It was a normal Sunday morning for me. Slight headache from the night before celebrating my cousins wedding. Getting ready to go to work at the call center I worked at. Remember looking at Brennen’s snapchat story from last night. He was living in Oregon/Washington with my mom. Told myself I need to message him about it and tell him it made me LOL. Get to work and start doing my normal Sunday duties. I think it was around 12-12:30pm when I got a call from my older brother, he lived in Sioux Falls. I looked at my phone and thought, “huh, what’s he need”. From the moment he uttered the words “Brennen’s dead, he killed himself” My world turned upside down, got the most gut-wrenching feeling, my heart dropped then started beating fast. He told me to go tell Brennen’s little brother. I said ok love you, hung up and went to tell my boss. I couldn’t feel my legs and wanted to throw up. I broke down telling her, she hugged me and told me to go, now. I left and immediately called my mom. Honestly thinking it was a cruel, cruel “joke”. Mom picked up and was understandably uncontrollably crying. I don’t remember what I told her or what she said. On my way to his brother’s house I called my dad’s sister, my aunt. Then I arrived at his brother’s house, I burst into his place. He was sleeping I told him to get up now, something happened. He was getting ready, I was shaking trying to text my girlfriend. I looked at his brother and uttered the same words my brother just told me 10 mins ago. “Brennen’s dead, he killed himself” His brother and I stared at each other tears in our eyes. He came outside and I hugged him, at the moment his gf Rainy pulled up. I think my brother had called her. As we are standing there my friend of 10 years just happened to drive by, I flagged her down and told her the news.
After I had left his brother’s I had called my brother and said, “what the **** do we do?” He had been talking to my grandma and aunt, who live in Oregon and had went to get mom. He said gma is buying us plane tickets and we are leaving for Oregon tomorrow morning. I went home started laundry, with so many emotions going on. My mom called me and said, “get here, I need you boys” The next few hours were somewhat of a blur. I had to go to my dads and get a piece of luggage. I remember the look on my dad’s face, my step mom hugged me. I saw my half-sister in the kitchen. She hugged me, then I saw my half little brother. Something in me broke, I had just lost one little brother and seeing him brought back a flood of memories. I left and went home, left town and headed to Sioux Falls. My great uncle said the brothers and I could stay the night. When I got there everyone was around the table, my uncle hugged me. Anyone got a hug count yet? A few hours later we were on the deck of my uncle’s and I looked to the east and saw a bar! I said let’s go have a beer for Brennen, everyone was on board. When we got there, I ordered a Budweiser. Brennen’s favorite beer, not sure why! My step sister meet us there, then my Aunt and another family member. We laughed, cried and drank. We went back to my uncle’s, my brother went to bed. His brother’s turned on the movie TED. I don’t know about anyone else, but I got maybe 2 hours of sleep that night. I had called mom, she couldn’t sleep either. Just talked, cried. I was the first one ready in the morning. My uncle dropped us of at the SF airport that morning. We flew from Sioux Falls to Minneapolis. From Minneapolis to Portland, OR.
I don’t remember what time we got to Portland, but when we walked through the doors, I saw mom. She was standing there crying, anxiously waiting to hug her 3 boys. I remember her nails digging into my neck, the wailing of her cry. My cousins and a cousin’s wife were there. We got in the car and went to gmas. First of all, forget Portland, OR traffic! As if I didn’t want to throw up already, the constant stop, go didn’t help. We got to grandmas, I saw my aunt and gma.
My brother is a funeral director, he had worked at a funeral home in Aloha, OR. They had gone to get Brennen and prepared him. Tuesday was the day. The day that will live with me for the rest of my life. When we arrived at the funeral home, they allowed Mom and us brother’s first go to see Brennen. He looked amazing, at peace and I kid you not. That s*** eating grin Brennen always had. “I love you Brennen” is the first thing I said to him. Don’t know long we were there. Had a nice little vigil, listened to some songs. Then had to say goodbye to Brennen. My little brother, “I love you Brennen” I said to him as the funeral directors took him back to be cremated. Some of you won’t get why we did this, some might. My brother said we were able to go back want to watch the process. I know what your thinking, “NO WAY!” that’s what I thought too. But other brothers said they wanted to do so I did too. As weird as it may sound, it helped a little with closure.
That was the first night I slept well. I had asked mom if we could go to the ocean. So, we all piled into her car. OH mom’s dog had to come too! Was a nice drive, arrived at Seaside Beach. Then drove over to Haystack Rock. That was a beautiful day. We laughed, cried hugged. I went back to South Dakota Thursday, I just needed to get home. Get back to a “normal” routine. But nothing would ever be normal again. My employer was nothing but understanding. As the days, cards and hugs came. I was remined that a lot of people were there for me in my time of need.
Mom had planned on moving back before Brennen passed away. She arrived in town early October 2017. Brennen was cremated and my brother had picked out a beautiful blue urn. We had “Brennen, Fly High, 203” engraved on it. Brother all also got pocket knives with Brennen’s thumb print on it. We had a funeral October 15th at 2pm. Same church us boys were all confirmed in. I didn’t want to go, I never thought I’d be getting ready for my little brother’s funeral. Tons of the twin’s friends came, middle school teachers. Aunts and uncles were there, it was beyond heartwarming. Flowers from friends, more hugs. Mom had a video tribute put together, was amazing. After the funeral we had cake, which made me laugh because Brennen loved his sweets!
Now the question you’re probably all wondering, how did he do it? Well, Brennen hung himself in his closet at his and mom’s apartment. Mom found him, a thing I wish she never had to do.
It’s been 494 days since Brennen completed suicide. If you had a family member complete suicide, I give you a hug. If you are a person of failed suicide, I give you a hug. People are here for you, no matter what side of the street your on. The point of this is to tell you a family members side of suicide.
Thank you for reading.
Brennen, I miss you, I love you.