in a lot of pain. Dad keeps on getting mad and taking it out on us, Mom’s health is deteriorating, O is being stoic as always, but I hope she will be okay. A keeps on taking out her anger on classmates and teachers, and H won’t even say your name! It is as if your name has become a swear word or something. Anyway, I got a job! Which I know you would be proud of me for. Haven’t told anyone there about what happened to you. Guess i’m going to continue to try to trick myself. Lots of love, and Happy 22nd Birthday! I miss you more than you could have ever imagined, and I pray every day for this to be a dream. Unfortunately, that does not seem to be the case, but I have to keep on living, right? You would have wanted that. We have to be okay.