I lost my brother April 1, 2016 to suicide. I write this not for the pain that I, and I am sure each of you, feel daily but for a friend of mine going through a much harder time then me. Back in 2008 she lost a brother to suicide, then in Oct. 2018 another one, and then she found out today that another brother took his life. They were a family with 5 kids..now it is just 2. I know somewhat of the pain she feels since I lost my brother, but I don’t know how to help her. Would love any thoughts or suggestions y’all have. Just to let you know we don’t live in the same state. Thanks!
My brother left this plain of existence a year ago and it wasn’t until i saw his name carved into a headstone nearly a year later that my mind went into chaos. I was never OK but i did the typical Irish male thing and buried all my feelings as deep as possible so i could help my parents deal with the loss. I know this all sounds like I’m making it all about myself. It is all about Patrick who spent most of his life not feeling like he fitted in or was liked or loved. He was and always will be. He ended his life but not before he posted his final words on face book. They were and still are difficult to read. Facebook refuses to shut the page down or even just remove the post. Anyway I’m rambling on, all I can say he is missed and wish I could have helped him. But as anyone who has dealt with suicide knows only too well, we all wish we could have helped our loved ones.
They say it gets better with time, but I’m not so sure that will be the case because as the days go by, the permanence of your loss becomes more real. I still can’t wrap by head around how I will never see or laugh or fight with you again. My natural skepticism hinders me from truly believing in the afterlife and hoping to meet again, and that pains me. I want to believe, I really do, but I need proof. And I believe that if you’re out there, you will deliver that proof to me personally and clearly because you know that’s what I need, and because I’m you’re little sister you will take care of me even in your death. Lolo’s dream, though, does give me some hope. But how can I be sure? I was always afraid of false hope and disappointment, one of the reasons, I believe, I tucked all my emotions away and gave off this indifferent and cold front. I do feel alone now, like I’ve lost a part of myself. Our childhood experiences are our history, and I don’t know what to do. I’m angry and jealous at all the people who haven’t lost their sister, at how everyone can just move on except for our parents and myself. I want to make you laugh again, and I wish that brief happiness could stay longer and I could fix it with my silliness. It’s not fair. I’m not angry with you, I just miss you and wish we could have suffered together. Because I hurt a lot too – and I didn’t tell you, but maybe if you knew I hurt too then you could have carried on. But they say it’s a disease and that it causes an inability to rationalize any other alternatives. I guess that’s true and alleviates some guilt, but I hate alleviating guilt because what if it really was my fault? I do believe that I’m the one person who could have saved you. Because at least back in 2013, I was the most important person to you. I’m sorry for where 2018 brought us and the distance we experienced. I was busy with my own life and not caring about your suffering. I could have helped though, I really could have, if only I could have grasped the severity more. I knew you were getting worse, I said so, but I was angry and avoided it, like I tend to.
Dane. Broho. Hermano. Big brother.
Why didn’t you call me? Why didn’t you text? I would have been there in a matter of hours if you needed me. I’m so sorry I didn’t organize a family Christmas this year. I was overwhelmed with the obligations of the holiday. I felt tired and pulled in so many directions. I’m so mad that I didn’t reach out to you.
I just want to hug you one more time. Tell you one more time that you are the best and I love you.
I can’t believe I don’t have a big brother anymore. How is this possible? How has everything changed in one moment?
I’m sick thinking about how you died alone. God, I hope you didn’t suffer. God, please, I hope you didn’t feel pain.
I’m not just sad. I’m mad, too. I know you and your wife were having problems. I know you were separated. I wish you had told me. I wish you had reached out – come to visit. But divorce, while it sucks, can be worked through. You could have gone on to have a beautiful life. And what about your son? Our dad left a gaping hole…especially for you. His lack of presence caused us so much heartache. And now you’re gone too? And now he is another son without a father? How could you do that to him? How could you think that was best for him? He needs you. We all do. What the f*** Dane? Why?
Even in my anger I still love you. Even though I want to punch you for doing this, more than anything I want to hug you. I want to talk to you about what’s going on. About what’s hurting you. I want to know what you’re afraid of and why you feel alone.
I couldn’t have fixed it, but I could have been there. It would have been overwhelming, but I would have helped you through. I’m a f**** therapist for God’s sake. I could have helped you get into therapy. I could have helped you get on medication. I COULD HAVE F***** HELPED YOU. Why didn’t you trust me enough to ask for help?
It makes me sick thinking that your body is in a morgue right now. I don’t like that you’re alone in there. I don’t even know what morgue you’re in. I have no way to reach you. To call you, to text you. It’s weird. I hate it.
I miss you. I can’t believe I have to bury my brother. 30 year olds shouldn’t be planning funerals.
I blame your f***** job. I told you to get out of there. You were in a war zone everyday. You were burnt out. You were desensitized to violence and death. I get you wanted to be a good person- to help people- but couldn’t you have been a police officer somewhere else? Remember when we were talking about you moving near me? Becoming a cop in a smaller town….less crime….less murders….why didn’t you prioritize yourself? Why did you stay in that job, sacrificing yourself and your family? For what?
The hardest part in all of this is having to remind myself you’re gone. I drift off to sleep, or get lost in a tv show….and I forget for just a minute that the whole f**** world is upside down. Then I have to remind myself you’re dead. God I can’t believe you are dead, Dane.
I miss you. I wish I could have told you how much you meant to me. I wish I could hug you one more time.
I’m sorry I didn’t help. I’m sorry I wasn’t there.
Your little sister,
My whole life I have walked beside you brother. Through the good and the bad we’ve always had each other’s backs and now that your gone I feel so lost. It’s been 25 days since you left us. The longest and worst period of time of my life. Ever since I got the call that you hung yourself I haven’t been able to get this weight off my chest and I feel like I can’t breathe.
Mom and Dad are not okay. Mom especially is struggling with the holidays and now your birthday approaching. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to help. I am so lost in my grief that I am struggling to take care of my family. My kids miss you and keep crying for you. I comfort them the best I can but this has been hard for all of us. Dad was rushed to the hospital today after passing out after having severe chest pains. He’s 2000 miles away and I may lose him too.
Our little sisters are a mess. I’m trying to hold it all together, but I just can’t. We are falling apart without you.
The guilt of it all is overwhelming. You left so many notes, journals, and paintings that have opened my eyes to what you were going through. I knew you were sick. I was the one who sent the clinic and police over to check on you over and over. They kept telling me that the law prevented them from doing anything unless you were imminent danger. But you were and I tried so hard. It hurts… I feel like I should’ve pushed harder when you said no to checking into a hospital. I should’ve done more and now you are gone. I watched the videos you made. I understand the mental anguish you were in and everyone keeps telling me that you are at peace now without all the suffering. I am so angry at that thought. I wish they could see that I was trying to keep you here, trying to bring you peace here. You were only 29 years old. You had your whole life ahead of you.
I am missing you. Missing our childhood and all of our crazy shenanigans. Even our fights are precious to me now. I’m missing our conversations as adults. Growing into our friendship and understanding each other as individuals and not just family members. I am holding on to every memory that I can. Because now they have to last the rest of my lifetime. I miss the future we could’ve had. You watching your nieces and nephews grow while cooking grape leaves with my hubby and working on all your projects together. I miss it all… I miss it every second… it’s overwhelming.
I’m afraid to let it go. Even one bit because I am not ready to let you go. I look at your pictures every day. I am clinging to it all as I drown in this grief. My beliefs are shattered. Are you at peace on the other side? Or are you just gone… nothing but a memory? Was it worth it? Why couldn’t you stay?
The police said the steps you took to go through with it were thought out. I wonder how long you were planning this. I saw you Thursday and you made plans to vacation with us for Christmas. On Saturday you were gone. Did you know on Thursday that you were going to end it all? Did you know on Friday when you saw Momma that it’d be your last goodbye? What happened in those 4 hours you were alone that you ended it all? What happened Brother? Why?
Almost 4 months ago I received the news just as I started University. My older brother Jeffrey had ended his life, it shocked me and I have still not processed it. This was the first time that we opened gifts without you, your picture looked us on but I wanted you there. You went to soon but I understand since I have stood in depths of depression and have barely survived. I’m missing you and can’t stop thinking about you.
With love your younger sis, J
My heart is broken… my mind racing to memories and searching for explanations to questions that have no answers. Less then 36 hours ago my little brother took his own life. Nothing seems real and I feel as if a piece of me has drifted away from this earth with him. He is only 26… he had his whole life ahead of him…
My brother took his life on January 1st 2018,he was 32 at the time,he had some demons like most of us but they sadly got the better of him on that night,he obviously picked his day,time and place,visited my parents for a while,hopped into his car and drove it into a grass patch around the corner from the family home,moments later there was a massive explosion and he was gone forever.I remember being out that night,it being new years eve it wasn’t uncommon for me to be out,shortly after midnight I checked my phone and saw i had missed calls from both my parents,which was odd,they never ring me for new years or anything like that,knew straight away something was wrong and rang my mother,she told me Patrick was gone,burned himself in his car.he had a few thankfully unsuccessful attempts in times gone by but this time he had made sure nothing could be done to revive him,he left a facebook message on his profile minutes prior to his death.I remember telling my friends i had to go as Patrick had killed himself,i was numb and obviously in shock,I left the club and wandered around the city streets and then my friends found me,I didn’t go home for hours so stayed at my friends house in a haze,i eventually went home and my family were all there with the same looks on their faces. I was told my father broke down,something i never would think could happen,in a way i’m glad i didn’t see it.Anyway it’s coming up to his first anniversary and I’ve been dreading it since he died,he was a great person,a brother who cared for people and put them first,he fought for as long as he could but it wore him out,we didn’t see each other a lot but i always knew he was out there and now he’s not anywhere.So happy christmas Patrick and i hope you found the peace you deserve
1 June 2018. The day I found out that my soul can physically hurt. 18 days after my birthday. 3 days after he stopped answering my calls and messages. My most beloved and adoring brother hung himself, alone, depressed. A million miles away from me in Australia and suffering at the lies and deception from his former girlfriend he couldn’t carry his load any longer. Our traumatic, neglectful and physically and emotionally extremely abusive childhood at the hands of our mother, abandoned by our respective fathers, cemented our bond. We didn’t grow or thrive as kids, we survived. We spoke for hours, some times daily in secret on skype at the office to try and make sense of why our mother is the opposite of a mother. He tried and worked so incredibly hard to make something of himself and he succeeded but as kids from an extremely abusive background, success is never quite enough or right, we can always do better or more and are never actually really deserving of our achievements. Failures are deep dark swirling holes with no bottom for our feet to touch. He had, had enough and I will never deny him his last act of free will. I just miss him so much. He is my first waking thought and my last. Some days I just say his name out loud to myself. Both my cousin to whom we are very close and I are struggling through this together. I feel as if I have a gaping hole where my solar plexus should be. And now after his cremation and death inquiry he is on his way home in a box with his last belongings, his letter to me, his guitar to our cousin, travelling on a ship on an ocean the same colour as his eyes. I miss his big hands, his gentle soul, how tall he was and how he carried himself. I miss his laughter and our 3 hour conversations. I miss his insights. I breaks my heart watching his 17 year old son who is the spitting image of his dad, mannerisms and all. I miss how god****d slow he could be, running late and forgetting his wallet. I desperately miss his protective bossiness over me although I was older and more or less raised him. I have lost half of my soul, my being, my heart, my essence. I have lost the witness to my childhood and my confidant. We have lost someone so integral to us and our tribe is just shattered. But today I have made myself a promise to not let a a specific date get to me. All days are the same and my grief on any given Wednesday is the same grief I am now experiencing close to Christmas and which I will experience on his birthday. Life has normalised in its abnormal way and I carry on doing what I do daily, counting my blessings, loving my kids and my family but i do it with Rudi in my heart and thoughts daily. There are no words little brother to describe my love and loss of you. I look forward to the day when my time has come and you are there to greet me and guide me. Until then I have a life to live, love to give, full of joy, grace, peace and gratitude.
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.