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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My Dearest Kate,
On April 20th, 2018, we lost you forever. Though things have gotten easier, I still think of you every single day, praying that you’re in heaven with God.
We’ve had your ashes at mom and dad’s house since you died, but we found a beautiful cemetery run by catholic monks out in Berryville, VA. It’s simple but picturesque- the type of place you’d have loved. It’s just so serene and peaceful there.
Tomorrow me, mom, dad and our priest are heading there tomorrow afternoon to finally place you in your final resting place. It’ll also be the final resting place for me, mom, dad and Jennifer, so one day you’ll be with your loved ones.
I know tomorrow will be an emotional day, but I’m praying for some type of closure. I know there’ll never be full closure, but at least we’ll know you’re in a beautiful place, hopefully as beautiful as heaven where I pray you are now. I’ll do my best to hold it together, but the finality of it all will finally hit me I’m sure.
Anyway, I love and miss you, and though you probably didn’t feel it when you killed yourself, but you’ve always been loved Kate. I wish I’d told you that more, maybe it would have changed your mind, but maybe not. I still feel guilt for not reaching out more, but what’s done is done.
Anyway, tomorrow is your day Kate. Many tears have been shed for the last 18 or so months, but I’m sure more will be tomorrow.
After tomorrow, I’ll at least be able to come and visit you and talk to you. I’ll always make sure your grave stone is kept clean and tidy, and I’ll visit you as much as possible. You’re always in my heart and mind, and I’ll never, ever forget you as long as I live.
It’s been fourteen years since you left and not a single day passes that I do not think about you. I try to focus on what I had, instead of what I lost and most days, it works. On those days, I think of what I miss about you. I think about your maddening dry sense of humor, your intelligent response to everything, and your witty charm that kept everyone around you mesmerized. You had a certain way with people and I deeply admired that about you.
But what I miss the most is the look upon your face every time you saw me. The second you realized I was near, you would drop whatever it was your were doing and the biggest smile would appear across your face. As you yelled my name with so much enthusiasm and excitement, you would walk towards me to give me a welcoming hug. You would bend down to wrap me in your warm embrace and lift me off the ground as you whispered, “I missed you kid,” into my ear. It didn’t matter how long (or how short) it had been since I last you. You always told me you missed me. It made me feel like a million dollars each time!
I always felt so safe when I was in your arms, as if the world (or anyone in it) could never harm me. Your arms were like a shield of protection that was impenetrable by even the strongest of forces. I haven’t felt that safe since our last embrace and my soul aches for it every moment of every day.
You were the best big brother that a girl could ever hope for and you loved me so fiercely. You treated me like I was your equal, even though there was an age gap of ten years between us. You understood everything there is about me, and accepted every part of who I am, flaws and all. You knew me deepest secrets and my darkest fears and not once did you ever use them against me. You encouraged me to follow my dreams, to never take life for granted, and to always remember that no matter what, you’d always be here for me.
I may never know exactly why you did what you did…or even what you were possibly thinking, but I’ve come to accept the fact that those are questions I will never get an answer to. And surprisingly, that’s okay now. It took many years to come to this point, but now that I am here, I am finally able to focus on what truly matters.
I no longer feel the need to know the facts behind your reasoning. I just need to remember the fact that you loved me. That your choice had nothing to do with me or how much you and I cared about each other. Although it still feels very personal to me, that is not how you intended for it to make me feel.
I know you loved me. I know you cared about me. I even know you valued our relationship and cherished the close bond that we shared for twenty years. I also know that you’re sorry for the pain you caused. You didn’t mean to break our hearts or to leave us riddled with guilt that would try desperately to destroy us.
You didn’t mean any of it…and I have to remember that. Even when I become so angry yet again for what happened. Even when I am feeling beaten down and ready to explode from all the anguish of it all.
Whenever you are at this precise moment in time, I hope you are happy and finally at peace. No matter what has happened, I still admire you and strive everyday to be the best version of myself that you always knew I would become. I hope that when you look down on me from up above, you are proud of the woman I have become. You taught me so much and believed in me when no one else did. For that, i will always be grateful.
I love you brother of mine. I always have and I always will. Until we meet again.
Dear Jaden, not a day goes by where I don’t think about you. You have been gone for a year. I hold a lot of regrets and I am just so angry at myself. I should have reached out to you more. I should have talked to you when I had the chance. I could have been there for you. I should have been there for you. After you died in February life just got hard. I had all this anger inside of me because I felt like I wasn’t a good sister. If I could ask you one question I would ask why didn’t you leave a letter or something. I just feel lost without you. I am trying to get help with everything that has happened to me. But at the same time I just feel lost and lonely without you. I want you to come back everyday to me. I miss you so much.
James I miss you so much, you are on my mind every minute of the day. Sometimes when I first open my eyes in the morning for that split second it feels like you are still in your room sleeping. The day you left you took a big part of me with you. I feel so empty without you. I feel like my depression and anxiety have been at an all time high since you’ve been gone. I only imagine that you felt this pain 10x more. It breaks my heart knowing that you were just in the room next door to me but you were dealing with so much pain and loneliness by yourself. I know it’s selfish of me but I wish I could rewind back to that last time I saw you and just give you a big hug and tell you how much I love you, maybe that would’ve been enough for you to stay but that wouldn’t have stopped the pain you endured everyday just living in this life. This life is hard and cruel and I don’t shame you at all for doing what you did. I am proud of you for choosing eternal happiness with god. You weren’t happy on this earth and god saw that and called for you. I know you are in a better place and I cant wait till you are opening the heavenly gates for me when my time comes. Please keep visiting me in my dreams James. I love you forever. watch over me and the family. Give chulo and shorty a treat for me.
It’s been a month since you changed worlds. My heart is so broken and the tears haven’t stopped. I’ve read a few books on the afterlife and suicide and get comfort knowing you’re finally not in pain and being well taken care of. This will forever hurt but if i have to hurt in order for you to finally be at peace I’m okay with that. I forgive you. I miss you. I love you.