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I Cannot Fully Understand How My Son's Suicide Affects His Little Brother

On January 14, 2016, our 16-year-old son Brian died by suicide.

Shortly after we lost Bri, Jeffrey, our 10-year-old son, lay in bed crying. We started talking, and I told him I understand what he is going through and that we are always here to listen/talk. He said, “Mom, you just don’t understand. I know you lost a son, but I lost my big brother.” Just typing that made me gag on my tears. I wanted to tell him, I do know. Sixteen years ago I lost my little brother, also to suicide. Twelve years ago I lost my mother to depression.

But no, he is right, I don’t understand. I do not want to diminish what he is feeling. They had an incredible bond. They were brothers. Thick as thieves.

They would play this wild game. They called it “Billy Goat’s Gruff.” One would get under the pool table, and the other would have to try to make it around without getting caught. If they got caught it turned into a full out wrestling match. Personally, I think they both liked getting caught.

Shooting baskets out back, playing PS4, watching “Ghost Stories,” watching silly Vines… There are so many things they shared.

They would go out and jump on the trampoline, and I can’t tell you how many times I would look out the kitchen window and they would be laying there just talking. Sometime in February we had a big windstorm and our trampoline blew across the yard. It was ruined. I haven’t had the heart yet to replace it and neither of my children have asked.

I was just in cleaning Jeffrey’s room. He has a chalkboard painted on his wall. About two years ago, Bri wrote on it, “Brian loves you” and he signed his name. It is still there.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. 

Follow this journey on Because of Brian.

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Thinkstock photo by Ben_Gingell