On October 23, 2016, just 17 days after his 35th birthday, my brother took his life. When I first received the news that he was gone, I was in the middle of a store and collapsed. I sobbed uncontrollably and was inconsolable. I spoke to him less than 24 hours before his death and one of the last things he said to me was that once our parents were gone all we would have would be each other. So to think that the next day he would leave me here in this world like that was a swift kick in the gut.
My brother and I have had our challenges. We didn’t speak often because he had a temper and could be very hot and cold sometimes. However, there has never been a day that I doubted his love for me and I know he knows I loved him so very much. But to protect my mental and emotional health, I had to build boundaries around how I communicated with him and my mother. Now I feel so guilty that I didn’t try harder to talk to him more often. I feel guilty that I didn’t try harder to get him to address his problems. I feel guilty that I didn’t tell him I loved him more often. I always assumed we would have time to fix our relationship. I thought there was time for things to improve in his life. WE WERE SUPPOSED TO HAVE MORE TIME.
Not only am I sad…not only do I feel guilty…but I am mad. I am mad that he has left me like this. I am mad that he has left his son without a father. I am mad that he has hurt our mom in such a terrible way. I am mad that he didn’t take the time to reach out to me and ask for help. I am mad that I didn’t sense that this was coming. I am mad that I didn’t sense when he left this world. I am mad that the world has the nerve to keep going on day after day like nothing has happened. I honestly don’t know what I am supposed to do. I don’t know what I am supposed to feel. I don’t know how I am supposed to continue to move forward. All I know is that I was told that I have to live. So that is what I do day in and day out. I get up and move through my day wondering if my brother can see me. Wondering if he is at peace. Wondering if he would change his mind if given another chance. I can’t make any promises that I will ever be okay. I can only promise that I will try to not meet the same fate.
This is not a suicide or crisis resource. Please contact a counselor, family member, friend, or emergency services if you are having suicidal thoughts.
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