Category Archives: Letters

Aaron and Steven

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.
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.
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

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.
Sister Bear

Tomorrow we Bury You

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.
Love always,
Your Brother

Fly high brother

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.