‘When the police and the SWAT team got to the apartment and inside, one of the officers came to me and told me, ‘your brother has passed.’ I swear, God must have been looking out for me because I thought they meant that he had passed out, not that he had died and I said to them, ‘That’s OK. He does that all the time.’ Once my mom got there, she told them what had happened that morning when she’d told my brother to leave. They repeated to her that he had passed and that’s when I understood he was gone. I thought it was my fault because I had spent the whole day telling everyone how glad I was that he was gone…and didn’t realize how true that was. It took a long time and a lot of therapy to realize that it wasn’t my fault. I’m thankful for the memory of my brother and knowing that he loved me even though he hurt us all so much. In his turmoil, I know he cared enough about me to make sure that I wasn’t the one who’d find him. He took steps to make sure that I wouldn’t be able to open the door to find him.
Being close to someone who has committed suicide makes you abhor it because it’s so hard to discover, afterwards, that they were hurting so much and you didn’t know about it. I had no idea my brother was in so much pain. I suffer from depression and I’ve lay in bed at night thinking about the sleeping pills I’ve been given to manage it. One night, it was so bad that I had thoughts in my head, ‘Nobody wants you. No one will miss you. You’ve got the pills. Just take them!’ I reeled back from that because even if I didn’t and sometimes don’t feel loved, I know that if I were ever to hurt myself, it will definitely hurt someone else. It horrifies me that I ever even had thoughts like that as someone who has a family member who actually did it. It’s still mind boggling even after all the years that have passed ever since. I don’t know if I wouldn’t have gone through it if my brother were still alive. Maybe that’s one of the silver linings to come from his death.’
Part 2 of 2