To Troy (Again)

Hey big brother, it’s me again. It’s been two months and I miss you like crazy. I still have a hard time believing this is real. I’m still angry at you. You get peace, and I get this nightmare reality? Hardly seems fair, but life rarely is. Not one single day, hell not one single hour goes by that I don’t think about you. The one person who truly knew me is dead. The one family member who could stand me is dead. The Alexis Rose to my David Rose, the Dean Winchester to my Sam Winchester is gone. No note. No explanation just gone. Two weeks before, I had called you crying upset about something our family had done. You told me “Don’t talk to them about how you feel. You’re inviting them to step on you. I’m sorry they’re like that, I don’t know why, but they are.” That still haunts me. What was hurting you two weeks later so much that you’d rather die than talk to even me? I’m so hurt. I hope you knew you could have talked to me. Love you, hate you, miss you.-Sav

To my lovely sister

Hey Sis,
I miss you so much, you had this beautiful graceful personality that I rarely see in the world anymore. It’s almost been four months. There’s so much you never got to tell me. Sometimes you appear in my dreams, you’re happy and smiling, watching over me as I lay in bed. We don’t talk but it’s ok. It’s really comforting until I wake up and then it’s sad again.. but you’re not hurting anymore.
I stopped wondering what happened the day you left us, because I almost started to understand why you felt there was no other option. Needless to say I saw several psych professionals a lot this summer. I’m ok.
I celebrated our birthdays last month, yours is actually on world suicide awareness day. I sometimes wonder if you did that on purpose. My then-boyfriend also proposed and I and wish you could have met him, and the kids we may have some day, and given me life advice.
I’m sorry I didn’t realize how much I needed you in my life until you were gone. You will be missed by so many family members.
Please shine your light on us,
Youngest sister, A.

Dear Matthew

I am writing this as I sit here in the living room, right across from the chair you sat in, the weekend before you died. I will remember every moment of that weekend until I leave this fragile, cruel world myself.
You texted that you and your wife were likely going to split up. You had hope though. You and she had planned to “give it once more chance” by taking a trip to Florida, but when she brought her 7-year-old grandson along at the last minute, you said you knew it was over. You told us she texted you, “I don’t love you anymore,” so that’s where you were. You didn’t seem distraught. You were your usual self. You wanted to stay with us for a few days, you had a job interview lined up you were hoping would work out. I said yes! Please come! And I said I would keep your confidence about what was going on with your marriage. You asked specifically that I not tell Mom. You didn’t want to “put up with her BS.” I said I didn’t blame you. She’s always been so judgmental and cruel, unless you’re a member of HER church (which gets anybody a kitchen pass to commit any and every kind of horror).
We talked about you losing your job in hospital construction. We watched the movie about the neurosurgeon in Dallas that killed all of those people, and you explained that “elective procedures are what pays for all of these fancy new hospitals.” Not car wrecks, not women having babies. Elective procedures. I listened to you talk about how your hospital construction company “let everybody go” at the end of 2021, elective procedures had been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. You were so hurt. You showed me how you left the hospital that last day, waving the middle finger salute just so that cameras would catch it. We laughed. I said, “I hope they did see it!” Then Tuesday night, as you and I stood in the kitchen, a look came over your face, and you said, “Yeah. I’m a sh*theel, I drink too much, I don’t support my family good enough,” and I screamed, “MATTHEW! Please, please, please don’t think that! If I ever gave you any reason to think that’s what I thought, please FORGIVE ME. Please, please don’t think this way. THIS IS WHAT KILLED DAD!” You looked at me and I swear, I think you thought something like “Oh sh*t. She knows!” Then you laughed and said, “Ahh, sis. It is what is is.” And I let it go.
The next morning, I wrote a note for you and put it on the front door. I almost didn’t leave that note, but I just knew on some level that, even if it made me late for work, I needed to leave you a note telling you you always had a place to stay here, no matter what happened with your wife. That you weren’t a rotten guy. That I loved you. And I’m so glad I did.
That afternoon, I called our sister. I told her I KNEW something was the matter and that I was worried about you. I told her not to say anything to our mother, but that you were likely going to divorce your wife and move down here. She said that you had called mother yourself the day before you left, and that mother had expressed shock that your wife was acting in such a way, seeming to let her marriage of almost 20 years go down the drain. I told our sister that I was very worried about you and that you had chosen NOT to go see our mother (who lived 5 miles from me here) because you didn’t want to put up with her BS. I don’t remember much else about the conversation other than coming away feeling like our sister didn’t seem to want to say much other than you “should’ve gotten your GED.” I yelled at her that you were a very successful construction project manager who’s made quite a successful life for himself WITHOUT a GED, for God’s sake. I told her that if she thought for a minute that you were not aware that’s how she felt, that she was mistaken. She said, “I never told Matthew that” — as if that excuses how judgmental and unempathetic she was — and I said goodbye.
The next evening, my husband woke me up and told me he had just gotten a call from your stepson. I screamed, “THAT’S WHAT YOU GET MOM!,” before I even fully understood what had happened. That’s what you GET Mom, for not letting two of your three children live their adult lives without unrelenting lack of approval of them. You granted approval for only one — the one who does everything and believes everything the same way you do.
When I shouted as much to our sister after I knew you were gone, she said I needed to shut up and calm down, that now was the time to “circle the wagons,” and come together as a family. I knew what that meant. That was code for KEEP THIS A SECRET. Well, I didn’t. I will not. I never will. I immediately called family and told them what happened. I called ministers and contacted old family friends. They hadn’t been told. Immediate family hadn’t been told even after more than 24 hours had passed. They wanted me to keep it a secret. Nobody wants to talk to me about your last weekend on earth. No one. I read your eulogy at your memorial service, but at your burial service, I was not contacted by anyone. I was the only one you gifted with your presence the days before you died, and I was “persona non grata” at your graveside.
Even my grief counselor tells me I’m “hurting myself by keeping on reliving these horrifically painful moments.” That I’m torturing myself by pounding my head against a wall, asking myself what kind of a mother doesn’t want to know what her ONLY SON said/did/thought about during his final “vacation.”
But you know what, writing is cathartic (or it is for me, sometimes). As I write this, I think I know what kind of mother would rather chit chat about the latest evangelical hoohah rather than talk to her eldest daughter about how her only son’s last weekend on earth went. I think I know what kind of mother would do that. And as I write, I’m realizing that I just may have an idea why you did what you did, after a lifetime of not having your deepest need to feel loved and approved of unconditionally met. So I guess my question is a rhetorical one, on one level.
The non-rhetorical question, the harder one to answer, is do I want to have anything other than an arm’s length, superficial relationship with our mother and sister in the future. How do I let the gaping, black hole in them, their complete absence of empathy, not make me want to scream?? How do I get to the place where I see this as just evidence of their brokenness and “accept them for who they are,” as I am being told to do. “You’re just being the victim otherwise.” Am I?? I don’t think so.
Corey and I are creating an endowed scholarship for college student athletes in your memory now. You were so talented. You were loyal to your friends and you loved your family, even when we weren’t very lovable. You truly were “the best of us.”
I will love you and remember you always. Your name will be spoken often in my home. My children and grandchildren will know you. Your memory will NEVER be allowed to fade. Not while I, your oldest sister who would give everything she owns for one more minute to hug you and tell you that she loves you always, no matter what, continues to draw breath.


You, my older brother, tormented me while parents were away at work or watching tv. You, curious and wanting to engage with the world, explore, learn and interact with people enraged your parents who naive and shy, only thought their role was to control into submissiveness. Good kids are submissive to parents and do what they are told, stay silent, but smile, sweet like Normal Rockwell portraits (superficially). You left on a covert adventure that would never be condoned, returned to home after a couple of days missing, but met with prepared rage: army blanket folded, jeans, underwear, t-shirt ready to go. Locked-up in a ‘facility’ with a roommate, humiliated with visit by grandma, mom and little sister. Finally free from the facility, sent to group home. Made connections. Then, granted home weekend visits. Don’t remember what happened that Saturday night, but Sunday morning playing Nintendo, mom was angry about the house, messy as usual, and wanted me to clean it up (I did that all the time to finally see her happy). I asked, “but what about Jimmy? Does he need to clean also?” “You are right” she raged and went to pound on his door. No answer. She found him, hanging. I followed, and saw. Layers of army blankets hanging like sheets drying, but obscuring him. Go away, she said with white face. I, in my purple pajamas went to the street, unsure. The neighbor did not answer the door. I came back. She took me, white in the face and shaking, to the other neighbor. I went in, they talked so I could not hear. They set me up with the Nintendo, which drowned the sound of the sirens. The women offered to brush my hair, but that had not happened for six years so I declined, uncomfortable. My mom came back and brought me clothes and asked me, twelve years old, if I knew what suicide meant. Silence met with silence. She arranged for an old friend to pick me up. They came, we rode in the front leather seat of a huge Oldsmobile. Silence. I was at the house, silence. Then, my older sister came, brought me to her boyfriends rental. There I sat alone on the couch, and then played Nintendo. Finally home after some unknown span of time, I remember the home, unusually clean, vacuumed rug with the path off the gurney visible. Only at age 45 do I realize that she cleaned, while I played Nintendo across the street, and before the ambulance came. She cleaned to hide the usual filth that we lived in. Back at home, I stand in the driveway to escape the interior silence. An inquiring neighbor comes over to me and asks if he is ok. I, unable to speak turn awkwardly until the neighbor leaves. I never cried. The funeral happened. No one ever said his name again. His room was a void, never mentioned except as the “corner bedroom” until many years later my dad moved in as his ‘office’, but then it was called “Jim’s room”. They never called him Jim. I don’t miss him. I never cried. They never talked about it after it happened. Today, they seem to forget their role, and only miss him.

I wish I knew what was hurting you sooo bad

To my lil brother AD I’m in utter disbelief right now. This is a pain that will never go away I’m still replaying that call that you decided to leave us this way. I’m sooooo sorry I didn’t know internally what was going on and the feelings you had kept inside being your only sister you know how I felt about protecting my brothers but yet you left us. I’m sorry I will forever love and miss u I will never place judgement on your decision I just hope you resting peaceful In heaven with our daddy and brothers. Rest in peace A.D I’m sorry that i never imagined anything like this to happen I can’t tell you enough how much I love you and I’m so thankful and grateful we stay in touch and I will always miss you telling me I U big Sis

Hey Chaos

I’m thinking of you…. Ha what’s new? I hate it here without you, but you know that. Yesterday was 11 months since you’ve been gone… hard to imagine… & I’m supposed to carry on how many more years without you? Sheeeeeeeesh. Lame Af. 10/27/21 seems like just yesterday. What a awful day. I can’t believe you left us. You took part of me with you. I’m not myself… I’ve been achieving so much, and making your story and name known; but I’m still not me. I’m giving my life away to have yours live on. Being distracted by this fight for better resources keeps me busy.. until I’m here, left in the silence of my room moping and crying over you. I don’t have anyone to call who gets me like you did…. All the things. I wish you were here. Forever going through pictures of you, repeated voicemails. What’d I’d do to have you on the line again…. I’d never hang up.
Life sucks with you.
Your lil sis,
Xoxo cmF

I just lost my older brother

On the 26th of August I went to tour the University of South Carolina for graduate school but, little did I know the next day would be the last day I would see my older brother alive. My brother Sean took his life 3 days later. Between me and our parents I was the last one to see him alive. The last time our mom had seen him was in May of this year for our cousins (our moms nephew) high school graduation. Our dad saw him last Christmas and has talked to him on the regular since other than the day he took his life (From my knowledge). His funeral was the 6th of this month and it has been 3 weeks since then.

To Troy

It’s been a month since you left. I hate this. It’s been hell. The worst part has been telling my son. Having to explain to a 5 year old who idolized you that you are gone at the young age of 27 has been brutal. He misses you dearly and I will never forgive you for this. We both have lost our best friend. I will keep living life for the both of us. I’ve decided that. I’ll adapt your ways to mine. Your strength, bravery, kindness. I’ll make them mine. Your cat Lucille is safe with me. You joined that infamous 27 club that musicians whisper of and I’m still here, raising hell for the both of us. Your birthday is on the first of October. That’s going to be hard. Miss you, hate you, love you.-Sav

Dear Chaos

Will I ever forgive you? I look at pictures of you and the gapping hole in my stomach begins to grow. The feeling of guilt, anger and sorrow consume me. Your really gone….. Every-time I think of you that thought crosses my mind. Like I haven’t screamed and cried and begged for you to come back to me a million times…. I can stare at your face all day… listening to your favorite songs, singing them aloud like we use to; but these days my voice is shaking, face filled with tears and snot. I miss you. Remember when you use to BLOW my phone up…not with 3 missed calls or 4 or 5.. there would be 7 or 8 at a time.. with voicemails and texts. I saved your voicemails; I listen to them often. I stalk your Instagram like a psycho EX…. I hate you for leaving me here… I really do. This s*** is f**** up……….. I hate how much you loved me when you were here, it makes it harder. Your absence is a ache that can’t be reached or healed. You knew I’d feel this feeling, and that’s why I’m so mad! You knew I’d be heartbroken and numb. You f**** knew it. I f**** miss you brother. I miss you so f**** much. I hate it here without you… I truly do.
You saved my life by taking yours.
But saving mine only kept me here. No exit plan like you did yous… I don’t have that option, it’s out the door. I’m stuck here now, to feel this pain, and make a change. To fight for basic human rights and make sure no one suffers the way you did bro. I’m putting in work, all day; all night. In your name, in your honor.
Peace from Chaos… I’ll keep your memory alive as long as there is still ground to walk on.
F*** You.
I love you.
You f**** Selfish A**hole!
Life ain’t been no crystal ball til now………
Xoxo Your baby sister & Best Friend.
Secnarf Uomac.

Emil, I miss you

Two years have passed since you took your life. It is hard to describe how time has passed since it feels like an eternity and one moment simultaneously. It has been so painful to exist without you, but I have done it, as you would have liked me too. You are always in my thoughts and my heart. You live on with me, I feel it. Life is so concrete and abstract at the same time. Your time on earth as a living human has passed, but you live on in your loved ones as real as before. To all others who have a sibling that has passed away from suicide recently, I can only say that it gets easier. You learn to manage sorrow and grief. It does not make you miss your sibling any less, but it becomes a natural part of your life that you somehow learn to manage. Otherwise would be unbearable. Emil, brother, I miss you. I miss you every second of every day, and my heart aches for you. I love you dearly.