Still Surviving 7m Later

This morning I woke up with puffy eyes – the same puffy eyes that I woke up to every night for at least 2 weeks straight after he took his life by hanging. I looked in the bathroom mirror and saw a face still dealing with the pain of loss. It’s hard to imagine that it has been 7 months without Eli. The permanent absence of his laugh, of his smile, of my favorite arm to hold, is hurtful. The pain of the loss of my big brother who was so close to my heart and soul is gut wrenching. I look around see the pictures I have scattered around my apartment, which now collect dust. Sometimes, I can be superficial and remember good memories. Sometimes, I stare at them in anguish. I get this feeling in the back of my throat like I shouldn’t be breathing when he is not around. How could this be my life? How does this even happen? How is he just.. GONE. He’s not even on this Earth anymore, how could that even f’ing be?! Escalating feelings of unfairness and sorrow well up inside. Then I have to let them go.

This roller coaster happens probably every week, but I think of him every day. I hear people say this a lot, and didn’t know what it meant, but it’s so so true. I think about him EVERY DAY!!! When I went hiking in Colorado last week, when I go running, when I make smoothies, when I go to bed, when I eat a sweet potato, when I talk to my incomplete family, when I consider working in psychiatry (but right now I say nope, can’t handle that). I think of my wonderful, loving brother every time. I let myself feel the pain, then I let it go. This is how I survive.

I feel more anxiety now than I ever did before. I don’t feel as confident anymore. I try not to bury feelings, but it happens anyway. I’m just surviving in this world now. Now that I’ve lost a loved one to suicide, no one can relate – not even my own family members grieve the same way that I do. However, through the pain I hold my family closer to my heart than ever before. I actually think I value the average human life more than ever before. There is something sweet to every sour. A soft side to every sword. We live with both. That is humanity. Learning to deal with hardship is a lesson we all learn. Every person has their own hardship, and we have to stand strong together and wipe each other’s tears so that we can all move forward. I hope all of us can someday be an advocate for stopping suicide. We have to speak out and make a change, because nobody should have to experience the pain of loss like this.

6 thoughts on “Still Surviving 7m Later

  1. My younger sister also hung herself on November 5 2017. We were not in good terms. She wasn’t on good terms with a lot of the family for quite a while. I hadn’t spoken to her in months. She was so alone and on a really bad path. We all thought we were doing the right thing by showing “tough love” and now she is gone and I don’t even remember the last words we spoke to each other. I hate to admit it but I believe they were probably not nice words at all. I have so much guilt over not trying to reach out more and thinking about how alone, awful, pitiful, worthless she felt. I have cried more days than not over the past 7 months and don’t know how I am going to live the rest of my life not knowing if she knew how much I really did love her and how much I truly miss her. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    1. I lost my brother April 17th 2018. I hadn’t spoken to him in six months. I knew he was having issues. I didn’t know this bad but I didn’t reach out to him either just to say “Hi” After he passed away, I found a text saying “Happy Valentine’s Day” and I didn’t text him back. I don’t know why? I don’t remember if I saw it or if I saw it and I was too busy packing for my trip the next day. When I saw that text, I busted out crying. I wonder the same thing..did he know how much I loved him and how much I miss him now. How much I regret not being a better older sister to him his whole life. I feel like I failed him and it crushes me that I will never get a second chance with him again.

  2. Family is so profound. I think that no matter what, she had to know that you loved her. The bond of growing up with siblings runs even deeper than the words we say. The path she was on may not have changed, even if you had been trying to pull her off. Guilt is such an impossible emotion. Who could have known what you sister had planned to do? It’s impossible to see the future, and hindsight is 20/20.

    My brother had chronic headaches and depression. My mom brought him to so many doctors, trying to find a treatment, but nothing helped even after 2 years of trying to help him. I saw my brother a week before he took his life, and during our last conversation, I yelled at him to stop talking about ending his life. I cut him off. I thought if I stopped talking about it, he would stop thinking about it. That didn’t work obviously.

    I wish we could tell them how much we truly miss them. I’m so sorry for your loss, too.

  3. It has been almost 7 months since I lost my big brother too. I still feel like none of this is real, that I shouldn’t be talking about him in the past tense. It is such a shitty feeling, and I think about him every day. I hate it when my family are all sitting together, because every time I think to myself “is this it? Its just us now?”. I don’t even remember the last thing I said to him, or what he looked like the last moment I saw him. I don’t remember because at the time I didn’t think it was important enough to remember. I can’t even go through my camera roll on my phone because I have so many pictures. I’m so insanely sorry for your loss, but I try to take comfort in the fact that there are so many people hurting just like us. It helps a tiny bit.

    1. I think the same thing when I see my family. It is now just my mom, dad and I. When I was going through photos for my brother’s service, I thought someday I will be doing this alone and not with him when my parents pass away. I can’t imagine us ever taking another family photo again because it would be so obvious and too painful to see him not in that photo.

  4. I read each post and it amazes me how each of us share the same feelings. My sister killed herself by putting a bag over her head and feeding a tube from a helium tank into the bag. She died on 4/20/18, no I’m a novice at this. We were inseparable as kids and teenagers, but when she left for college we lost track of her, and then finally found out she was institutionalized for major mental illnesses. I regret that I never regained that closeness, though I’d visit her each year in Canada. I feel like I kind of wrote her off as crazy, and maybe didn’t take her seriously enough, and for that I’m riddled with guilt. There are so many ‘if only I’d done…..’. I have no answers and wish I’d reached out to her. I think since she died I’ve perhaps become more patient and kind with people, maybe because I don’t know what may be happening in their lives. It’s a strange feeling which I’m sure you all feel, almost like most things that used to seem so important are now inconsequential. I pray each night that Kate’s in a better place and has found peace. It was pure hell going through her belongings and phone, but I just couldn’t leave that task to my parents. I’m so touched by what everyone writes and feels on this site, but at the same time I guess I’m realizing that this is going to be a very long process, and I and we may never fully heal. I long for a chance to talk to my sister, but know that’ll never come. The things I’d say to her pass through my mind all day long…anyway, thank you to everyone for posting. Maybe you think you’re posting to make yourselves feel better, but also know that it helps people like me who are so new to these feelings.

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