Two years have passed since you took your life. It is hard to describe how time has passed since it feels like an eternity and one moment simultaneously. It has been so painful to exist without you, but I have done it, as you would have liked me too. You are always in my thoughts and my heart. You live on with me, I feel it. Life is so concrete and abstract at the same time. Your time on earth as a living human has passed, but you live on in your loved ones as real as before. To all others who have a sibling that has passed away from suicide recently, I can only say that it gets easier. You learn to manage sorrow and grief. It does not make you miss your sibling any less, but it becomes a natural part of your life that you somehow learn to manage. Otherwise would be unbearable. Emil, brother, I miss you. I miss you every second of every day, and my heart aches for you. I love you dearly.
I’m finding out now that my parents have had email contact with him for the past several years which followed the same path as the relationship in the past- good until it wasn’t, then he became angry and mean. Time would go on and he would reach out again until he got upset, and the cycle continued. I’m upset that my parents didn’t tell me they were talking and that he had been accomplishing such wonderful things between his episodes. I’m upset that he reached out to them and didn’t attempt to reach out to me. We never had that “twin bond” that others expect twins to have. We were close as children but as his mental health took over and he refused to seek treatment we grew farther apart in my attempts to shelter from the storm and chaos.
Now he is gone! I don’t carry any guilt but I carry a tremendous amount of regret. I do not believe that I, nor anyone else could have stopped him. Per the investigator he had been meticulously planning this for a long time and had every detail covered. He left my parents, his friend and the mother of his son a note. I have nothing. I wish I had something saying “I know you didn’t do anything, I know you never wronged me. I’m sorry for blaming you and taking it all out on you. I thought about you and wondered how you were doing from time to time. I really do love you”. But, even in his tragic death I didn’t exist to him.
We didn’t talk for 15 years and yet there is an unimaginable hole in my heart and soul. For 15 years he was not in my life, now he is gone and I cannot imagine my life without him. I’m mourning the loss of our relationship 15 years ago, the twin relationship we never had, the fences and hearts that will never be mended. I’m confused about how I can feel such intense pain and loss when he has already been lost for the past 15 years. Perhaps because there was always the chance that he would get better and we would be close again. When he was himself, he was brilliant, creative, thoughtful, opinionated and stubborn.
My parents have offered to have some of his ashes placed in a blown glass memory stone for me. While I would love this, I struggle with the question as to whether or not he would even want me to have them. I struggle with whether or not I deserve them after not talking to him for 15 years. I struggle with more than I anticipated I would. Grief is complicated, but I never imagined just how complicated it could be in these circumstances.
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
My big brother Darien easily influenced everything I am today. Being eleven years older than me, I worshipped the ground he walked on and wanted to be just like him. He introduced me to his interests, many of which are my own now too. I lost him the summer before my sophomore year in high school and I will now be entering my senior year. It is so strange to think he won’t see me walk across that stage next year. There are so many things I wish we got to talk about and sometimes when I watch a new anime or read a new manga, I want nothing more than to talk to him about it. I wish he could see the young woman I’m growing into and the things I have accomplished. Every single thing I do is in his honor because I know that I may not be able to talk to him now, but when I do I want to have so many great stories to tell him.