I was playing League of Legends at 4:00 am when my mother opened her door and said my name “Humberto”. At first I thought she was going to tell me I had to go to bed, but her next words were different… As I was still playing, I didn’t look at her until she finished her sentence… “Your brother hanged himself”.
I turned around to look at her, I was cold, I was in shock. I even told the game chat I had to go because my brother hanged himself – I couldn’t think clearly. My brother he killed himself. He was living in other country, we couldn’t attend his funeral, and burial. I feel so bad because he was coming to live with us next year. I didn’t talked too much with him, but I loved him. I met him when I was 14. He was one of my father’s kids, before me and my sisters. He was my only male sibling. I can’t stop thinking about why he did it. I can’t believe it happened either. I just hope he is in peace now, and happy. He deserved better, and I’m sorry I couldn’t be there to help him.
My brother died from suicide almost 2 weeks ago. He was 46. He was struggling from a lifelong battle of mental illness and in a moment of despair decided to take his own life by going to the gas station, bought a gallon of gas, a lighter and went out to an isolated area, pour gas on himself and lit himself on fire. Not only was I shocked by his death but shaken by the manner in which he killer himself. Just 2 days prior to his death, he was at a family get together and I gave him a hug and he hugged me back and we made plans to see each other for Thanksgiving. I come from a family of 6 siblings. Now there’s only 5 of us and we are all shocked and saddened by his death. My parents are too and struggling with the loss of their oldest son. I’m feeling so sad and have cried almost every day. I don’t know when will I ever get past this pain. My heart is so broken that nothing else really matters. All I just want is my brother back.
On October 10, 2019, my brother who is 5 years younger than me hung himself at 42 years of age. He was 6 months shy of his 43rd. I won’t pretend to know what was going through his mind or what struggles he had personally. I know he was struggling financially and his health had been deteriorating due to a rare genetic immune disorder that runs in our family. I have it as well but it is controlled with treatments. My brother and I were not exceptionally close but I learned at his funeral that I was a subject often discussed by him. He was apparently very proud of me and what I had accomplished. He had his own eclectic tastes and mannerisms and he was a bit of a misfit. The one thing everyone said repeatedly was that he was exceptionally kind and often took their burdens away by listening, amusing, or advising them. I was proud of the man my brother became, and I knew he always struggled to fit in. He would read some treatise on religion or something on sci fi just to have something to relate with me about on during the holidays.
Whether it was his worsening health problems, or his financial difficulties, I will never know. He indicated to my mother the day before that was going to kill himself. She told him go ahead.
I will forever feel guilty that I wasn’t there for him. I didn’t pay attention, and most of all I was not kind when growing up. I will always wonder what I could have done differently. I will forever be haunted my brother died alone.
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.
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.
On May 20, 2017 I woke up to a knock on the door. I looked out my bedroom window to see a Sheriff driving away. I went downstairs and saw that my parents had left in one of their cars. I decided to prepare breakfast for my little brother. While making eggs I felt the Lord tell me to drop to my knees and pray for my older brother’s soul, not a common occurrence I assure you. I fed my brother and put on the television. Some time later my parents came home and were visibly distraught. My father called a family meeting and had us all sit down. He said “Boys, at 5am this morning your brother Michael shot himself with his pistol.” He took his own life with a Sig Sauer p227 that I had used before for target practice. The Sheriff had asked my mother to identify his corpse in his own backyard. I could feel my soul shatter like glass into a million pieces. I could feel the Lord crying in heaven. I could feel the earth crying as his blood sank into the soil. I could feel my family’s countenance evaporate into nothing. Now I have stomach aches and head aches every day. I went from the Dean’s list in college to failing classes. Michael was 26 years old and in a few years I will be older than he ever was. I don’t really care about anything anymore. I adjusted my expectations of life to zero and now I only hope for the pain in my heart to be a little less tomorrow and the day after that. I thought I would get better but I now realize that the person I once was is no more. I’m an empty shell and my family will forever have a crimson stain.
My sisters, our parents and his kids have lost our only boy… wasn’t expecting this it’s been tough…
It hasn’t hit the 2 year mark just yet since my younger brother killed himself by strangulation in our shed 3 days after his 18th birthday. Some days it’s easier than others. I often wonder how long is someone supposed to grieve? Can it leave sometimes, but then come back? I don’t know. All I know is that I’ve felt immense guilt since then. He and I were like best buds when we were younger. I used to pretend to be his dog and we played with building blocks and all sorts of other fun things. But as we grew older, things got more complicated. He and I are (were?) 5 1/2 to 6 years apart, so when I was a teenager he was still only 7-12 or so. We started fighting a lot more and we slowly stopped hanging out. I was going through my own set of struggles at the time so we grew farther and farther apart.
By the time he was a teenager it was like the only time we interacted was when we had to. We would tear each other down over so many different things that really don’t matter now. There are so many times I yelled back at him that I wish I hadn’t. As he grew into an older teen he fought more with everyone in the house, especially my parents. He would yell until he was hoarse and then go to his room and just sob. I was often in our basement and I could hear him, but our relationship felt so broken at that point that I felt I couldn’t say anything to him that would help, that he would just push me away.
I always nag myself for that, wishing I had just at least tried! This silence between us, besides bickering over dumb things, was all that our relationship was the last few years of his life. I kept telling myself that this was a phase, that as an adult his moods would level out. I knew he wasn’t a bad person, being a teenager just sucked. I thought that’s all this was. The last time I saw him I was curled up in a chair and he had come home from work. I said hi to him and he said “Hey.” I feel even worse remembering that I had only recently started greeting him and saying goodbye to him when he would leave again. I thought he hated me so I tried not to get in his way. When I’ve told some of these things to my other siblings, I often get judgement. I still feel very responsible for him killing himself. I also recall feeling like after I found out he killed himself that it should have been me dead, not him. I often still feel very alone with this, even among my own family. I loved my brother… I was just horrible at showing it.
My little brother killed himself in the early 1980’s. A long time ago, yes, but I still think of him, of the situation, so very often.
I was in my 3rd year in a very competitive and rigorous university when he came to visit me from our home in the far south of the very large state of California – a place which was the seat, we found out much later, of his schizoid paranoid delusions.
He came to visit me, and then settled in to a happy and peaceful place on my deck where he talked to people I could not see. I was scared for him – and for me.
And so I tried, omg how I tried, to get him to see (my) reality. But he would not/could not.
We clashed about him a getting a job, and I was harsh toward him about it. That job – over which we were SO at odds – is something I know now was nothing he could possibly manage. But back in the 1980’s, before the internet and before any real info about or medication for paranoid schizophrenia, I simply didn’t know – *at all* – how to help him.
I thought he was malingering and had decided to remain soft, sweet, kind and very strange – and without a job – just as he’d been so long.
I still (and will always, have always, shall always) feel intensely guilty I could not “fix” him. I was the oldest. The brightest. The most grounded of the four of us children. I was responsible. No matter how little I knew back then or what little there was available to know his illness, somehow I *should* have been able to fix him.
And so … years. And years. Years. Years. Years. And years and years and years: Guilt remains.
Guilt abounds and multiplies.
Guilt calls me names when I sleep.
Guilt has been lodged in my soul since then, in the 1980’s, when it wedged itself deeply into my soul, into my identity. Guilt has become a part of who I am today. I never wanted it – but it’s part of who I am nonetheless.
I am always: The girl who did not save her brother. The girl who cast her little brother away. The girl who did not care enough. The girl who was too selfish.
The girl who let her little brother die.
The girl who let her little brother kill himself.
As much as anything else (good daughter, good mom, good friend, good citizen, fun, bright, big smile, ready laugh, hopeful, optimist, etc, etc, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah…
I am and shall always be the girl who let her little brother kill himself.
In the years since his suicide, since the time we were both so very young, I have learned these truths:
We are not our brothers/our children.
We did the best we could, with the tools we had.
In my head, I know such is is true.
But in my heart, it will ever be true that I am the last one in the family to see him alive and, so, I am the one who didn’t do enough to prevent my little brother from killing himself. I carry the fault and cannot be absolved from the blame.
In any case, I cannot absolve myself from this blame. Not ever.
I am so very sorry, my little brother, that I didn’t know how to help you.
And I love you.
I hope your way since then has been less tormented.
Is the new normal starting to set in? At times it feels like it is. It’s taken 3 years. But then the moments still happen. Moments when I feel alone in the grief. I live 3,000 miles away from my family I’m 36 years old. My brother was 30 when he took his life and I was 32. The pain comes back when I think of new things to come. Life events, family moments that he won’t be there. The irony is my self centered thoughts. I just got out of a 2 1/2 year relationship. Much of my grieving was done while I was with her. But now grief comes back up, and it feels different. How do you meet someone now, date, and share about your life and your family, and reveal this very sad thing that happened. How many siblings do I have? Do I still have two, or do I say just one now but I did have two. I’m not afraid of the stigma. My brother made a decision and I respect it. I’m exhausted at the mental games of how to continue to create my life, meet people, date, and share this very painful part of my life. I’d love to hear how you handled this. I didn’t think I’d have to share this painful part of my life again with a new person….and here I am.