I haven’t been able to breathe since you left.

My whole life I have walked beside you brother. Through the good and the bad we’ve always had each other’s backs and now that your gone I feel so lost. It’s been 25 days since you left us. The longest and worst period of time of my life. Ever since I got the call that you hung yourself I haven’t been able to get this weight off my chest and I feel like I can’t breathe.
Mom and Dad are not okay. Mom especially is struggling with the holidays and now your birthday approaching. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to help. I am so lost in my grief that I am struggling to take care of my family. My kids miss you and keep crying for you. I comfort them the best I can but this has been hard for all of us. Dad was rushed to the hospital today after passing out after having severe chest pains. He’s 2000 miles away and I may lose him too.
Our little sisters are a mess. I’m trying to hold it all together, but I just can’t. We are falling apart without you.
The guilt of it all is overwhelming. You left so many notes, journals, and paintings that have opened my eyes to what you were going through. I knew you were sick. I was the one who sent the clinic and police over to check on you over and over. They kept telling me that the law prevented them from doing anything unless you were imminent danger. But you were and I tried so hard. It hurts… I feel like I should’ve pushed harder when you said no to checking into a hospital. I should’ve done more and now you are gone. I watched the videos you made. I understand the mental anguish you were in and everyone keeps telling me that you are at peace now without all the suffering. I am so angry at that thought. I wish they could see that I was trying to keep you here, trying to bring you peace here. You were only 29 years old. You had your whole life ahead of you.
I am missing you. Missing our childhood and all of our crazy shenanigans. Even our fights are precious to me now. I’m missing our conversations as adults. Growing into our friendship and understanding each other as individuals and not just family members. I am holding on to every memory that I can. Because now they have to last the rest of my lifetime. I miss the future we could’ve had. You watching your nieces and nephews grow while cooking grape leaves with my hubby and working on all your projects together. I miss it all… I miss it every second… it’s overwhelming.
I’m afraid to let it go. Even one bit because I am not ready to let you go. I look at your pictures every day. I am clinging to it all as I drown in this grief. My beliefs are shattered. Are you at peace on the other side? Or are you just gone… nothing but a memory? Was it worth it? Why couldn’t you stay?
The police said the steps you took to go through with it were thought out. I wonder how long you were planning this. I saw you Thursday and you made plans to vacation with us for Christmas. On Saturday you were gone. Did you know on Thursday that you were going to end it all? Did you know on Friday when you saw Momma that it’d be your last goodbye? What happened in those 4 hours you were alone that you ended it all? What happened Brother? Why?

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3 Responses to I haven’t been able to breathe since you left.

  1. Andrea Gaylord says:

    Thank you for this letter. It helps me to read the words of other sisters. My brother was 30 when he took his life 9 months ago. Your words let me know I’m not alone.

  2. A friend says:

    I’m very sorry for your loss. My brother was only 30 when he hung himself on April 17, 2018. Your message and the way you wrote it really resonated with how I feel and am feeling today.

    My brother knew my wife was pregnant but that didn’t stop him, such is depression.
    He apologised in his last message to me for not being able to meet his niece or nephew. My daughter was born a few months later. I really miss my brother but I wanted to write this to say you’re not alone

  3. A says:

    Thank you for this letter. I lost my sister before the holidays and I’ve been angry that no one else in this experience lost a sibling. She is/ was no one else’s sister except my own. This makes me feel a little less alone in my grief. I wish she could have stayed too, and I question if she is out there, somewhere. I’m glad you tried so hard for your brother, I wish I could say I did the same for my sister.
    My parents are strong right now, but I fear they will crumble soon. Time is scary, it’s supposed to help but I’m afraid that as time goes by, the loss will only become more apparent.
    But you shouldn’t have to be the only one holding everyone together.

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