To Bubby 8/18/2015

Dan,

I miss you so damn much. When we were growing up, I was sad when we were apart for more than a dew days-even if we had been a vicious fight the day before. I was sad when you lived with dad in college. Now, that you’re really never coming back, it hurts, SO much. I can’t describe it, and I don’t know what I’m suppose to do. I need you to listen to my venting. I need to annoy you. I need you to get me out of my ruts. I need you to brag about how you saw that new movie or heard the new beck album before I did. I haven’t been able to do any of these things for the 3 years you’ve been gone, and I never will. I feel so void of some piece of me that will never be filled-ever.

There’s absolutely nothing in this world you could ever have done to make me love you any less. That’s something mom and dad always use to say. I probably knew that when you were alive, but I know it all too well now. Even the worst thing I could possibly think of someone doing that might make me hate anyone else for, I’d still love you even more. I wish I could give you a big hug, and say, “it’s okay, we’ll work through it, because you’re my brother and I love you”.

I am grateful though, you’re no longer in the tremendous amount of pain you were in when you took your life. I just feel so helpless that I couldn’t be with you. I feel like I failed you bail you out of it, after you bailed me out of so many things. I feel like I failed because I let you be alone when you were at your absolute loneliest. I feel like a failure because i couldn’t ease your pain or provide you any comfort. BUT YOU WOULDNT LET ME!! because you flew 500 miles away so no one Would find you Because you didn’t want to be found. And I’m afraid that I think I may feel like you may have felt in your last moments here.

But I have to forgive you and I do. Because I know you were very sick when you did what you did. I know you weren’t in your right mind. I know that with the sickness you had In your wonderful mind and beautiful heart, although I may hate it’s symptoms, it was the sickness that took you, not you. I know that because of that sickness, you were not physically, mentally, or emotionally capable of reaching out for help in a way that would have got anyone’s attention. And I know what that sickness is like because I’ve had it. And the only reason I’m still here is because some amazing people cornered me deep enough in my business before I had a chance to shut them out. So I forgive you. It’s okay. I love you unconditionally. And from now on, im making it a point to make everyone I come in contact with feel like they can trust me with anything, as best as I can. I won’t do it perfectly, but there’s people out there as sick as you were, and their loved ones don’t deserve to loose them especially if it can be avoided.

Thank you for being you. Thank you for teaching me how to always be true to myself. Thank you for teaching me not to sell out, no matter to who or what. Thank you for teaching me to always be searching, always be asking questions, and to never loose my curiosity, and when I see something I believe is wrong, unjust or dishonest, call it out!! Thank you for the richer life I have today just from you being in it for 28 years. I always have, do and always will love you with all my heart.

Love, Brian.

 

Really Greg-O

Dear Greg,

I have anger at you for succeeding.

I have anger at you for not calling one more time.

I rejoice that you are no more being chased by your demons.

I’m sorry we couldn’t give you a real funeral, that we had to cremate you and take you away from your home so you can sit on a shelf and wait til Mom dies to be buried with her.

You quietly strangled yourself. I know you weren’t alone, God was with you, either giving you the strength to continue on in this plane, or to come to Him. You chose Him.

I was affected by Dad’s death profoundly, you know he was my everything. But I’ll tell you Greggy, your loss, the loss of a sibling, is more difficult then anything I ever imagined.

Everyone is doing what they think is right. Yesterday Mark told Mom that your death was a suicide, Mom being Mom, wants to sweep this under the carpet, and not “tell” anyone what “really happened.”

My dear brother, the remaining 11 siblings left behind are all grieving in our own ways. This website may be a good outlet for me.

I love you and will miss you greatly.

Keep me protected, and watch over me between the awesome Rock and Roll concerts in heaven.

Mary Beth

The Demons Won…

 

Dear Pooh,

Today is 2 weeks since you made the choice to leave us. You were only 28! You left me, Dad, Danny, Bobby, Michelle and your children, Mikey & Maddie. That doesn’t even include the rest of the family. We know you had an addiction problem and we tried for 10 years to help you fight the demons. We helped you get into rehab when you asked for the help. We were more than willing to help you again and again until you were able to be strong enough not to give in to the cravings, the urges, the demons.

I am so thankful for the 7 months you were clean between last year and this year. And then the demons beckoned and we lost you first to them and then to the darkness. I have so many good memories but for the past 2 weeks all I can see is your face when we found you. I have nightmares, I can’t eat and Dad moved back to NJ so now I’m here in Florida with no family. Michael is helping me as best he can but he doesn’t know the grief I’m feeling. Losing someone to suicide is so much different than losing someone to cancer or even a heart attack. There are so many unanswered questions and no funeral services. We will have a memorial service next month when I go home for the birth of your nieces new baby. This was supposed to be a happy event. You’ve taken that from me. Now I will be there for the baby but then I have to help our siblings and Father plan your service. What you did was selfish. I understand you were in pain and missing mom and felt as though you couldn’t live without her. Now you’re with her and we’re here trying to process all of this.

I’m reaching out for help because I can’t eat or sleep. I’m having nightmares that are jolting me from my sleep and I wake trembling and crying and my heart feeling like it’s broken and never going to work again. I’m so thankful for my friends but even they are unsure how to proceed with me. I need to find a way to process this so I can get back to living. I have to live my life and in doing so, I hope you’ll be there watching over us all. In time, we will meet again but I have too much to live for to allow your untimely death to ruin that for me. I have enough issues with the fibro, problems with my legs and everything else to allow your suicide to break me. I AM strong and I WILL survive, for both of us. I love you and will miss you every second of every day.

Always,

Donna

 

Dear Danny

Dear Danny, it’s only been 4 days since you took your own life. I’m so sad and im angry with you. You left me an only child. You left me to take care of mom by myself. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. I’m sad because I didn’t know that you were hurting so bad. That you thought this was the only way out. No one knew, everyone is shocked. We don’t understand and we will never have an answer. I’m sorry you we hurting. I’m sorry I didn’t know. I wish you would have reached out to me, to someone, to anyone. If I had one more day with you I would ask how you were. I would ask if you were happy. I would tell you how much you meant to me and tell you how much I loved you. I would do something silly just to hear your chuckle. I would tell you how smart you were and how I always looked up to you. I would tell you that no matter what I would always be here for you. I’ll never be able to tell you any of it now because you chose to leave. It’s not how it was supposed to be. My head hurts from crying. My eyes won’t stop. My heart is breaking…..

Debbie

 

Hey.

It’s a weird thing to say, huh? Hey. Like you never even left. I must tell you, that you made yourself die, but you left me here dead. I think I’m part alive part dead since you’re gone and I don’t know how to heal. I’m so hurt, and so HOLLOW, I don’t even know if I have anything left in me. Some days are okay, and some are awful. I don’t know how to cope with it, how to handle it, how to calm down, nothing. I’m so angry, but so sad at the same time that it makes the appearance that I don’t care. I think our mother is angry because I haven’t been at your grave for months I think. I hope you are not angry, but I just can’t go. People would think that since your suicide is a year and a half ago, things would be better now, but they’re not. NOT A LITTLE BETTER. Sometimes worse I think. And I’m angry and I’m disappointed and sad and horrified and scared and empty and depressive and hollow. Just hollow. I know it’s not okay, but I can’t help it. I don’t know how to help myself and no one else helps me. You see, you left, and my mother, our mother, is left without a son. And she is heart broken. But I…I sometimes have the feeling that I lost a brother and a mother. I know she is trying her best, but things are just not working. How could you break our hearts like that? I know I judge you too much, but what are you expecting? You, who are my older brother, who should protect me my whole life, who should spent the most of time in my life with me, left me, and broke my heart the most from all the people that ever broke my heart. And I’m angry because I know that I could have helped you. We all could. You left a group of people who admire you behind you, and we all could have helped.

People say that they feel their near dead ones with them, that they feel that they are present and that they are watching over you. I don’t feel that. Where are you? You said you loved me, yet….I don’t feel you. Or maybe I don’t let you near? Because I’m too angry and I can’t forgive you.

No one ever asks me how I’m doing, you know. Everyone says ”How’s your mother? Take good care of her, she’s hurting now, having a hard time.” Of course I will take care of her, because my broken heart doesn’t matter. I’m just your sister, right? I can’t be that hurt, right? But I am. I am broken and I am torn to pieces. I’m a shadow of what once used to be a human and guess what? No one even cares, because I’m just your sister.

I miss you, Steve

It has been a little over 2 weeks since you left the ranch. God, if I had ever known it was this bad I would have been there for you. I think there were many things not going right in your world and it was time for a change. There is a huge part of me that wishes you had taken me with you. That wouldn’t solve anything. I am very worried about Debbie. She does have a counselor. I am very glad for that. She has kids and grand kids to help ease the pain a little. I hope it works. It is a second by second process. This has been a horribly sad day for me. I have cried a lot today. I miss you a lot today. I am so hoping you have peace in your life now. I pray for that. Take care of all my animals on the Rainbow Bridge as you will.

Jane

 

To my Elder Bro Jonathan

Hey Brother where art though?

Boy have I missed you, it has been a little over two years since you have passed. There hasn’t been a day since that I haven’t thought of you, whether just wanting to call you or just to know that you are there to listen if I needed to call. I’m living in St. Cloud now, and every time I go home I am expecting to see your car in the driveway. Unfortunately, I never will see that again. But anywho just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you and I miss you everyday. I hope that you are hanging out with Grandpa, Grandma, and Andrew up there.

Love,

Justin

 

To Charles

 

 

My house feels so empty. I hate coming home. Didn’t you know we loved having you here? Jake making breakfast every morning, we’d eat and you would pack your small cooler with sodas for lunch. And my heart would smile at you. And we’d take on the day as a team. We’d come home and you guys would watch tv, as I made dinner. And we’d watch tv, and we’d laugh and talk, and I miss that. Gosh, I miss you. Tomorrow is gonna be the hardest day of my life, and I wish you were here, so I didn’t have to do it. Why couldn’t you talk to us? We would have done anything for you. You knew I’d been there, feeling like that before, and I could have helped you. You always said you didn’t want to be a burden, truth is, and I guess you never believed me, that we didn’t want you to leave. You being here, made us happier. Taking care of you, made us happier. I need you, and now you are just gone. We love you, that will never change, it was a privilege to have known you and love you. We miss you so much!!! I often think of you, and want to send you a picture or a text, and cannot! I’ve accepted you are gone, I’ve accepted I will not see you again in this life, but yet I often forget… I still expect to see you when I pull up at mom’s. I still expect to get the random 3am texts to have me Google something for you. I still expect you to be in the backseat smiling and making fun of me when I look in the rearview mirror.

What is hardest for me to accept is that this was your choice, and that I do not understand! I try so hard not to be angry at you, as obviously you just hurt too much, but there are times I just can’t help it! I just want to scream at you! But instead I cry.

I miss you Charles!!!

-Lisa

Dear Garrett

Dear Garrett,

I really don’t know how to write this to you. I know that mom and dad have written you letters so why not give this a try. My counselor said one time that writing is good for grieving people but I don’t really believe that. I have mixed feelings about you leaving us. I too was depressed and wondered about ending my own life. I tried to be the voice of reason for why you did this. Even today I still am trying to reason it over and over in my head. I don’t think you understood what you were leaving behind. Mom… Dad… and what about me Garrett? Do you realize that you forgot about me in your letter to Mom? Do you realize that not only trying to grieve over you, that James hurt me? Cause if losing you wasn’t enough, I had to be toyed around by the boyfriend (at the time). Garrett, did you know you wouldn’t see me graduate? Did you know you wouldn’t see me get married? Did you know that you would never be an uncle to my kids? Did you know I would never be able to be an aunt to yours? You know, I do understand the dark place you were in, and how you thought Sara was your whole life. But Garrett, if Sara was your whole life and helped you make the decision to take your life, how could you expect us to not hate her? I have been torn between understand why and explaining why. Did you know that I kept mom and dad going? Do you know I went to college to prove you wrong? To show you I could do it! Sometimes I go back to that day and wish I came upstairs and talked to you when you dropped off my car. Why did I need to go through so much pain when I was only 17, Garrett??? Why do I find myself listening to songs about you in the car and cry? Do you know I wear your wrist band every time I show to see if you are there with me? I hope you saw me show in Oklahoma. You are my big brother and I needed you here.

I will see you again Garrett Norman,

Annelise

 

Letter to Brian

Dear Brian,

I’ll never forget the last time I saw you. It was July 5th, 2010– you brought me back to the airport after my visit home for Mom’s birthday. The entire ride was so heartbreaking; I could feel it– your profound sadness. I tried to get you to talk about it but you kept changing the subject… so I let it be. I just wanted to spend time with you. I didn’t want the ride to end; the closer we got to the airport the more anxious I grew. I didn’t want to say goodbye to you– something was happening that made my heart ache for you but I couldn’t put my finger on it exactly. You got out to help me with my bags, I gave you a hug and said, “Come visit me soon, OK?? See ya later, dude.” Once inside the airport doors I allowed myself to turn around in time to see you driving away; I started sobbing because in my heart I knew I’d never see you again… and I didn’t.

That part still haunts me– that I was so connected with you that I could sense that but yet I didn’t feel it the moment you died. It will take me a lifetime to get past the fact that an entire week had passed before you were found. I felt like I let you down– that not only did you die alone but you continued to lie there alone for a week while I went about my life. “He’s gone, honey.” Those are the first words I heard from Mom confirming that what we had hoped hadn’t happened really had… and the nightmare began. For weeks I would call your cell phone several times a day just to hear your voicemail message; I worry that I’ll forget the sound of your voice. I was a mess the first time I called your number after it was finally disconnected– it was like you had died all over again and the last remaining connection I had to hearing your voice again was gone.

I keep running through our life together over and over in my head. We were so close in age that we shared everything together– we experienced all stages of life at the same time: childhood… high school… college… jobs… everything. And we even liked each other enough to choose to be roommates as adults! I loved that we were not just brother and sister, but we were friends. We both included each other in our circles of friends and activities. I keep trying to remember those things; our Sundays watching the Simpsons, you “singing” me the X-Files theme song, pizza and football games, and even you trying, very patiently, to teach me how to drive a manual transmission! You had the most amazing, contagious laugh and a very gentle spirit and are going to be missed by so many people– more than you could have ever imagined. It may not make sense but it feels like you have taken that past with you… and it also feels as though you have also taken my future as I never imagined it without you.

I often wonder how long it’ll be before those memories bring me more joy than pain– because right now it hurts to think of them. My heart is broken! I find myself detaching from the world, I’m suffering from frequent panic attacks when the pain is just so strong it takes my breath away. I have become jealous of others who have siblings who are still here– and am hurt when I see them angry with each other. I am not the same person anymore; I feel so isolated, so different from everyone else. I can laugh… but have no true joy right now. I suppose some happiness will come back someday… but for now there’s only a hole in my heart where you used to be.

Please know that I am not angry at you now… nor do I think I ever will be. I have been to that place myself before and fought my way back out. I know it wasn’t a compulsive choice you made but rather the culmination of years and years of battling a crippling depression and you held on as long as you could– for us.

I miss you and think of you every waking moment. Instead of saying goodbye to you, since I know I’ll see you again, I’ll just say what we always said to each other– “See ya later, dude.”

Your loving sister,

Laura

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