2/15/2021… I hate that day… the day you took your life!!!!! Our family will never be the same.. our circle is broken!!!
These 11 months have been so hard without seeing you, hearing your voice, laughing with you and I miss your morning phone calls sooo much! Nothing will ever be the same. I’m sorry you were suffering and I’m glad you are at peace. Please watch over your wife, your children and our family. Love you forever, bro…see ya on the other side.
I lost my brother to suicide November 17, 2021. I hate that day, I was on my way to work, I had just dropped my 7 year-old son at school, and it’s less than 5 minutes to my work from his school. I am thankful he wasn’t in the car when I got the call. I still don’t want to believe he is gone, it kills me. He was 2 years older than me, how do you get through losing your only sibling??
We had a hard childhood and he had a lot of anger and I’m sure, sadness in him. He has a history of drug use and was a drinker. He’s married and has 14 and 16 year-old kids. The isolation of Covid had a play in this I’m sure, and many other things as well. I talked to him 3-4 times per week, he was my person I would call whenever I was alone in the car. We would call each other just to say hi. I talked to him the night he did this. Every day that passes takes me further away from that last conversation and the last time I saw him.
I have a hard time finding time to grieve, I have 3 and 7 year old boys, a husband and a mother-in-law who lives with us. No one seems to want me to cry. I find some solace when I go hiking and can cry in the mountains. I have reached out to hospice but can’t find any suicide survivor groups to go to, which is what I feel I need.
Everything took a while for his body to go from the coroner to the funeral home. I went and visited him there, it had been 2 weeks already since he had hung himself. I keep picturing the moments that led him up to his decision and it kills me. I just want him back so badly. And it makes me hate this cruel world, how can someone suffer so much that they do this??? When I was in the room with him, he just looked like he was sleeping and any minute would say “boo” and scare me, he didn’t look like he had died. I keep going back to that too, and it gives me relief that I was able to see him, but I still somehow can’t accept that this has happened.
I’m a nurse and I took a leave of absence, I’m supposed to return to work next week. I don’t have anything in me to care for my patients, anything I have is spent on myself and my family. I am trying desperately to find a different job that isn’t direct patient-care, but haven’t found anything yet.
I miss my brother so much. I’m not angry at him for doing this, I just wish I could have supported him more or taken his hurt away from him so that he could have grown old with me. I’m so broken
I wish we knew. I wish you’d have said something. I wish we saw the signs. I wish I talked to you more. I wish you lived closer so I could be there to listen. I wish you never grabbed the gun. I wish, I wish, I wish…
Right now marks exactly 5 hours since mom called me to tell me you were gone.
I’ll love you forever, baby brother, and I’ll carry your memory with pride.
I have posted this a couple of times on Feb 9th which is the date my brother died. Tomorrow is the anniversary of him setting himself on fire. It will be 35 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.
I wrote this 4 years ago and it is still true:
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 along 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.
I can’t belive you left us Jan 20, 2021. You said in your letter that you couldn’t take it anymore sorry. That was it that is all we got. For my whole life we’ve made it out of the worst situations or tragedies you could imagine. When I was 16 and ran away you have no idea how close I came to never coming home because a horrible person almost took my life. You told me you were proud of me for fighting for my life. You never told me what happened to you when you were a kid and how this might of been the reason you couldn’t handle this life. I thought I was there for you you made me think you were ok but you probably thought you were a burden on everyone I had a flash of panic months before you did this that you were going to do this so I frantically called mom and dad and told them to help you and they did and finally they were able to know you. Losing your wife and daughter to divorce was horrible I was so mad at them for abruptly leaving you like that alone in that house. I always hated that house and that garage. I knew something was sinister about it. I am so mad at you but will always love you my big brother you were my guide into this world my inspiration but sadly you won’t be here for your kids or their kids. I will always be torn between anger and sadness.
I don’t know who the hell is going to see this, and I don’t really care. You were 23 when you killed yourself on your birthday back in August, and I turned 21 in October. At first I was confused why the world kept on going without you, and now I’m just pissed off. Not at you, but that this is just how things have to be now. You know I wasn’t a person who instigated things, but now I’m just itching for someone to try and start something with me so I have an excuse to punch something.
But at the end of the day it isn’t anger. It’s a sadness and feeling of confusion so deep I can’t even see the other side of it. It’s being frustrated at not knowing how much pain must have been inside for you to shoot yourself and die all alone. I wish I could shake and scream at you or even just give you one last awkward brother hug.
Or punch you really hard in the shoulder for making me go through a 4 hour open casket viewing talking to people who didn’t really know you and will never ever understand the amount of raw pain this is to wake up to every morning. These days I zone out so hard for so long to get away from thinking and feeling that sometimes you have to nudge me to bring me back to what’s going on.
I don’t know. If I had a dime for every time someone told me “time will make it better” I could have worn something MUCH nicer to your funeral. There was so much love and kindness left in your heart, and we all just hope you’re someplace where you aren’t hurting anymore.
Love you dude. See you later.
Nolan. I had always dreamt of the day I would have a baby brother. Then I got lucky. I got three of you guys. I was not lucky enough to spend the beginning of my life with you, but I was there before you hit double digits. Back when you were small and would listen to anything I said because I was your big sister the day I met you. I watched you grow from my baby brother who wore footie pajamas to the dork who could show me how to do anything on a computer. Remember when you got grounded from electronics so you modded your raspberry pi to watch YouTube? We all laughed. How could you be so clever.
I was on my way to work when dad called. I don’t remember my drive home. But asking the sheriff “are my parents inside?” Will play on repeat the rest of my life. As I looked past them I saw more standing where you were found. I don’t remember enough but your dad unable to stand all day. On his knees. And (y)our mom just pacing crying while my dad took the lead to the detectives. Our brothers were there. And we were so lost. When they asked if we wanted to see you before they took you, we shouldn’t have said yes. We shouldn’t have been as curious as you. You had had a great Sunday we thought. But you hid your gun out back. And within hours you were gone, and we didn’t know until Monday morning. Grandpa laid with you. Pulling your shirt so we didn’t have to see your damage. But your body showed enough. How will you always be 16? When they let me dress you at the funeral home I had never felt someone so cold. But it was the last time you let me hold your hand. You had let me kiss your head when I visited home the month before. So I kissed it again. I didn’t think that would upset you now. None of this feels real 3 weeks out. Getting out of bed hurts. I don’t have the strength to brush my teeth or hair somedays and I just hope for the best. Thanksgiving sucked without you and I’m scared of Christmas. I wish you could’ve talked to us about it all. Because I feel so lost not knowing why.
I just found you today, it isn’t real. I should have been there. You should still be here! This can’t be happening. This isn’t real
J, you killed yourself and your pain on October 5, 2021. You have been memorialized, your ashes safe in the house where your widow and 2 of your children still live. We were five strong, with you, the last to come, always the beloved favorite. Our love could not save you, our trying did not save you. How can it be that for months this summer, you were finally happy, you were planning trips, contacting roofers, then getting Covid – you stopped calling, stopped answering our emails and calls. Your last words to me were “I’m so tired, Is. Just so tired.” We are still trying to save you. We can’t yet make sense, let go, stop asking each other what happened. We are caring for our sister, your wife, and your children and grands but we miss you to distraction. We were five, now we are 4. I sense your peace, I sense our lack of. You are out of pain, we couldn’t save you. At the end, you didn’t want to be saved. Free will is hard to bear. You are loved and wanted and someday we will perhaps stopped being shocked but we are still 5 in our hearts, little brother.