My Dear Big Brother

Last month, December 15th… you left us. We will never be the same, life has changed as we know it. And the reality, is a devastating one.
You were the anchor, the beginning of our brood of 6 kids. You built us up, encouraged us, ensured that we knew you were always there… even when you were in so much pain. I miss you, so very much. I don’t have the words. In my 28 years of life… I NEVER thought I’d say goodbye to a sibling. A piece of my heart.
Mom and dad are crushed. Dad questions everything you said to him those few days before… he holds every word, locked in his mind. As I was making your memorial slideshow… I tried to hide the photos so mom wouldn’t see. She stared at your baby pictures with such sadness, she holds every chapter of your life in her heart. I can’t look them in the eyes, the pain there is too hard to bare.
You helped mom and dad raise us siblings. You’re the reason I am the person I am, you shaped so many aspects of my life by just being my big brother. I miss your giant hugs, our long talks, the way you’d jam out to your favourite tunes, your stories from your travels, our movie nights, your goofiness and teasing, your brooding laugh, your cheek smooches, your support, your loving gentle heart, your nicknames for each of us.
You left behind two baby girls, and a young wife. We promise to all pull together, we will surround our sister-in-law and nieces with love and support. Your girls will know you… we will make sure they do. From comic books to punk music, they’ll know about their papa and how much he loved them.
Before you passed, you asked me to be the godmother to the girls… an honour I’ll now cherish even more. Forever. Thank-you for that.
Each day gets harder, reality hasn’t set in. I feel lost, I feel so weak just going through the motions. I stare at the hustle and bustle of life around me, wondering why strangers aren’t stopping what their doing. Because my brother’s gone, and life shouldn’t move on.
As I try to sleep at night, our last conversation, last text, last hug… runs through my mind over and over. I miss you. I’m sorry I didn’t check on you… I’m sorry you were in so much pain. The loss of you, has been felt by so many. You took care of so many, you were loved by so many. I hope you know that.
I love you so very much, and always will.
Your sister, MF

Sissy Poo

My sweet Sissy Poo, It’s been one month since the worst day of my life. The shock and horror of hearing that you were gone still plays in my mind over and over. I wanted to be with you right away! I wanted to talk to you and hug you. Even though you struggled most of your life with suicidal thoughts, I still can’t believe you did it. Even though I knew you thought about it, and even tried before, I’m still shocked you are gone. My only comfort right now is knowing you are finally at peace. I drive myself crazy thinking about what I could have done differently.  Could I have done anything?  Did I fail you?  You know how much I love you, and I know you love me too. I see where you left the note on your fridge that I left you last time I was home. You are so loved and so missed by all of us. I feel you all of the time.  Keep sending me little messages that you are ok and here with me.  Today I saw a turtle and I know that was a sign.  Keep visiting me in my dreams my sweet sissy poo! I love you so much.

My Dearest Ryan

My dearest Ryan,
I never thought I would have to live without you so early in my life. Remembering everything you are and everything you have ever done brings me such joy. You are the most selfless, kind-hearted, patient, friendly, beautiful soul I have met and I am so grateful to have had you in my life. You are a light of wonder to me, always curious about art, culture, architecture, or the environment around you. As a versatile multimedia artist, you loved looking at your art from every angle and always said things like, “My art is never finished”. You had perseverance and courage to do things differently and always strived to become better. Not only did you love art, but you loved people. You personally challenged me to live life simply and not waste a day doing things I wasn’t passionate about.
Our friendship and love is everything to me. You and I both know that growing up with divorced parents isn’t the easiest, but you were my partner through it all and we were always there to support each other. The love and friendship we have is like: making it to the beach just in time to watch the sunset—magical. Our adventures, our laughs, our jokes, all magical. Our love for each other is something people may never see in a lifetime, and for that I am so grateful.
It breaks my heart when I realize we won’t be able to get a milkshake together for a while, but I know I will be reunited with that gorgeous smile someday. Thank you for showing me that life is meant to be lived passionately. I will miss you with all my heart and love you with every ounce of my being.
Your best friend,
Natasha

I miss you indefinitely

Dear Shane, I miss you immeasurably. Its been 13 of the longest yet shortest months of my life. You were my big brother, my first best friend. I don’t understand how I can simply adjust to a life without you, when its not one  I’ve ever known.
There was so much left for you to experience, you where much too young. And yet, I understand the pain you were in. I get so, so angry at your choice, that you left me and mum to bare your consequences. But, I know you’re home, safe and happy now. No tears in Heaven.
Give Daddy a hug for me.
I miss you indefinitely.

Danny

1974, you flew like a bird of the bridge. Our cousin, Linda, took sleeping pills three weeks before. You went to join her. I thought they would have a cure for suicide by the time I reached this age. I was wrong. I will write and scream to ensure your deaths did not go in vain. We must love each other. RIP: Danny, Linda and Willow

Let’s Go for Chicken Sandwiches

Hey Helen,

Remember that Thanksgiving Day when Ma threw the roasted turkey on the kitchen floor & Georgia dutifully picked it up to rinse it & i said to you “Let’s go to the Howard Johnson’s for chicken sandwiches”? I floored the ’63 Ford Galaxie’s gas pedal & we yelled “sayonara.” Someday in the by & by we will meet & you will finally laugh with me about it.

R.I.P, dearest Helenaki.

Free Bird

After nearly 8 months of intransigent depression and 35 years of service in a (retired) healing profession, my brilliant shining star of a “baby sister” has ended her sense of worthlessness by ending her life. We will always fiercely love the free bird who had the courage to live fearlessly. I pray that her two children honor the memory of their mother by living as fearlessly as she did and by teaching their own children to do the same. May the Lord keep her in His Heart of Hearts — most secure, most beautiful, and most free. Amen.

Michael

I just don’t understand what happened. It has been 6 years and I still don’t get it. You took your own life and decided to take our mother along. Wishing we could spend an hour to make me get it. Am still just feeling like it was just a nightmare.

I Miss my Baby Sister

My baby sister Alexandra hung herself on the back step of my childhood home 2 years and 4 months ago. She was 29. She is greatly missed. She was pregnant at the time. She went through so much physical and mental pain in her life, she was in a abusive, violent relationship at the time of her death.

I feel like the first year afterwards i was in a daze and i am only starting to come to terms with what happened. I understand and i accept why you did what you did; that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt. You did not want to be in, or bring someone else into, such an intensely miserable existence filled with hard drugs and a emotionally and physically abusive partner who refused to leave.

I have a swirling sea of emotions:
Grief: i miss my sister.
Guilt: i was very hard on her in the last few years of her life, pushing her to get a job and move out of the parents house and become more self-sufficient. i know my actions were (for the most part) taken for the greater good and with her best interests at heart; that does not mean that the words in your suicide note do not hurt. I could have done so much more; visited you, not judged you, not have my eyes glaze over when you spoke to me.
Anger: her partner of the time encouraged her to commit suicide like it was some type of notch on his belt, pawned her possessions as the family grieved the morning after her death.

What i find hardest to deal with is the methodical way you went about taking your life, you had a day by day countdown in your phone, you would casually remark that you would never have a 30th birthday. You have to be in an obscenely dark place to behave in this manner.  Occasionally i have my own thoughts of self-harm when life gets stressful; this is not something that i would ever do as i have seen the carnage that this type of act inflicts on a family.

I have dulled my emotions by abusing marijuana on weekends and on holidays, however there is only so much of this i can do. i think i am ready to stop doing this and attempt to ‘involve’ myself more in life and stop sabotaging my own relationships. sorry if this is a jumble of words. I hope this helps someone.

Martin V.

Missing you bren

I don’t know why i’m typing this other than to vent and hopefully process these feelings. Sorry if my spelling is horrible. I remember the day i found out you left us. Leading up to that point mom just moved to portland to be closer to you. i had a sense that you were struggling but not sure about what. fast forward to helping unload the trailer and having to drop you off. i remember you showing me this hispanic restaurant. it was one of your friends 21st birthday party that day and i figure i’d buy y’all your first round. That was the last time i saw you. the last thing i said to you was be safe like i always do, not knowing that was going to be the last time i spoke to you. I found out that you were missing and didn’t know what to do and then i got the news after work. i was still homeless at the time. i had just entered the shelter and opened fb and saw that you have left us. I didn’t know what to do. i yelled i screamed and i cried. Later on was your funeral. i sat in the back because i felt i had to be the strong one for mom and others like i have been in the past. i left shortly after the ceremony and broke down. Even tho we were not related by blood, i feel we still had that brotherly connection. Everyday i think about you and wish that we could have had better times. you were such a talented person that would have gone far. when you spoke people listened, even as the older brother i still looked up to you. in ways you were stronger than me as much as i’d hate to admit it. One thing that helps me when i think about you is the song that one day i will get tatted on my skin. Here’s to 2017 and hopefully a better year…