Category Archives: Letters

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.

Always missing you James

James I love you so much..
I think about you everyday. Some days are harder than others. I feel so lonely in this house without you.. I miss hearing you talk to chulo.. I miss hearing you laugh at the spongebob episode you’re watching.. I miss hearing you play your little guitar before bed.. it’s been over a year now and I still can’t believe you’re not physically here with us anymore. You will always be in my heart as my big brother, my guardian angel and my hero. I’m not afraid of death as I was before because I know I have you up there and you’ll be waiting for me and the rest of the family to join you in heaven.
Love, mita

My Dearest Kate

Dear Kate,
It was your birthday yesterday and about 18 months since we lost you.
Mom, dad, Jennifer and I went out to visit your grave. It’s a bit of a drive, but very picturesque, and gave me a lot of time to think about you on the way there.
I still feel so sad, and still feel some guilt for losing you, mainly for the fact that I sometimes didn’t return your texts or emails, though of course I know now that you’d been planning it for many months.
Anyway, I miss you every day and wish you were still here. Mom and dad are doing okay, but obviously are still deeply saddened, so I’m doing my best to spend as much time as I can with them.
I miss you Kate, and miss all the good times we had together, and those are the times I try to think about to get me through.
Love you.

I Lost My Sister

Dear Abby,
September 26, 2015 you took your own life, stopping at the age of 16. You were less than 3 months away of turning 17.
9:37pm mom says “Abby’s gone” The first thing that came to my mind was “Abby ran away? Why?” But no that was not the case. Your heart had stopped breathing.
I didn’t want to believe it, and I still don’t. I got so lost after you left, I didn’t even know how to get up and get ready for school for a couple weeks.
Abby you were my older sister, my best friend, my partner in crime, my superhero. I was so close with you, I never wanted to lose you that soon. Your voice and your laughter played everyday in my head for the first 2 years after you left.
I still get mad, angry, upset, breakdown over your death. When I breakdown, I sit cry for hours, and I don’t want to talk to anyone. I will never believe it, I never want to either.
I just want another day with you sissy! I always feel like its my fault.
Abby was someone who never showed her pain. She didn’t get help, so she suffered in silence. Abby always acted like everything was okay.
She was always funny, she wanted others to be happier than her. She never liked others get upset. Abby was a funny, artistic, amazing, kind, outgoing, loving sister.
I struggle everyday still in everything I do. I just feel so lost still and feel like I haven’t made any progress after she left.
Abby I just wanted you to see how much I love you and how much I really miss you so freaking much. I just want to see another day with you sissy! I love you and we will meet again someday.

To my Brother Bear

Dearest Brother Bear,

Today is the 9th month of our separation on earth. This has been the hardest year of my life and I have lost our Mom, struggled six years of constant hospitalizations with my illness, and nothing compares to this pain.
I remember holding your tiny hand in the hospital. You held on to my hand for dear life. You were under 2 pounds at birth yet had the strength of a man. You let go of my hand forever on January 2nd, 2019. I wish my hand were there to pull you to safety or catch you as you lept from your high rise. My hands were absent. I had only texted you 42 minutes before and you were in my house less than 24 hours before. The disbelief is disabling.

I was your confidant, protector and friend. I never judged your long battle with paranoia schizophrenia. You worked so hard to stay balanced and move forward in life. Looking through your phone, I see you used every app, book, and mantra to help stay afloat. You excelled. You had a good job, tons of friends, filled passport and padded accounts but…. no peace. It was a facade. I only found this out because of the clue you left me, your notebook and passwords. You tried to tell me but could not. The disease silenced you forever but you thought around it. I followed your clues and saw what was attacking your mind. It was not pretty. I was so sad. I wish I could have quieted the voices, demons, and chaos in your brain. I wish you were still with me.

I must live on but I will never stop making sure your life is not in vain. I have done so much already: gave money to your best friend to help him continue his education, joined the fight with AFSP to change laws for the mentally ill and for suicide prevention, donated to sites to help those in pain, and tied up all loose ends with your friends, girlfriend, and our Dad. I am so glad I can work for you and honor you. I miss your presence but glad you and I still hang out. We talk more now than ever. You live forever in my life. My toddler, your niece, saves things for you, draws you pictures and we watch your videos, especially ones of both of you. We miss you everyday. I drive your car because it smells like you and has your things. I have not moved much. I have your phone as a document of your life.
But, my memory of you: your scent, the furrows in your brow, your surgery scars, mole on your foot, turtle toenails, perfect smile, deep thinking eyes so tired of battling, and those long, muscled legs, quirky noises you made, and flat thumbs from thumb sucking.

Your students miss their coach, your friends cannot close that chasm, your girlfriend’s heart is broken, your father’s heart is bruised and you took the other half of my heart that losing our Mom took.
I love you always and I know you will always love me.
Rachel and Nathan forever.
Love,
Sister Bear