Category Archives: Letters

Josh…..

Dear Josh,
I sincerely don’t know where to start this….. I guess I have questions… Why did you have to go? Why did you have to leave all of us?
I feel like I failed you, Josh. I was your big sister. It was my job to protect you and for whatever reason, I couldn’t protect you from your demons. For that, I feel guilty. I wish I had told you more that I am just a phone call away. I wish I had told you I love you more. Thank you for teaching me that I need to make sure that our brothers and sister know this ALL THE TIME!
Before you got really lost you were the most vibrant person I knew. You never cared what other people thought. Ever. You marched to the beat of your own drum always.
You were BRILLIANT, little brother! You could fix literally anything…. and while I didn’t always listen to you about cars and stuff, I knew you knew better than me. I’ll remember to change my oil filter on my car now…
You loved with your whole heart and I know that loving that way is part of what opened you up to the pain that took you from us.
We didn’t always see eye to eye, in fact, when we were kids we were often trying to take an eye out from each other. But the night I came home from a work party and had had too much to drink, you were the one who volunteered to help me up to my room…. Even though I didn’t deserve anyone’s help. That was our relationship until the darkness came. It didn’t matter if we were fighting, we were always there for one another….. Until the darkness came.
I know that you have no more pain. I know you aren’t angry anymore. I know with everything that I am that you are up in heaven with all of our loved ones who went before you. I’m sure some of them had a few choice words for you, but you are free. The world was just too heavy and painful to bear. Fly high with the angels baby brother. Bowl with the angels during the storms so your kiddos, niece and nephews know you’re with us, dance! Sing! There is no more judgement, no more hostility. No more anger. No more resentment.
Give our grandparents love from those of us who are still earthside. Hug Aunt E and Uncle D and tell them everything is ok down here. Wait for me, ok? I’ll see you on the other side.
Love,
Your Big Sister

I miss you every day

My little sis not a day goes by when I don’t miss you. That day when my hubby told me you had gone was the worst in my life. We’d lost dad but nothing could prepare me for that day. On the weeks before you went I thought I’d got you, we talked and talked and I thought I could save you. You told me you were going to die of this illness, I said are you going to take you’re life. You told me NO! Your were in so much pain and I knew I was losing you like we did with dad and I couldn’t stop it. These last 9 months have been the hardest, longest times in my life . I wanted to join you and dad and felt jealous you had peace. I couldn’t leave mum, my hubby (my rock) and my precious son an daughter and my future. I couldn’t leave your husband and my niece . I wish you had left a note to them so they knew why but I understand your decision to do what you did there was no reason or rhyme. Those left behind your family, friends and those who know you are living with that and I wished you knew how much you were loved and respected. All I know is I will never know the answers, never have our future together and will never be the same person again. But I know that you are with us, I talk to you every day and find comfort you are at peace. I cannot plan for the future, but I don’t look into the past. I live for now. Love you always and forever.

To my little brother

It was just another Tuesday evening during Covid isolation when my mother called me. I was by the kitchen table, eating with my youngest. She asked me if I was sitting down, and I knew – this is the call I had feared receiving for years. I pulled myself away to our bedroom to face the devastating news that you had finally done it. Alone, in your apartment, in your bedroom, where my mother had found you and made the emergency call just few minutes earlier. She was now waiting for the police. It was too late to help you anymore, you had left this world almost 15 hours ago, soon after you had written the final note by hand, in despair at 4.20. a.m.
After brief discussion with my wife, we decided to be truthful to our children and told them that you, their sole uncle, had taken your own life. I remember thinking, what if there has been a misunderstanding , what if the paramedics have arrived and they have been able to resuscitate you. Then I did not remember you had a living will to deny that. It was hard to think straight, it felt like a nightmare. Half an hour later I found myself driving through the darkness to my mother’s. Not crying, but in shock. Time for tears wouldn’t come until a couple of weeks later and then they wouldn’t stop.
You were my best friend, my little brother,
my only sibling. I remember your birth, and now, after 40 years it is again time to learn to live without you – and that is incredibly saddening. I have been preparing myself for this for the past years, while you struggled with your health and talked openly about your will to end your life. I kind of let myself to accept the fact that you are no longer living while you were still alive. I should have faught harder for you! Yet I know I tried my best. During past years we opened up to each other about our deepest fears and anxieties, but yet I wasn’t able to heal you – nobody was. I question myself whether I should have gotten you admitted to mental hospital against your will. I used to think that our mother shall do that if things come to that point, but neither of us had the guts try that. It is easy to regret that now, but I was afraid how you would have reacted.
We were similar in so many ways. We enjoyed the same kind of music, followed same sports, struggled with same kind of insecurities, and enjoyed staying up late to discuss philosophically about life. God I miss those conversations. Yet you were always the more artistics fellow, the one who wrote poems and dreamt of being a rock star. The one who felt more deeply, even too deeply, so it seemed. Living so much in your head, especially after you gave up working out, since you felt it was bad for you.
You used to be the lead man of your band, but you had given up that hobby a couple of years ago – like you had given up your job already earlier. An important job where you helped people to cope with their mental problems. Seemed to me that you were working yourself to give up everything and it scared me. You were no doubt good in your work helping others, like you were in everything that you chose to pursue. Just that you had no energy left to pursue much, not since your relationships had fallen apart, one after another. You once compared yourself to a bad battery, which just wouldn’t charge properly, no matter how much you rested.
I can’t say that I didn’t know the amount and depth of your suffering. I did. I had witnessed it my own eyes and it was a constant dark shadow in the back of my mind. I had seen you at your weakest. I had once convinced you that life is still worth living. You thanked me for that later when you felt better, but the problems didn’t go away.
You were reluctant to take anymore meds, saying your body can’t tolerate them any longer. After decades of medication, your brain had ”rebooted”. You were offered to start new form of electrical brain therapy by your doctor, but that scared you too much. Probably you feared it would drain you even more. You had asked our mother’s blessing on your decision to end your own life, which she of course denied. You wouldn’t accept any intervention either: “no intervention, unless I would be in psychosis one day”. Now I wonder that you might have been in psychosis – why else would anyone choose the darkness over life. But then again, your belief was that this is not everything. That soul will move on. I think that was a comforting thought for you, designed to keep your fear of death at bay, but which ironically made the death by suicide more appealing. You neither had will to live nor fear of death – and that was a fatal combination.
We were supposed to grow old together, you and me. Supporting one another. Now it is just me left and our elderly mother and father. Nobody to share the same childhood experiences anymore, and that makes me feel so alone. I feel guilt letting you down and at the same time anger for you leaving me. You once said it is not selfish to take one’s own life, but it is selfish to ask someone to live when the person has lost will to live. I wish I had challenged you on that, but maybe it wouldn’t have changed your decision.
I found poems you had written. Poems of a romantic man, longing for love and acceptance. Might it be that you suffered from a broken heart more than anything else? Your own view was that problems with lack of energy were primarily due to a physical illness. I had no option but support you on that fight, but now I think the origin of your tiredness might have been more of a spiritual nature. Your mind was not getting nurture and love it so badly needed. We are not built to live alone, without a partner.
I am still today dealing with guilt. I feel I should have done more. The guilt almost crushed me in the first weeks. The feeling is still there, but I now understand that it was your own choice(s) that took you from us and it was not my fault what you did. Your death was the end result of a process that took years.
I am grateful of having you as my little brother and you are always with me. So you were right – your soul lives on in all of us who loved you. Thank you also for leaving such kind suicide note, giving absolution to us who were left behind. But if you’d only been able to see how sorely you are missed, I wonder would you still have done it?

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