This letter is one that I should have written along time ago. I have blamed so much on you. I have let myself go down a dark and ugly road and put it all in your name. All because of a decision that you made all those years ago. It was just a split second for you, but I made it my whole life. Making it my whole atmosphere. It’s hard to see outside my own atmosphere. But I need to. I need to tell you how you have shaped my life and how I will always love you. I need to tell you that it is time for me to let go.
I feel you in my heart, but I also feel the emptiness you left there. That emptiness has led to the uglier shapes you have left in my life. The shapes of a knife’s jagged dull blade on my wrists and legs. Not to die but just for the relief the physical pain brought. The shapes of broken relationships from pushing people away in fear of losing them as I lost you. The shapes of countless empty beer bottles and cocaine baggies littering the coffee table displaying my efforts to run from your memory. From your soul.
You have also brought beautiful things to my life. Mostly in the more recent days. I realize my journey through the pain and self-destruction has rendered me a stronger person that cannot be swayed by the breeze of social rifts and minor squabbles. I know that if I can defeat the demons that I created for myself, I can defeat anything. I am capable of anything. With enough work, discipline, and focus on the better things in life, I will prevail. You taught me this. You taught me that the clenching around my throat, the stabbing pain in my stomach, the depression, the anxiety, it is all temporary. After it is done there is still a beautiful world to experience.
I wish I could show you the world. I wish you could see Italy like you always dreamed of. You would fit in so well with my friends there. I wish you knew what it was like to go for a run on the northern beaches of Sydney at sunrise or ski in the French Alps or go mountain biking in New Zealand. I guess the only thing I pray is that you are seeing these things. Seeing them through me. Feeling what I feel and taking it as your own because, brother, I know that I have felt those feelings of hopelessness and frustration as you did right before pulling that trigger. You just beat me to it and our parents can’t go through that twice. Dad just wouldn’t make it.
You have always been something bigger than me. Something I never gave myself permission to let go of. In the past I could never allow myself to put the same amount of energy into loving me as I have missing you. But now I know things need to change. You were so young to leave us, just a child really. Anchoring myself in the time that I lost you is only holding my development back though.
When I say I am letting go, I am saying goodbye. Not to your memory, but to using your memory as an excuse to not be my best self. To living in the clouded atmosphere of self-pity and doubt. I am not perfect and some of my social behaviors still need work due to living like this for the past 18 years but I will work on them. I will work on me. I will work on my heart so it is a better home for you.
Your little brother
Today i woke up and the biggest worry i had was that my fiancé was late to work. Then it was the gas station not having any good food options for me to eat during work. Then Saturday june 25 2022 at 2:30 pm i got a text message that changed my life. “ You need to come to the house right away. It’s an emergency. Just leave post” so i rushed to my personal vehicle as my work car would be too slow. And i at one point went 127 mph on the highway. Once i neared my childhood home i saw cop cars alongside the other cars there and i knew my worst fear was true, someone was dead. My older sister and family friend were the only ones there yet. I immediately rushed to her and asked her what was wrong and she said the thing that would change me forever. “Max killed himself, we just found out because i found him”. I was and still am in shock. But my first thought was f*** im sorry she had to see that and i said as much to her. Shock does weird things sometimes. I didn’t burst into tears or have a breakdown (that would come later) but my brain started filling with questions. Questions i felt I couldn’t ask because it felt like it would be inappropriate. What happens now? Who is going to… clean up? How did he get the … option of choice? Did he leave a note? I ended up asking the investigator and he said no physical note but they were hoping to find something on his phone. Im just still reeling. Im a practitioner so i also worry about his spirit. I had a bit of a cry when my fiancé got there but after that i was just numb. I avoided thinking too hard on it or just being too blunt with it. But as soon as i got home and saw my dog (my emotional support/ the one I’m truly comfortable expressing sadness and crying around since she always cuddles me) i lost it. I had a good long hard cry, the first of many i assume. I just needed to put this somewhere. Somewhere it wouldn’t scar or hurt someone who hasn’t experienced this. Im so tired but i also dont want to sleep. Im so sad but so numb. I miss him so much already. Im so so upset that he’s gone. I am not mad at him though. Ive been close to doing the same before, luckly i pulled myself away from the edge. Im just sorry he couldn’t. Im angry at his demons or his brain chemicals or whatever made him feel like that was his only choice. Im sad that I’ll never have a new memory of him again. Im mad he wont ever get to go to school to be a fashion designer. Im mad i wont ever hear his voice again, or hear one of his funny rants. Im sad because i wont get to see him put together another eccentric outfit. I wont see what he would wear to my wedding. I just want him to know, that im not angry with him, that i love him and that he needs to forgive himself for doing it so he can find peace. I just want my baby brother back. But he is gone.
Danny, it’s been over 20 years since you have been gone. Dad recently passed away and it’s been really hard. Its just me and mom now. Im really sad and missing both you and daddy a lot. Father’s day has been hard. I wish you were here. Sometimes I wonder if dad had heart issues because of all the pain, guilt, and trauma from losing you. I wonder if that’s why he passed away too soon. Sometimes im still angry with you for doing what you did but then I remember you were just 17… Next month would have been your 40th birthday. Dads gone at 62. Mom will be 60 next year. I’m trying to buy a place and start a family. My first born son will be named after you. So much has happened and changed and it sucks not having you here. I lay in bed wondering where you and dad are and if you still exist somewhere somehow. I don’t believe in the afterlife but I wish I did. My heart hurts and I just wish my big brother was here. I fight to remember our good memories but its hard. Its been almost 23 years and I still miss you so much. Time has helped but its still hard and losing dad has just made it even harder. I just wish you were still here.
I recently learned that my older brother committed suicide. At first, I was extremely heartbroken and in pain. Then, I couldn’t even come to terms with it. My brother had been missing for almost a week before we heard of his death. Now, I’m questioning everything and everyone in my life. I had trust issues before this, but now I can’t even trust some of my closest friends as well as my family. I’m pushing everyone I know and love out, and putting myself in a cage of isolation. Sometimes I can’t even close my eyes without thinking of what he went through in his final moments. I can’t talk to my family about it, cause I don’t feel comfortable doing so. I never thought that something like this would happen to me or my family. I never wanted him to die. He was always such a great big brother. No matter how many times we yelled at each other, I still loved him. I just can’t focus on a future without him. I’m gonna grow old and hopefully have a good life. And he won’t. It’s not fair. Why did he have to give up?
It was around 2:00 am, my phone rang, it was my step-father. I immediately thought something was wrong with my mother. She has been chronically ill most of my life and in the back of my head I was thinking, “oh no, this is it, she’s gone.” As my step-father continued, the next phrase didn’t seem real….”your brother has shot himself”. Nowhere in my mind did this make sense.
It has been almost three months since that night and I still question why. I find myself “googling” his name often, subconsciously hoping something other than obituaries will come up. But still, there they are, he’s still gone. There will never be another conversation, another voicemail, another silly text, another hug, another “love you little brother”. There will never be another…anything. I think about it daily and I have cried some good cries in solitude but I don’t “feel” as much as I did about it a month or so ago. Is something wrong with me? Shouldn’t I be grieving more? I miss my brother immensely and I loved him very much, shouldn’t I be beside myself? I read stories of those that can’t sleep, can’t stop crying, can’t eat and I wonder why I don’t feel this way. I just want this all to be a dream.
You took your own life April 20th at 56 years old. When we heard that you never made it home the night before, we were hoping you had gone to your cabin which you said so many times, spoke to your soul. We were hoping that you needed some quiet and calm being surrounded by nature.
I will never forget that afternoon when the police cars pulled into my driveway. One officer told me to have a seat. He then told me that you had been found and that he was sorry to tell me that you were deceased. You took your life in the very place that spoke to your soul. Your happy place. My stomach turned, I couldn’t think, couldn’t drive. I instantly felt the urge to scream WHY???
I asked how you died. The method you used was something that you had to have researched to find. We have found your journals. You planned this for some time. Just waiting for the final straw. I know that you have fought mental illness most of your life.
The last time you were here I repeatedly asked you how I could help you, did you need to go to the hospital. You stood up, told me you were fine and walked out the door. Why wouldn’t you let me help you? You walked out the very door I expect you to come walking through every day since.
Where four siblings once stood, stand only three. Our children and grandchildren are taking it the worst. How they loved their Aunt Julie. Emily kept your ashes in her room until your burial. She couldn’t handle the thought of you being kept at the funeral home. Your urn was taken to Dylan’s new house. He was so excited for you to see it but you never will. He wants you to be proud of him. That’s how much they love you. You were surrounded by love but your illness didn’t allow you to see or feel it.
You have also put me in a hell of a spot. I was the one that had the police do a welfare check on you so I was the one that was told about your death. had to call and make arrangements to have your body brought home, I had to call the medical examiner and hear about the position they found you in, I had to call the funeral home, I had to tell my family that you were gone. How could you have done that to me?
You left before mom’s 80th birthday in August. We were planning a party for her. I don’t know how we can celebrate her life when all we’ll be thinking about is how you ended yours and left us heartbroken.
Your siblings, nieces, nephews and mom had to get rid of your clothes and toiletries so your boyfriend of 15 years could semi function in the house that he shared with you. The house next door to ours. Your choice to end your life has left a trail of devastation. Now I get to be the executor of your “estate”.
I hope that you have finally found peace and are free of pain. Your family and friends’ pain has just begun.
My pain has just begun.
My big brother and only sibling took his life last week. He seemed sad in the week leading up to it but never did any of us think he would take his life. The guilt is endless, all the warning signs I missed. He was at my house almost every day and best friends with my husband. Our family is so distraught. I always protected him my entire life and now I didn’t. I was minutes late to the scene. I pray that he is safe and worry free. Every day gets longer and worse without him here.
My sister killed herself about a month and a half ago on March 13th. She was 17.5 years old. I’m four years older than her. I’m having a hard time talking about it but reading the other stories on this site really helped me. It made me feel less alone that others are going through this too. I know I haven’t had a long time to move through my grief but I wanted to share some things that have helped me so far. Therapy has helped. So has journaling. Whenever I feel really terrible, forcing myself outside to take a walk never fails at making it a little easier to breathe. I’ve been watching videos of people talking about their near death experiences and I’ve found that comforting. For me it’s also been helpful to listen to podcasts and read books on sibling loss processes. Somehow understanding the process makes it feel less scary. Maybe at some point I’ll be more ready to share about my sister. I miss her so much. Before I read these stories I felt so alone and like no one could possibly understand. I want to thank everyone on here for sharing their stories. Hearing them has really made a difference. I’ve been feeling so much regret. I wish I had done more to support my sister. It makes it more bearable to know that other people feel similarly.
I miss you both. I’ve been listening to your old favorite artists to feel closer to the both of you. Nick, it has been 13 years since I got to see your goofy smile. I’m all grown up now. I’ll never stop telling the story about how you pulled the trampoline over to the side of the house and tried to jump onto it from the roof with me. Mama heard your footsteps up there and yelled at you so loud I think the whole neighborhood heard! I wish you hadn’t made the dumb decision that you did. You were still so young but you were an adult and you knew better. Mama misses you every single day, and I know I miss you too. Your son is a cool dude, he’s going to be in high school soon! I wish you were here to see how he’s just like you.
Bobby, it’s been 7 years since you left us. And I know it’s a mix of experiencing your death as an adult, instead of a kid, and having been closer to you all those years, but it’s still so much harder for me to think about you, and talk about you, than it is about Nick. You were more complicated, too. We had a weird relationship, you were so much older than me. Your daughter is two years younger than me and since you had her in high school and raised her across the hall from me, she and I are more like siblings than aunt and niece. But you always treated me like your cool little sister, not your child, and in high school I thought you were the coolest dude I knew. I absolutely LOVED the days you’d roll up to school to pick me up in your pimped out white Tahoe, blasting 2pac. Giving me advice on how to be more confident at school, to get people to respect me. I never felt more cool. I also never felt more alone than the day my mom told me you left us in my high school parking lot. And I had to tell your daughter. I have seen her grow into such a strong woman despite what life has thrown at her. We miss you so badly, not a day goes by that you don’t cross our minds. She’s the only one I talk to about you anymore. I think she’s the only one who will ever get it.
I like to think both of you are together, somewhere, playing video games, having rap battles and making mischief like you always used to. I hope the both of you are chillin like villains, wherever you are. I love you both so much, always.