Category Archives: Letters

My hero back then

When this year is over, it will have been 10 years since you jumped from that tower. You were 23 back then, and I was 9.
Even though I was a little boy at that time I still have these memories of you. What makes it even worse is knowing how blurry my memories of you have become, it makes me sad.
Since you’ve left there has always been this emptiness in my life I am constantly trying to fill – mostly to my own detriment. It’s like a shadow looking over my shoulder all the time.
Back then you were my hero, my role model, my big brother who I looked up to. For a long time I have been unconsciously looking for a replacement-role-model – never found.
It feels sh**ty that I never really got to know. Without success I have been trying to piece together a picture of the person I didn’t get to know that much. But mostly without success.
Thinking about you gives me this bittersweet feeling of homeliness and, for a moment, the emptiness vanishes.
Sometimes waking up after a dream, thinking you are still alive. Often I think about what could have been.
I’m not religious but I wish there would be something like heaven just so I could meet you again.

Hello Snarl

OMG, what a year it has been! Do you know how many times I would have loved to called and vent to you about all the ridiculousness going on around us!?!?! Ugg, no one else would understand but you. And mom and dad….where do I even start with that and them becoming hermits through all of this. Tried to tell C but he doesnt understand the family dynamic. So frustrating as I just feel like a buoy in the middle of the ocean all by myself. Anyways, got your memorial tattoo started. Looks cool. I can see you rolling your eyes. HAHAHA. Work is good. Im a detective now. Got your picture up in the office. Well just wanted to say HI and I love you and miss you more than you will ever know, sis.

Christopher

I’m writing this January 29, 2020 a little over 2 years ago. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was a freshman, now a junior in high school. I was already having a rough day at school and something was giving me bad vibes. My mom went to work at 6 am and I didn’t wake up until 7 am. It started off a typical Monday except I went to school with the intentions of asking my mom after school if we could go see my brother the following weekend. My brother lived with my grandpa at the time. I got off school and went to walk to my grandmas like I do every day after school. At this time I had a phone but it wasn’t turned on. I guess my mom tried calling me but obviously I didn’t get the calls. She also asked the school to tell me she was picking me up from the school that day. So I walk across the street to wait with my friend until her mom got there as I did every day. I tried connecting to the WiFi nearby and I ended up connecting and as soon as my phone connected it started blowing up with calls of my my and messages of her asking where I was. I told her I was at the gas station across the street from my school and she told me she’s on her way now. She pulls up and as soon as I get in the car the whole atmosphere changed. It was just all sad vibes all around. I could tell my mom had been crying. That wasn’t even the first thing that was weird to me at the time. My moms best friend was with her and she didn’t say a word the whole time we were in the car which is highly unusual for her. I’m cracking jokes trying to lighten the mood because I had no idea why everybody was so quiet. So we drive down the street to my grandmas house and as we pull up I see my dad and my little sisters getting out of my dads car. Which was extremely weird because my dad and my mom don’t get along at all and neither do my dad and my grandma. I also noticed a whole bunch of my family members outside which was weird and I just thought maybe we were having a little get together. Me and my sisters were about to go inside and eat and settle down but all of a sudden we hear our dad say “girls don’t go in there yet come here sit down we need to talk” my initial thoughts were “oh I’m probably in trouble what did I do let me think of what I could’ve done” but no. Everybody’s eyes were on me and my sisters. Then all we hear is my dad say “he’s gone” and me and my sisters looked at each other confused. Then he said “your brother is gone” my head immediately hit my lap and I felt a strong turning in my stomach. I remember I didn’t go to school for a week and a half and people thought I dropped out. After my brother passed I hated everything he loved because it just brought back memories and feelings I didn’t want to feel. I had no motivation for school .No motivation for sports. Not even enough motivation or energy to shower or even get out of bed. I would have bad anxiety attacks out of nowhere I’d have breakdowns at least once a week. My brother had 2 birds that we took on after he passed. One night I was sleeping and I thought I heard something but obviously I thought it was in my dream. But I wake up and look over and I swore I seen my brother standing there holding one of his birds on his shoulder smiling at me and saying “let it be” which was his favorite song.

Who You Are to Me

Damian, I miss you every day. I miss your awkward laugh and unnatural dimple. I miss arguing with you about who would get to control the TV. I miss your alligator tears that would show like magic after taking a few bites of your food. I would have never imagined just one day no longer being able to see that. I always pictured myself passing before most of the family, but especially you and April. It’s unnatural to experience the passing of those younger than you, which is what makes it that much harder to bear with. On top of this, I find it so difficult to wrap my head around the decision you made to end your life. Not a single one of us would have ever thought you were capable of willingly leaving everyone behind like you did. I still find myself getting angry with you sometimes because of the pain that I experience, but I want you to understand that it’s not you – it’s solely your actions.
You were a blessing in everyone’s life and you took that from all of us when you left. I wish you would have vocalized your pain – we are all here for you. We miss you. I can’t get over the pain of missing you, although I find myself begging for it everyday.
I’ll never forget us sitting in my room talking about God and how I refused to accept this idea of God knowing that he chose everyday to bring pain on the lives of people across the world. I replay that conversation over and over and over again just thinking about how annoyed you probably are with me now being a believer, but only after you’ve already passed. I know you’d make fun of me, but better late than never, right?
Damian, you changed the worlds of all those that were fortunate enough with your presence. As your older brother, I felt an almost parental-like responsibility for your well-being. You know we love you, that we care for you. I’ll never know why and I’ll never get over that, but I want you to know I still love you through everything. I never realized how much we all seriously needed each other until your passing. I think about you everyday and I know that it won’t ever change. I am so glad your pain is over. I know you’re resting with Him and appreciating all that life had to offer you in all your 16 years. Brother, please continue to watch over me and the rest of the family. I love you.

Where do I start…I love you bro!

I don’t really know what I’m doing here, but I’m having one of those nights where I just can’t stop thinking about that day, our conversations prior, our conversation that night, the guilt because of the feeling I had and didn’t act on when I went to bed, the feeling in the pit of my stomach the next morning and then the worst telephone call in my life from Dad.
A piece of me is missing. Nearly 8 months on and it still takes my breath and the pain hits me like it did the first time. 2020 was going to be the best year, I became a mummy at the end of 2019 to a beautiful baby girl. I’ve had a year off work to be the best mummy I could possibly be, but in April, you turned my best year into my worst year. I can’t be angry at you though, you were hurting and didn’t want to hurt anymore.

I wish I could have done something to take your pain away, I would have done anything and you knew that. I knew you were hurting, and I knew you had struggled with suicidal thoughts in the past, but when we spoke through lockdown, you told me you were coping. We spoke more through lockdown than ever, I loved it, just random chat as well as slightly more serious chat that you always brushed off. You were never one for chatting on the phone, maybe that should have been a sign to me….that night, you called me because you didn’t want me to worry about you, but you knew I would anyway. If I really knew or lived closer, or didn’t have a newborn baby, I would have sat with you all night (and however long you needed) to get you through it. It’s excuses though isn’t it, because I felt it bruv, I felt something wasn’t right and I was scared for you. I didn’t act because you always told me I was being dramatic and assured me you were ok, so I didn’t want to make you mad by being ‘dramatic’. Wow, I would love to make you mad at me now! I’d do anything for you to be angry at me and have an argument with you. I was always scared of arguing with you because I was scared you would cut me out of your life, I was scared of losing you.
There’s no pain like this and nobody I know understands it, and I wouldn’t want them to. I am doing ok day to day on the outside, inside I’m heartbroken and hurting, but I don’t think that’s going to change so I guess I just learn to live with it. I don’t really know how to deal with the guilt I feel and the regret I have, maybe it’s not something I deal with but something I just need to accept because I can’t change anything now.

I really hope you’re at peace, when I went to see you, I wanted to see and feel that but I didn’t. You deserve to be at peace, I don’t want you to hurt anymore. This has helped, writing to you/feeling like I am talking to you has helped. Now I’ll go back to bed.

I love you brother, and miss you more everyday.
Xxx

Three Long Years

Dear Becca,
I love and miss you! Now that’s off my chest. Three years ago, just about 9pm on this day – which seems like a lifetime ago – you, my dear little sister decided you had enough. Jokes on you, life now is much worse for the entire planet although I am doing okay. People always ask me why or how could you have done this? I know you thought at that moment no person, thing or action would make life worth living. Sadly, it was all around you and you didn’t care in that one moment – you had a large family, group of friends and professional support network, each whom you embraced. Despite ups and downs, you were just coming into your own. We were so fortunate to share a sibling relationship together. It saddens me that you had just become old enough where we were becoming closer. You should have graduated high school. Suddenly, in an impulsive decision, you did the life-ending deed, and then I got a call from mom saying you did what you wanted to do. Since that moment in time I have not been the same person. I cannot fault you for taking your life. Life is a decision to the beholder, however, the pain I have to carry is something I can never unburden myself of, the “what if’s” “if I could turn back time” and other nostalgic triggers keep everyone in our family up at night. I would have cut off my right arm if it saved you. But, I digress, what happened, happened, and I am happy to reminisce over you.
Perhaps, suicide is intertwined with basic human genetics, just as mental illness. I tend to agree. Life is lovely and fair to some and sad and ugly to others. It’s unfair. That’s life. In yours, you were witty, artistic, talented, funny and unconditionally-loving to those closest to you. We have a lifetime of memories that I will cherish forever. Fast-forward, 3 years doesn’t make it easier. We’re in the middle of a Covid pandemic that brought me back to living and working at our parent’s home instead of my apartment. Everyday, I am reminded you are not here when I take care of mom and dad. Although they miss you terribly, I have to stay strong for them.
It is painful to say that I know you wouldn’t have survived until this day, December 9, 2020. This lockdown/quarantine would have either driven you to the edge or you could have gotten mom and dad infected with this wretched virus. Who knows!? While fate did intervene, you always got your way – even in the end. The way you went out is something I can never get over. I get flashbacks of that terrible night, the hospital and your condition. You have no idea what mom and dad go through with PTSD. Despite this, for you, I live with a sense of purpose even though I’ve had to put off law school plans.
Sibling love is forever. One thing that I won’t regret is that we ended every day with “Good night, love you” to each other when I lived at home. Shed many a tear knowing our last exchange was “Love you.” It was usually an exchanged pleasantry. Sometimes, one of us was insincere because we had gotten into a fight earlier in the night at the dinner table. Other times, it seemed robotic because it was too routine. If you weren’t in a good mood, you’d still smile when I’d barge into your room to say “Good night, Bex! Love you!” To which I would hear an enthusiastic “Love you too!” before you said “get out of my room!”
I will always miss you.
Love,
Big Bro

Aaron and Steven

Aaron,
It’s been 2 1/2 years since you’ve been gone and I can still feel the emotions like it was yesterday. You were my best friend, protector, inspiration, my safe haven when life got bad. You pushed me not to follow in your footsteps. You make the bad times better and the good times amazing. I think about you every single day and my heart cannot let go. I’ve suffered PTSD since that night I found out.
I remember the chilling voicemails that mom and dad left me. I feel the guilt of having a feeling I should’ve made the 3 hour trip home that weekend but I stayed in my dorm instead. I can’t help but think, if maybe you would have seen my face as you were holding that gun, if it was me and mom, you wouldn’t have done it. You would’ve seen my face and said like you said so many times “I love you sissy” and put the gun down.
I have all of these dreams where you come visit me. You tell me you love me and we relive our relationship, just to have it taken and for me to relive the heartbreak. If only you knew the devastation your death left on the family. Aaron I don’t understand.. and I never will. You left me broken, confused, lost. I lost my big brother and I lost my best friend. The person that I could go to for anything, the person that could put a smile on my face at any time, the person that kept me sane. I miss you so much and I hope you’re proud of who I’ve become. Because it’s taken so much strength to get to this place. & despite the time, I still refuse to believe you’re gone.
Steven,
How could you? How could you talk to me for a month straight, tell me you wanted to be closer to me as your little sister, know me better as a young adult, knowing the pain that Aaron’s suicide caused? How could you do it too? I always saw your pain, I always wanted your connection, but you never saw your worth. You were a light and you didn’t even know it. You caused pain that is indescribable. Handling Aaron’s suicide was hard. It still is, and adding yours makes life 100% harder. I loved you even though we weren’t as close. I love you still and always will. I hope you’re at peace with yourself. I hope now you can see the impact that your life made on others. You left me with a piece of cake and took it right away. The idea of having a big brother again, to take over the protector role that Aaron abandoned, just to have it ripped away with the words “Steven shot himself”. I spoke to you that night but I didn’t realize you were saying goodbye. I would’ve said so much more and I wish I could. I love you. I love you both and I miss you more than you could know.
Sincerely,
Your grieving sister of 2 lost brothers to suicide

A Tribute to Mckellar Cox

Dear Big Brother,
As of June 4 2020 I am now 19, the age you were when you took your life. Some days I feel on top of the world and others I beg to join you, but I refuse to because now is not the time. There are still songs I haven’t heard and ice cream flavors I’ve never tried. There are still sunsets that paint the skies orange and mountains I have yet to climb. Every few nights I still hear mom crying softly from her room and your empty chair at the dinner table still sends a stab of pain through me every time I sit down. But with pride I tell you that I am a new man, and I refuse to let my grief bring me down. I’ve learned to bottle my grief and anger and let it explode into ambition, and I have never been better. Not a day goes by where haven’t begged you to come home, but I have finally, finally accepted the fact that you are where you’re supposed to be. I love you with all of my heart Mckellar. I’ll take the wheel from here.

My Dearest Kate

Kate,
It’s been two years today since you took your own life, and there hasn’t been a day that’s gone by where I haven’t thought of you.
Mom and Dad went to your grave today, but I couldn’t make it because of some work stuff, but will be going on Wednesday.
Last night I was thinking about the past two years, and was trying to figure out where I am in the grieving process, and realized I just don’t know, because I haven’t taken the time to grieve. I don’t mean this in a bad way, but I’ve been trying to make sure mom and dad are okay, and I guess in the process haven’t really sat down and thought about how much this has impacted me.
I realized that I honestly haven’t had a good laugh, or truly been happy since you passed, and you know how much I used to joke and laugh.
I just seem to have lost simple things, like laughter and joking, and some larger things like the enthusiasm of going to work, spending time with Jennifer etc.
No, I’m not depressed, and would never think of taking my own life, but I lost a lot of my character the day you died.
I still often wonder what your last thoughts were, and If you had second thoughts. I wonder if you thought about mom, dad and me, and how this would impact us.
I guess it doesn’t matter now, but I miss you every day and if I could somehow go back in time, knowing what I now know, I’d definitely have made more of an effort to talk to you. The saddest thing is that none of us knew, because there were no signs. We knew you’d gone off your meds, and that things had changed, but we never knew what you were planning.
Anyway, I know you’re in heaven and can see us every day, so I know you see how much we love you.
Miss you, your brother.

To My Big Brother Dan

My brother was 15 years older than me, I was told that when I was born he was going through a rough patch in life with mental illness and addiction but as soon as he saw me his life changed. He instantly changed for the better and did what big brothers do; protect and love. I remember all the times he babysat me and we would laugh about stupid stuff and play video games like guitar hero and super mario bros. He was a movie lover and a hard worker and had the most caring brown eyes. All he ever wanted to do was protect me and teach me new things in life. He was the first person to teach me how to shoot a bb gun and how to make the perfect bonfire. I never never saw pain in his eyes, he just seemed tired and irritable which I thought was due to him working night shifts. When I was 13 though, he took his own life. He had called my step dad during the night and told him he was sorry. The next morning he was gone and it didnt feel real. I wish I would have spent more time with him but it wasn’t like a normal sibling bond. He lived on his own and had a job while I was attending middle school. I wish I could have shared more memories with him. I dont talk about it much as I try to be strong and 5 years have passed but it still breaks my heart. He always told me when I was older and more mature I could watch his favorite movies with him, but now that time will never come. Brother I wish you could see how much I have changed and all my recent accomplishments. I miss you so much.