to my only older brother

cory. its been only two months since it happened. you had just turned 22 a few weeks prior, i had just graduated high school the week before, came home from the beach the day of. i want to say that it hasn’t hit me yet that you’re gone, but the logical side of my brain wont let me fake it. now being a college freshman, there are a few things that i’d like to say to you, since i am not available to visit you.

 

first. i’m sorry. i’m sorry you had to suffer, whether it was by yourself, or however much you shared to your friends. i’m sorry i couldn’t be as supportive as i should have been. you really had me worried when you sent out that text to everyone in your contacts, i should have taken it as a sign that something was up. but i didn’t. i left you fool everyone you were okay, and that it was nothing. i left you fool me, and i should have been the one to call you out on it. i knew you better than anyone in our family. there’s still things that i keep secret. i promised, remember?

 

i’m also sorry you couldn’t confide in me when grandpa passed away almost a year earlier. i was hurting too you know? we were all close to him; you especially being the first grandchild and grandson. i understand completely.

 

second. i wish you could have seen me off to college. tomorrow is my first day of classes as a college freshman. i would have hoped you could have been here to help move me in, see me off. become successful. well, i guess you can now. you’re just not physically here with me.

 

its weird. the family reunion had just passed and all i could think about was how out of place i was, no matter who was there to make me laugh, it still wasn’t the same without you or grandpa being there. it was so quiet. same happened with father’s day. i feel so lost without you. we stuck together through everything; mom and dad’s divorce. going every other weekend. mom’s boyfriends and constant moves. any trouble you had gotten yourself into. i was there every step of the way, supporting your decisions no matter what mom thought. i’m sorry i couldn’t have been there with you for this final step.

 

speaking of, i’m sure you know already though but, mom hasn’t been the same since you’ve been gone. she’s more depressed than i have ever seen her. day by day she’s getting a little better, but it’s still a very sensitive topic to discuss. Ry is doin fine, for the most part. she missed you too, probably more than she lets on, but that’s ryleigh for you, our baby sis haha.

 

i met our uncle tim by the way. he’s a really rad dude, kinda strange but. i wish you could have been here for that too.

 

oh, and i got a grateful dead sticker for you the last time i went down to the beach. it’s pretty awesome, you’d be so proud of me. i also showed grandma them, she doesn’t know what to think haha.

 

well. i have early classes to get up for. i just want you to know that i love you, i never stopped supporting you, i won’t now either. i miss you so much you wouldn’t believe it. Jasper and Daisy do too. they wonder where you’re at, you never come to visit anymore. little fat cat haha.

 

don’t be a stranger to my dreams, okay?

 

-You’re little sister, Beanie

 

Matty

I had no idea you were hurting so bad. We all knew you weren’t well but none of us had a clue the pain was so deep. Now I sit back and think of all of your hints and I want to punch myself for overlooking them. I’m in total shock and I feel like I should have been able to see you better than I could. I love you. I hope it doesn’t hurt anymore. I want to be angry at you for not telling us but it must have been so hard to hurt that badly. I’m only angry at myself, for not putting more effort into our relationship. You wanted the family to stay close and we all let you slip through our fingers. I am so very sorry we let you down. Be at peace. I’ll miss you every day.

-Danielle

Hey Bubba…

Oh.. Wow. How long has it been? 3 1/2 years?! Oh geez.

Tyler, I miss you so much.. February 15, 2012, YOU LEFT ME.. You left me alone. You were my big brother. You were my hero. I wanted to be as cool and tall and happy as you. I was jealous at all the friends you had. I loved and LOVE you so much.

I will always remember these three days: January 31, my birthday, you came into my room, pinned me on my bed and tickled me wishing me a happy birthday. You drew a mask on my face writing silly words like dumb and ugly and stupid. I accidentally kicked you in your nuts and you ran out and punched a hole in the wall (which is still there). Mom called 20 seconds after you left and you freaked. You picked me up dragging me into the bathroom and scrubbed my face with a washrag trying to get the sharpie off. My face was bright red from all the scrubbing when it was finally off.

The next day I will always remember is February 14, Valentine’s Day! :'( I hate Valentine’s Day… You asked mom to drive us to Target so you could run in and get some “gum”. When you came out you had a pretty pink bag with a card and a CD by the Script. That was one of the very few birthday presents you got me. It meant so much to me that I cried. That night we had youth group and we played Valentine’s themed games. You asked out your crush later that night and she rejected you. You didn’t tell me but I could tell something was up on the way home from youth group. I didn’t ask because I knew you would eventually tell me. Guess I was wrong…

February 15 started out as a normal day. Wake up, eat breakfast, go to school, yadda yadda. But, I had to stay after school to finish a project for my StageCrafting class. I got a call at about 5 p.m. from Mom asking me where I was and why I wasn’t home. I explained to her that I was still at school and was almost done with my project. She sounded shaky and scared. I said OK, I’ll be home in 15. (I was in 8th grade, BTW and he was a Sophomore in High School). Completely oblivious to what was occurring at home, I skipped all the way home being happy-go-lucky and smiley because I finally finished that project. I turned the corner and saw red and blue flashing lights. The rest is a blur.

I’m an only child now… It sucks. I don’t have anyone to play catch with. I don’t have anyone I can rely on to always be there for me. Why did you have to leave me? Why did you have to take my best friend away? I will see you later in Heaven. <3 <3 <3

I miss you so much.

LOVE YOU BUBBA

Sissy

(Sorry for the narrative… Just needed to rant a little bit…)

Confused

I am currently 20 years old but I lost my older sister, Heather, when I was 11 and she was 24. Up until this year my parents had convinced me that the death was murder. Everything added up and I’m sure my parents tried to convince themselves it was murder too. The autopsy came back inconclusive. Now that I’m older I’ve learned a lot more about whats happened to my sister. She suffered from depression, ADHD, and bipolar disorder. Everyone describes her to me as such a beautifully happy and vibrant person. I learned this year that she probably committed suicide. The concept is difficult to comprehend. I hardly remember my sister. I feel like I don’t know anything about her and it kills me. The older I get the more I yearn to learn about her. My parents are recently divorced and I cannot reach out to my mother or father in this situation. My other sister is estranged from my mother and also fought with Heather while we were growing up.

I just feel so lost and confused. I wish I could remember my sister but I understand her suffering was very great. I found this website and had a yearning to share.

Courtney

 

 

 

 

three out five gone

 

I have lost three siblings in the span of four years. Our brother four years ago, our middle sister two years ago, and our oldest sister last month. I cannot wrap my head around this. We do have a history of depression and bipolar in the family. We also had a uncle on our dad’s side who committed suicide as well. I just don’t understand why. Can this be stopped. I am concerned for other family members and the next generation. I want to come through this healthy and possibly help others.They leave us so broken. I am so very angry at them for doing this. I am also sad for their families, my mom, and for me and the sibling that I have left. I am sick of walking this journey. I am constantly scared of getting more bad news. Loud noises scare me. The dark scares me. I don’t want to sleep, because the thoughts and visions take over.

I am so sorry for each of your losses. It saddens me to read the stories here, but I know that we are not alone. I was feeling so alone and crazy that this has happened in our family.

Prayers for all,

AJ

 

Sibling-less-ness

Sibling-less-ness. This word I use to describe my feelings of loneliness, my missing my siblings, my alone-ness. It’s the feeling which causes me to cry or being jealous of my friends and co-workers who have their siblings to see and talk to. My feelings that my siblings-in-law are poor replacements for my brothers.

I lost my older brother Jimmy on Feb 25, 1999 age 18 when I was only 11 years old. This was a shock and something that effected my life for years. While his death helped to shape me into who I am, it no effects me in my life on a regular basis. Even when he was alive we had a rocky relationship.

I lost my younger brother John on Jan 27, 2013. He was 20 and I was 25. He was a post-deployment suicide. That military knock on the door at 6 am was one of the hardest things I will probably ever experience. I feel part of the worst of it was standing with my mom and asking what happened hearing that he had been found hanging in his room by his roommate and mom’s response “NO THAT’S NOT POSSIBLE BECAUSE I FOUND HIS BROTHER HANGING DOWN THERE” as she pointed down the stairs.

This started my alone-ness, my sibling-less-ness. I had already dreaded the question “How many siblings do you have?” sometimes it was 2 sometimes just 1 brother. A couple of weeks ago it was “I have 2 brothers in heaven” Today with my school-age day care class (25 kids ages 5-12), I told them “I have 2 brothers but am an only child”

Elizabeth

“I move the stars for no one…”

You left approximately May 25-26th 2015…After the worst fight we have ever had. Going a few days with out speaking with you wasn’t anything new after a fight, but this time it was physical, you said “say one more thing” and I did because I was so tired of you not living life, not being who you should be. You stormed and the rest is history. I know you missed mom, but 7 months isn’t long enough to get through things. 2 weeks isn’t enough to get through anything. My heart is so empty, a great big empty. Yes, your squishy is doing her thing, but she has terrible night terrors and I am not sure if it’s because you were so angry and methodical when you decided to exit or because she genuinely knows that you aren’t alive. Babies do have that uncanny knack for seeing things…You could have just given things more time, moved, changed zipcodes…You were NEVER alone!!! The pit in my stomach feels like it will forever be on a spinning ride and there is only momentary relief. 7 months since mommy died and now you are gone…Damn all the Drs that perpetually kept you in the system, damn me for fighting with you, but damn you for thinking this was the end. Maybe for you, but for us- its only the dreadful beginning…Day by day, minute by minute, I am having a thousand emotions. I will never leave because I do love my life. I just wish/ed that you found that same love. Whatever it was. Maybe I am to blame, maybe you are. I am not sure and does it matter now? You are gone, girl. And your niece doesn’t have you, your family, friends and Daddy don’t have you and I certainly don’t, either. But I miss you like crazy, you stupid girl. Maybe in time I can forgive you for dipping out this way, but for right now…I am so miserable that I just can’t find solace. Even in my own child.

Erica

 

Am I the Only One?

So, I wanted to go ahead and write up a summary of my experience with my brother’s illness and death and how it has impacted me and the way I see myself and the world really quick. I hope there are some people out there who can understand and maybe share my feelings so I don’t feel so alone and selfish anymore (that’s kind of been my default setting since my brother first went to the hospital when I was about 5 years old…). I was the oldest, three years older than Alex. He had the odds stacked against him from the start, he was born prematurely, and on Friday the 13th to boot! I was 3 years old when he was born. He was an adorable baby, all blonde hair and blue eyes. I honestly don’t remember much before he got sick. When he was 18 months old, he got sick and my parents rushed him to the E.R. I remember being at my grandparents house and hearing the call for the Life Flight helicopter on their police scanner. He was taken to a pediatric hospital and diagnosed with a brain tumor. After that, he spent more time in the hospital than home (though he did go into remission once, it didn’t last). Of course my parents stayed with him most of the times he was in the hospital (That is something I understand and don’t feel resentment for, he was little and sick and in pain, of course they had to be with him) and I spent most of my time when they weren’t home with my paternal grandparents who became basically my second set of parents (they were amazing and I am thankful every day that I had them there for me). Alex died on Memorial Day, 1993. He was 5 and I was 9. I remember that day more clearly than any other moment of my childhood.

A few years after my brother died, my parents got divorced. I know this is something fairly common when a young child is lost (though from what I understand, my mother wanted to leave before he was born but was talked out of it), and I’m actually thankful they didn’t stay together, none of us were happy when they were together. They are both happily re-married. I lived with my dad after the divorce, I was always close to him, and to this day, I don’t hear from my mother much. She moved to Canada and I’m lucky if I get a phone call from her twice a year (my birthday [when she remembers] and Christmas).

I know no one in my family ever wanted to make me feel less or unimportant, but my entire childhood was about Alex. What can Alex do, where can Alex be, how well he’s doing. Even after he died, he was always one of the most popular topics at family gatherings. Because he was so rarely home after his diagnoses, I never really got to know him, and even now, it’s hard to say I really loved him (which makes me feel like the worst person in the world). Even today, even with my dad, who I KNOW loves me more than anything on Earth, I still feel like people would have been happier, or better off if it had been me that got sick. I know in my head that’s not true, but my heart still feels it.

To this day, I feel unimportant. That I don’t matter. That if I dropped off the face of the earth, sure, people would be sad for a bit, but my friends, my family, they’d all move on and rarely think of me again. I’ve had these feeling since I was 5 years old, and this is the first time, at 31, that I’ve ever truly expressed them. And my heart is racing. I feel like a horrible person. But I had to let it off my chest.

 

Thanks guys… -Emily

 

Taking back 27

 

On June 27, 2011 my only sibling, James, took his own life. Every day since has been different and I’ve learned to construct my “new normal” since I’m now an only child. Six months later, December 27, 2011, my paternal grandfather passed away. He and James shared the same name, and attending two memorial services, exactly 6 months apart, and hearing two very different versions of life for the JWK’s was excruciating.

Each June 27 and December 27 my aunt goes on a trip to “Take back 27” and this year I’m joining her, along with my mom and another aunt. I have mixed feelings on if this will work, but I’m remaining optimistic it will.

 

-Michelle