March 5, 2018, just after 6AM: the phone call that has seemingly forever changed my life. “Dustin is gone…” The words are etched in my mind, a permanent fixture with the sound as fresh, haunting, and devastating now as it was then.
My brother was such a humorous guy, always laughing and always with a cheeky little half-grin that never revealed all of its secrets. Dustin had been struggling for a couple of years, the result of a failed marriage and guilt that he carried about how it ended. His two kids were at the same time the light of his life, and also a painful reminder of how things had been, could have been.
Pursuing a numbing of his feelings, he turned to drugs and got in over his head. He struggled hard, attending a rehabilitation facility and focusing intently on his recovery. I don’t know what happened, why he relapsed, and why he felt he couldn’t continue on with his recovery. A fresh day could have been a fresh start, but depression and anxiety told him otherwise.
For whatever reason, that cold night in March, he made a break from medical care and ran barefoot through the ice covered roads to a nearby school. He broke in, found an extension cord, and hanged himself.
There is so much of this story that is incongruent. My brother is not the type of person who would know how to break into a building, yet, somehow he did. He isn’t the type of person who would turn to drugs, yet, somehow he did. He absolutely was not the type of person who would leave his kids behind, yet…
I miss him intensely and terribly. He deserved so much better than his end and my heart is devoured by the fact that I couldn’t help, that he felt he was a burden, and that our love couldn’t have saved him.
My brother shot himself with his hunting rifle on 02 Oct 2018. His co workers had been concerned for him and asked me to check on him at home, where I found him passed away. I have had wonderful support from people but I am still struggling with the fact he didn’t speak out to me, I will always miss him dearly and he was a wonderful friend for 40 years.
It’s been 4 months since my brother shot himself and it’s still doesn’t seem real. I keep looking for him at family functions texting him after something happens in the tv show we watched. I am broken I think about it every single day. All I want to do is lay in bed and sleep but the world goes on even though my world has completely crashed and stopped. I just want to see you again laugh with you joke around and argue about stupid things. I miss you zack so very much…
29 years since you’ve been gone and it still hurts. You wrote a letter four days before you shot yourself and you blamed me. I still have this letter and I am trying to be strong. I want to write about your life, but it has been too painful. Your letter hurts me so badly. I was only 12, when you shot yourself. I miss you and I’ll never understand it completely.
How did we get here? Will the pain ever go away? This goes through my head every single day… Today has been a very rare day, I feel peaceful, Serg are you here with me? I cannot believe its been a year since I last saw, heard, hugged, kissed you.. The last time I heard you call me “sis”, I would do anything to turn back time but I can’t & I have to face reality that you are not ever coming home. My heart breaks I miss you so much, we all do. I planned your memorial service for Wednesday December 5th the same day we had your funeral because I 10x’s rather remember your beautiful mass than the horrific day “today” that you decided to change our life forever, the day you forced us to suffer the rest of our lives. Although I am so angry at you, I love you more every day that goes by with all of my heart.. We will not grow old together in this world but I hold hope & faith that we will be together someday in heaven. Your loving sister
My Dearest Kate,
Today was your first birthday since we lost you. It was almost like a day of mourning for me, actually, I guess it was. Thought about you most of the day, still wondering if there was anything I could’ve done to make you rethink things, though deep down I know I couldn’t have.
Mom and dad had a special mass said for you today. Unfortunately we don’t talk about it except to recognize to each other that it’s a sad day. I really don’t have anyone to talk to about my thoughts and feelings so I just write you these letters once in a while. You would’ve been 50 today, and I never thought my sister would be dead before 50 years old. My heart is just broken, and I’m so sad. I pray everyday that you’re in heaven, and keep praying for signs, but of course I don’t see any. I’m very lonely and miss getting your emails and texts. Anyway, I hope you’re looking down and seeing what a gaping hole you left in our lives. I’m not angry with you, just sad and wish I could’ve done something. Love, your brother.
I can’t believe it’s been almost 30 years. I thought the struggle of missing you would get easier with time, but that is not the case. I actually miss you more today then that April day of 1989. I have never felt so lost as I do now without you. All I can do is cherish the memories you and I had together. I thank God everyday for blessing me with the best brother and best friend any sister could have. I don’t know why that the pain now is more unbearable then it was back 30 years ago. I just know it is. All I can do is look up at the sky and feel the warm sunshine as your smile. I truly miss you. I don’t know why you left me. I just know God called you home and was ready for you even though I wasn’t. Thank you God for Edward. He was the best earthly brother and now he is the best Guardian Angel.
Serg, I cannot believe we will be reaching 1 year next month, the worst part of it is that I havent seen, kissed, hugged, talked, text YOU in almost a year… AND will not ever be able to until we see eachother again in heaven. This is so devastating to me, us and everyone that loved you. Our mom is the worst of all, she keeps telling us that you are probably lonely and she needs to go soon to be with you, our dad is hanging on the best he can trying to comfort our mom, at times we seem to be normal but one memory or flashback of you and we start all over with the pain again.. I have seemed to manage to move on somehow because I have faced reality and have realized no matter what I do, no matter how much I suffer you are not coming back & I have to pull it together for my family. I find myself thinking of you every day, there has not been one day since you left that you are not on my mind. I love you & am mad at the same time, mad because you forced us to live a life without you & you didnt bother to think about how this would bring such heartache, unbearable pain, a sadness beyond belief, your selfish act was our worst nightmare! Maybe I am the selfish one, I wasnt the one living with MS, depression, mental issues etc. but you knew we would of done the impossible to save your life, I wish you would have given us a choice. Instead, I will plan a 1 year memorial service on Dec 5, 2018 although you left us on November 29th I want to remember the day we had your beautiful service & not the tragic day you took your life away from us. I sound bitter Serg but I am not, I just miss you so much that I rather be mad than destroyed inside, it helps me get through by staying mad but then I find myself saying sorry to you for being mad and not understanding why you left us. I love you with all my heart & miss you so much it hurts so bad. I hope you will be there with all of us at your 1 year memorial service.. your loving sis
Dear Mike, it’s now been about 2 1/2 days since you took your life and ended your pain. I am broken, my heart hurts and when I cry it gets so uncontrollable that it feels like I could have a heart attack. I am the saddest I’ve ever been, ever. Even when we lost dad to cancer 2 1/2 years ago, I knew he was sick and there was no cure for him so we were more accepting when he passed. He wasn’t suffering anymore. But you, you felt all alone in a new state without any family, depending on a woman for love and acceptance and she let you down. I am so mad at myself that I didn’t stop you from going there with her. I can’t shake what you did from my head. You left behind your 3 grown kids that are devastated as well. Your oldest needed you. He’s a sensitive soul and you left him. His mother doesn’t help him. You were his rock. I understand the torment you must have had because of our childhood but I didn’t realize you were in so much pain. I wish you had reached out to me. I would have tried to help you. I would have done anything for you, my little brother. I don’t know how I’m going to get passed this. I love you more than you know. Your sister, Jackie
Today my brother killed himself with a cross bow. I feel numb and i cant wrap my mind around it. He was my hero and i loved him dearly. He will always be hero and may God have mercy on his soul.i will never get over this pain.