I lost you 10 months ago and it still feels like yesterday. You were so kind and empathetic and sometimes I wondered if that was part of it, you felt too much of this world. I finally took a vacation to our favorite spot and I am sitting here thinking it feels wrong to be in “your place” without you. I want to spread your ashes but I haven’t been able to yet. I can’t understand, I replay the entire year and find myself immersed in guilt. You talked to me about taking your life and 7 months later you were gone. I was so scared of losing you and breaking your trust that I didn’t tell anyone. I wish I could go back, I will always wish I could go back. I am angry with the pandemic because I was so worried about getting you sick that I saw you rarely and your mental health declined out of sight. I am struggling to find my life after you but man I am really trying. Eric, my baby brother, I miss you so much and I love you forever. Love, you big sis
On May 30, my 26 year old baby brother, Matt, committed suicide in my son’s bed by shooting himself in the head (no, my son wasn’t in there). I heard the shot and the sound will haunt me forever. He had paranoid schizophrenia, that caused him to think I was against him, and I was his “person.” I raised him since he was 5 and he was my best friend. He knew more about me than anyone in this world. He couldn’t handle the things his mind was trying to tell him, but he knew it shouldn’t be telling him that. I watched him fight a very painful war in his head, but he refused to go to the doctor. I tried for 3 years, but he said he didnt want to be “zombie-fied” on pills. I saw the pain his own mind caused him and I would never want him to live that way, but I also feel that if he didn’t want to have to live on pills “zombie-fied” (like our uncle who has been institutionalized for 15 years) that he shouldn’t have to live that way either. I don’t know how to feel. It gives me some small amount of peace to know he isn’t suffering anymore, but the pain is something I didn’t know existed. I will never get over this, and Im not sure how to find a new “normal”, because it will never be normal again. I just really hope that at the time, he knew I loved him more than life itself and I would have taken his pain for him if I could have. I hope when he died, he knew I loved him and not what his demons were telling him . Its comforting to know I’m not alone in this horrendous heartbreak and others know how I feel, because its hard to even put into words. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Today May 31, 7 year anniversary, my brother is no longer here . Can’t believe it’s been this long. First few years were agonizing, questioning whether this really happened. I called the coroner who was sympathetic and explained to me somewhat though hard to understand. I felt like someone else was there who coerced my brother and thinking someone was getting away. My mom said I should go see a counselor, I never did. I still stay awake at nights, searching online for something? I don’t really know. At some point I came to realization that my brother did take his life and in a sense took mine too. Sometimes I question my purpose in life. I feel like I’m silently grieving with it no where to go. I think to myself, if my brother were here, we’d be a little family again. I miss my brother then, I miss my brother now, I’ll miss my brother forever.
I made it. It is the end of my senior semester of college. I’m going to graduate soon. You made it one difficult time of my life tho. I lost you at the very start of my freshman year. I had to learn to cope with your decision while over 2,000 miles from home, in a place I knew no one and thrown into the chaos that first-semester college has on any freshman deals with. I managed to complete all my semesters. I managed to learn to cope with the grief enough to do what I had to do. But now… I’m struggling to complete my final assignments. I feel guilty for my success in the journey that I started just before I lost you. I keep remembering my thoughts when I first received the call. How I shouldn’t have left you, that maybe if I stayed you wouldn’t be gone. You promised me you would visit me here. That was what you told me the morning I was leaving to drive across the country. We had plans and promises. You were so proud of the fact that I was making something of myself. You knew how much of my growing up was spent taking care of you and raising the little boys. You knew I gave up my childhood to be the adult, even when you supposed to be taking care of us I took up the responsibilities because you couldn’t. Every day now I would give anything to go back to taking care you instead of me experiencing life. I just want you back. I want to talk to you again. I want you to see the fact I’m finishing school. I want to know I made you proud.
I love you man,
hope your having a blast wherever you are now.
Love your baby sister
I am approaching the 5 year anniversary of my younger brothers death. Last year was bearable…but this year is so much worse again. The pandemic isolation is not helping I am sure. I had a dream with him a few nights ago, the first since about a week after we lost him. Lost is such a vague word when talking about death. But in this case totally appropriate. He was last seen jumping off a dock into the freezing Hudson River. His body was never found. He’s not buried anywhere. No one wrote him an obituary or got him a memorial stone to put anywhere. (No one, being my parents or his wife) The apparent reason being…with no body, he’s not legally considered dead for 7 years. I don’t personally see that as a reason to take zero action in those areas. We are all pretty open about it…but not open enough for my liking. His children don’t know what really happened and we can’t speak too loudly for fear of them hearing the truth. They were 5 and 7 when it happened…sure you can’t tell them all the details…but I want to shout it from the rooftops to try and help other people and I don’t feel like I can. So I stay silent.
My therapist has been a lifesaver. For a while he kept asking me if I was feeling angry. I wasn’t. I miss him. I love him. He was 7 years younger than me. I remember being an only child. I was so lonely. I prayed every night after I went to bed for a brother or sister and I was so happy when he was born. On top of that, he was everything I wasn’t. He had a light complexion and a light personality. He was SO funny. No one made me laugh as much…except for my husband…who my brother introduced me to.
But I am angry today. I’m angry at him for most likely thinking that I’m tough and I’d be ok. I’m angry at him for ruining our family…even though we “keep it together”. I’m angry for him abandoning me. For making a decision to leave me alone. Leaving me to worry about his 3 kids and wife. To worry and take care of our aging, now broken parents. Ruining what everyone has told me is “the best decade of your life”…and for people telling me this is the best decade of your life. Angry at him for calling to say goodbye. Angry at myself for not knowing what that phone call was. Angry at myself for not taking care of myself over the last few years…eating like crap, gaining weight, not caring about brushing my teeth for days, wearing makeup or resting…basically not taking care of myself like I know I should. Angry at my parents for not saying the word suicide. Angry at my mom for saying she knows what it’s like to lose a sibling. She lost one of many to illness.
I remember, in the beginning of my grief “journey” reading that grief is like a wave. In the beginning the waves just smash over you and you feel like you’re drowning, and as time goes by the waves get farther apart and you begin to be able to catch your breath. I NEVER thought I would see my way through this at all. I never could imagine how I would ever get my life back to any kind of normal. Well, for all of you out there that are just beginning this awful journey…the waves do get father apart. Some days there are rogue waves that come out of nowhere and knock you over. Like today. Still life is ok. It’s just different. The thing that keeps me going is trying to honor my brother my not letting my life get overwhelmed by what he did. Today I’m mad at him and don’t feel like honoring him…but that gives me some kind of comfort too…because that such a normal feeling…being mad at a sibling. I guess we’re just fighting today.
I miss my brother so much. He and I were not very close, and I wish we had been. He hung himself on April 3rd, 2018 and my family has never been the same since 🙁 I never thought it was possible to miss someone you hardly know. I wish I could have been there to tell him I love him, I just didn’t know he was suffering so much and needed help. It breaks my heart in two to think of him writing the note and going into the Garden of the Gods with the intent to kill himself. He was always in and out of jobs, had trouble holding onto money, and it makes me so sad that the last words to his girlfriend were that he felt like he had no friends. I wish he was here and I could give him a big hug :'( Life just isn’t the same without him here. </3
Seven months ago I lost my brother. A year ago I almost lost myself. We were exactly five months apart. The day after my attempt, he sent me a text message that basically said it’s okay to make mistakes and that I just need to learn from it. He didn’t ask me very much about it but was so supportive at the same time. He listened but never made me talk. He was so understanding. He was everything I wanted to be.
He paved a path I thought I’d be able to follow forever. When his mental health was declining, I took it upon myself to continue that path for him. I wanted him to know that he could follow me too. I wanted to improve my own mental health and set a good example for him like he had always done for me. But I was, and still am, just fifteen. I was still recovering from my own attempt and I couldn’t get better fast enough.
*details of suicide, please don’t read if it’ll trigger you*
My brother jumped off of an overpass and was hit by a moving train at around 10pm on July 27th, 2020. It was 12am when we got the knock at our door. We had to drive 45 minutes to get to the hospital they airlifted him to. We were told he was in the ICU and that we could go see him. Before we could though, the doctors listed off his injuries from head to toe. They let us know he had a pulse but it wasn’t strong enough. My dad and I went to see him first. I had to see my idol laying in a hospital bed barely breathing. I held his hand and it was so cold. They had a heated blanket on him but it was still so damn cold. He always had beautiful eyes and eyelashes. I stared at his face and tried to remember it and burn it into my brain. I held his hand and tried to remember the way it felt in mine. When they unplugged the machine, I had to watch his chest stop moving. My parents were crying so loud. My mom was devastated. I tired to force myself to be strong for her but I just couldn’t.
I just wanted to scream and scream until I couldn’t anymore. I do that now. There are days where all I can do is scream. When my mom goes to work and I’m in my room alone, my pain pours out of my throat. It hurts but I can’t bring myself to stop. I just wish he was here.
It’s been about seven months but it still hurts. I still miss my big brother. Today I took my pictures for tenth grade and I cried because I felt so ugly. It’s those moments when my confidence is low that I really miss him. He always made me feel beautiful and told me I looked best when I didn’t try. He always told me to just leave the house with my natural hair and don’t do a thing to it. Today I straightened my hair and I still didn’t feel beautiful. I saw the picture and tried to hold it together until I got to the car. I miss him and I miss the way he made me feel pretty.
Tomorrow, you’d be nineteen. You’d be an adult, have your own apartment, be meeting cool, new people. Traveling. Doing all the things you deserve to do. You deserve a full, complete life, Jake. I’m so sorry that I transferred to an out of state college and didn’t get to spend your last year here with you. When I was struggling with my mental health, you and dad drove the two day trip there and back to get me. I’ll never forget that. You cared so much. I know that you know I cared about you too, I just wish I would have known. In your note, you said you looked up to me. Jake, I’m 23, unemployed, no longer in school, and just had a stay in a mental health facility. I wish I could have shown you that, even though you look up to me, I’m still a mess. Being a mess is okay. I would have done anything to fix whatever mess you thought was too hard to clean up. I love you.
There is not a day that goes by where you are not on my mind in one way or another. This May will be two years since your death. I wish I could say that your death has somehow made me a better or stronger person but thats just not the case. I am still broken, I am still coping, still trying to find new meaning in life after whatever my previous life was got shattered to bits.
How is it possible to live your entire life with someone and then in an instant have them ripped from you entirely? You were always someone I looked up to growing up and even into my adult years. You were the smarter, funnier, weirder older brother and I wish I could look you in the eyes now and tell you just how much you fucking mean to me.
The note you left you mentioned how you saw me as the bigger more mature sibling, how you looked up to me in a lot of ways, how you were tired of fighting, to take care of mom. I’m doing my best but some days it just really weighs down on me.
You were supposed to be there through all the milestones in my life. You were supposed to be there cracking jokes and playing guitar through all the hard times. You were supposed to be there.
I’m still here and I’m still fighting but sometimes I wish that I would wake up from this bad dream and see you and hug you and tell you just how much i’ve missed you.