One week you have been gone Scott… my heart is breaking…you took your life… things are in slow motion… not sure how to navigate through this…. I can’t sleep….
Two days, two weeks, two years
In two days, it will have been two years since the last time I saw you alive. In two weeks, it will be two years since you left us. My baby brother.
Nearly two years without you. It feels like yesterday. It feels like a lifetime ago. It feels like it never happened, and it feels like it happens over and over whenever I remember you’re gone. Whenever I dream about you and wake up and realize you’re still gone. You left. You gave up. You’re never coming back.
I’m still angry at you. The guilt that I wasn’t there for you still overwhelms me. The sorrow that you were alone in your last moments suffocates me.
How did we not know? Why couldn’t you tell us? Why couldn’t you tell me? What triggered you? What broke the camels back? Why didn’t you leave a note? Why didn’t you explain? Why, two years later do we still not know why you did this?
You could have come to me! You knew about my attempt when I was 16. You knew about my mental health struggles. You knew that I had gotten help! I would have helped you get help! I wouldn’t have shamed you, or told you just to pray about it. I would have just loved you, and helped you find the help you needed. Hell, I would have offered to pay for it if you needed it! I would have done anything to still have you here with us.
Dad, Jen and I are trying to move on. We’re trying to keep living and pursuing our lives. But I think mom’s giving up. You’re still her favorite. She’ll never admit it, and refuses to see it. Two years later, She still sleeps with your stuffed manatee from when you were a kid. She’s still looking for someone to blame. It changes every time I talk to her, but it doesn’t change the fact that you’re gone.
I read a book the other day where one of the characters lost her brother almost exactly how we lost you. It wrecked me. I threw the book and lost myself to the grief again.
I feel selfish. Your pain, tiredness, anger, whatever led you to take your life must have been so overwhelming. But here I am, complaining about how it’s affected me. I feel justified though, because whatever you were facing is over now. But the pain you left me with. The abandonment, the loneliness, the missing you, I still have to live with. Everyday. And then I feel selfish again, and hate myself for not being with you. For not helping carry whatever burden felt like too much for you. That’s what big sisters are supposed to do. We’re supposed to life the burdens of our siblings. We’re supposed to help guide them. To show them our mistakes and how to avoid them.
Michael. I miss you. I love you. I hate you. I grieve you.
The Day That Will Change Me Forever
Thank you for your last words
Birthday Depression- Another year without you
Why should I get to live another year on this earth instead of my brother? If I could have taken his place I would have in a heartbeat. I should have noticed the warning signs and saved him. The reality is that no matter what I could’ve changed the outcome would have still been the same. There is a strong correlation between schizophrenia and suicide, the voices inside of my brother’s head were like a choir from Hell dragging him down to his own Dante-esque levels of purgatory.
These are all of the would’ve, could’ve, should’ve and what if’s that accompany complicated bereavement and survivor’s guilt. I know they are irrational and that I shouldn’t blame myself for his death. There will always be a part of me that feels like I failed him though.
I know my brother wouldn’t want me to feel this way on my own birthday. All he ever wanted for me was to be sober and happy. In a really screwed up way, his death saved me from myself. As soon as I found out he left this mortal realm all of my cravings for opiates and self-destruction completely vanished from my mind and soul. I give myself permission to grieve today but will not let it consume me. Writing this has been so cathartic. I will salvage the rest of today and focus on the positive aspects of my life. I know that part of my brother’s spirit will always remain within me, and that he is watching over me. I will continue to stay sober, cherish all of the precious memories I was fortunate enough to experience with my brother and never let go of the hope and faith inside of my heart. Time does not heal all wounds necessarily, grief is a nonlinear process. I have learned to take it day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, and second by second. I have found acceptance in my brother’s decision to take his own life, because I know he is finally at peace. I owe it to him and myself to cultivate my own inner peace, love, and happiness. Perspective is key.
A Little Further Down the Road
I last posted here on February 24th, 2021 (For My Older Brother) two years after your death. Now here we are in 2023 almost two more years down the road. I want to give an update on things.
I still miss you. That will never change. Life is not easier in fact it is harder in a lot of ways. I’m going through a painful breakup with L, the girl I started dating right before you took your own life. That is a whole bucket of grief in and of itself. On top of that I was let go from my job and found out that dad likely won’t make it through the next couple of months cause of the cancer.
I’d be lying if I said that I haven’t had thoughts of ending things myself, but I know that that is not what I really want. I just want to not be in pain anymore. I oscillate between periods of hope and despair. I feel helplessly lonely and isolated at times. Besides my therapist and my family, there is no one I feel really close to. I have some friends sure but no one like the friend that you were.
On the brighter side of things I am really starting to take care of myself in ways that I haven’t for years. I started CrossFit some months back. I am taking cold showers, eating healthy(ish), getting outside when I can and journaling like a fiend. I’m planning on taking an improv class later this month, something that scares the shit out of me while simultaneously bringing me so much joy. I’ll also be moving in to a new spot at the end of this month with a dog that B found on the side of the road. (She’s a sweetheart and I know you two would’ve gotten along.)That is something to look forward to.
I hope that you are proud of me. I am trying so hard to get back into the swing of life after having felt frozen in grief over the years. It feels like the ice is just beginning to melt. I miss you, I miss you, I miss you. I know that you would want me to be happy. The struggle is me wanting me to be happy. To find movement in life when it’s so much easier to pull the shutters and stay in my room. One day at a time. Brighter days ahead.
All My Love,
My Irish Twin
My brother was born in May of 1972 when I was 10 months and 3 weeks old. He turned 50 in this past May and out of his 50 years, he suffered with depression for 28 of them. He contemplated suicide 5 times in the last 2 years. He spoke to me each and every time. He had seen therapists and doctors and anyone —and that helped each time. Until yesterday morning when I got “the text”. He was already gone by the time the message came through. I’m numb, I’m confused, I’m nauseous and sobbing and frantic and then I’m a pile on the floor. I feel like he was my real twin and not just my Irish Twin. I feel like part of me left with him.
I’m struggling to process every aspect of this. Where do I start? It’s all so raw.
My Brother Keeper
It’s been exactly 4 days since you decided to take your own life… I’m laying down thinking how pointless life feels. Everyone is telling me be strong, Pray, keep your head up. I know they want the best for me but I feel like they are being dismissive. My brother was 27 years young. He had a baby on the way and 2 beautiful children.. I’ll never understand why or what made him do this. I can’t help but think I could have did more said more been around more. There’s nothing I tell myself that makes me feel better.. I have mixed emotions everyday some days I think I’m normal. Other days I feel like my world has came to an end. I pray for strength and guidance it’s been a very difficult time for me. My heart hurts my head is not in the right place . I pray I get the help I need to get me through this.
Right now I feel very worthless weak and no point in carrying on this life’s I want to be with him in the other life 🙁
You were 26 when you took your life.
You would’ve been 30 in January.
I’ll be turning 26 in April.
We’ll be the same age.
And then, I’ll grow older.
And older and older.
And you’ll stay the same age.
Our mother was not a nice person. You personally saved my life several times from her.
And I never got to tell you, “Thank you”.
I ran away from home and it took me nearly a decade of searching to find you again.
We chatted and you said you would call me the next day.
You never did.
Instead you made the choice to end your suffering.
And I feel like the villain. If it meant bringing you back to a life of mental pain, I would make that choice if it meant I wouldn’t have to live in pain. It’s a selfish feeling. And I embrace that selfishness.
And the anger.
I’m angry you made that choice, as if I didn’t want to make that choice dozens of times. But I didn’t. I stuck to life out of pure spite, and I’m glad I did. I got help…
And how do I even finish that thought?
I wish you sucked it up and suffered as I did?
I wish you got help?
I’m glad you’re not in pain?
That’s the hard thing about suicide.
I know it’s not socially acceptable to say it’s “selfish”, but it is all the way around. Forget me, what about our other brothers and sisters? You had a daughter who’ll never know her father. You were newly engaged to someone who loved you more than life itself.
And then the selfishness circles back around. How could I want you to live in pain? To live through the heartache and mental pain of life? You were hurting, how could I ask you to continue in that?
But I would’ve, if you would’ve asked.
Because I’m selfish.
And I miss my brother.