Remembering Todd

A year ago on January 19-2018 I lost my younger brother Todd to suicide. He shot his self in the head and that is a phone call I will never forget. It’s been so hard to try and understand why. He was not only my brother he was my best friend. I think about him everyday and the pain never goes away.

This week has been hard.

I thought of you this week. Mostly I prayed for your wife and boys you left behind. It’s been 3 months and it is their first Valentine’s day without you. They are hurting. I’m hurting. I had a dream of me and mom and Tiffany going through our boxes from when we were kids. Every time we got to your stuff we would say “remember when Branden…” and we would cry for you. Today I just thought of you and now I can’t stop crying. I miss my brother. I’m mad and I’m sad and I want to why.

Isolation, looking for someone who can relate

Being a sibling survivor of suicide can be truly isolating, as I’m sure you all know. I have a wonderful group of friends to talk with but none of them have a clue what I go through on a daily basis. That behind every smile there’s a hint of guilt that my brother can’t smile anymore, that my birthdays are a reminder that I’ll be older than him soon, that I would trade every positive thing in my life since his death rup go back to our old lives in a heartbeat. So I found this site, in search of those who can relate. Sometimes it’s comforting, and other times I feel even more isolated.
My brother was 5 and a half years older than me. He was my only sibling. We were not that close once he became a teenager. He struggled with addiction for years. I hated him at times (that kind of hate where you still love them but choose to not have themin your life). But then he got clean for good, on his own terms. We both lived with our parents. We started becoming friends for what felt like the first time. I was SO happy to live in the same house. He seemed so happy. We went to the movies and cooked each other food. We had three amazing years of really being brother and sister.
Then one night, he and his new girlfriend got in a fight and she walked out on him. She came back to find him hanging on our patio. My parents and I ran to him. My dad and I took him down and performed CPR while my mom called 911. The paramedics shocked him 4 times, so he still had an electric rhythm. After taking to an EMT friend of him, he said we were probably only a few minutes too late.
So after 3 years of feeling really alone in this grief, I just want to ask if anyone has had a remotely similar experience? Sometimes it’s hard to read other people’s stories who heard the news over the phone, were estranged from their sibling, were best friends with their sibling, have other siblings to talk to… I know everyone here has had an unimaginable loss and I am so sorry for each and every one. I in no way mean to downplay one loss from another, they are all the worst loss any of us have experienced. I’m just looking to not feel so alone. Can anyone relate? Or does anyone else feel this isolated in their grief?

Breathe

One year ago I posted the entry below.
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 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.

It’s been 10 days

It’s been 10 days since I got the call I never thought I would get, even though now I think I should have known. My brother has not passed yet but according to the drs there is no hope and he is “gone” as they not so gently put it. He’s 31 and I’m not ready for him to leave this world. I have so much guilt and anger and sadness all at the same time. I can’t even cope. He’s dealt with depression and alcoholism for over 10 yrs, he’s talked about suicide before but I’ve always been able to get to him and calm him down. Right before Christmas he called me for help. He was feeling very low and reached out to me, after a long convo he finally agreed to get help and I brought him to the hospital. 5 hrs there they told me they would keep him for a minimum for 72 hrs. It was late and I had to bring my infant son home, so I left and told him I’d be back in the morning. They released him 15 min after I left. The time between then and now he was feeling better or so he said and I believed. He wanted to wait to get help till his insurance started on the 1st of this month. Looking back I wished I would have pushed harder for him to go sooner but I never saw this coming. I never thought he would really do this. He posted to Facebook not long before he hung himself in his room in our parents house – how he just wanted to sleep. I saw the post but figured he was just drunk and I was exhausted and honestly thought if I called him he would think I was calling just because of that. I wish I would have just called him. I can’t stop thinking about why I didn’t. I feel like this is all my fault no matter how many times I’m told it’s not. I should have been able to stop this.

How did your workplace handle your loss?

I lost my brother back in October of 2018. My work’s response was essentially to not talk about it. I feel like I and my brother have been dealt an injustice simply because he died from suicide.
Earlier in the year another coworker lost her father from “natural causes” and we all signed a card for her. Half of the office doesn’t even know I lost my brother because his cause of death is taboo. I’m angry and hurt.
It’s been four months since he died and I feel like it’s too late to bring it back up again and have everyone sign a card.

Lost My Brother

On January 1st 2019 It was a year since my brother took his life I still think everyday abot that night we got the news my other brother found him it was a horrible sight and ever since he is in a very bad condition I suffer everyday nothing brings me joy anymore but I gotta pretend I can’t talk about this to nobody out of my family they all suffer I dont wanna be a burden the worst thing is he took his life because he felt lost after he had a motorcycle crash 12 years ago and since then never was the same he was disabled 70% couldn’t work had no girlfriend was depending on others I cant even tell the whole story it is just so hard I cry every night I cant believe it I still see him hear his voice I hate that time goes by and everyday that passes is one more day that I will never be around him anymore he had the biggest heart even in his pain always found words to encourage others if he saw they were down even writing this is so hard I dont expect anything of it I just need to share with others that have the same pain although nothing can relive it.

When I lost her I lost my whole family (SiblingsSurvivors Guest Post)

In two weeks, it will be six years since I lost my sister to suicide. We grew up in a situation that without going into too much detail, no one should have to grow up in. Due to that and perhaps a predisposition to mental illness, leading to addiction to opioids she struggled throughout her late teens and early twenties. I tried over and over again to help her, so many times I thought we were close, but ultimately she took her own life. Because of the way we grew up, we dont really have “family”. I have no idea what it would even feel like to have parents. There was zero love in our home, but me and Tee loved each other. We had each other’s backs. I lost her 6 years ago and I just miss her so much. For some reason, as we get closer to the 6 year anniversary it just seems so much harder. I’m feeling (even though I know I wouldn’t actually do it) idealization of suicide, like if I did I’d get to see her again. I just needed an outlet and found this site.

Older brother took his life

Subject: Older brother took his life

My older brother, Peter, just took his own life 2 days ago and it has been very tough for me and my family to process. He was the second out of four boys, (we are all in our 30’s) and his death has me asking so many questions.
Our family is close but a has a harder time discussing emotions and how we really feel. Peter dealt with issues with alcohol and depression and went through waves of good times and bad times. I was the brother living closest to him for the last 4 years, and I can’t help but feel like I could have done more, or tried to reach out more frequently than I did over the years.
He had been in rehab and seemed to be doing better, but recently I haven’t been seeing him as much and wasn’t communicating with him as much. He consistently ignored calls and texts from me and my family, and never wanted to really do much with his life. I wish I had done more to reach out, and feel guilty and selfish about how everything has ended.

SiblingsSurvivors Guest Post

Monday was my birthday. My first birthday since losing my brother. My big brother. I realized, in the next few years, I will become older than him. I will be older than my big brother. I can’t stop crying. I’ve spent so much time trying to put together the pieces and figure out why he took his life. I only just now realized how much I miss him.