Placing Blame After My Brother's Suicide


My brother wrote a letter to our family before he died by suicide. In parts of his letter, he wrote, “I love you all very much and I am so sorry for the pain I know this is going to cause. I assure each of you that you bear absolutely no responsibility for what I’ve done.”

At some point you’ll look for someone or something to blame. Please don’t.

All of you – Please don’t ever fight with each other over what I’ve done. There is nothing any of you could have done. None of you have absolutely any fault in what I’ve done. Please find a way to stay strong for the girls.”

But I do blame. I blame my parents for my brother’s suicide.

I blame my parents for raising my brother with too much empathy and compassion for others. They taught him how to love others and treat others with respect, loyalty, sympathy and consideration. Every day they modeled a respectful marriage and consideration for family, friends, neighbors and world events. They basically taught him how to be the best possible human being and then put him in a world full of people who can completely show the opposite.

He couldn’t handle or understand the world because he grew up with too much empathy and compassion to be able to understand how humans could be so cruel and disrespectful to other humans for no decent reason. The color of skin, beliefs, employment, financial status, style, gender, sexual preference, etc. never even mattered to David. I blame my parents for teaching him to be too kind in a world full of unkindness.

I blame my parents for teaching my brother how to put himself in someone else’s shoes and try to figure out why things are the way they are. They taught him how to think about others and their situations before casting the first stone. But they sent him to a world full of egocentric, selfish and self-centered human beings. I blame my parents.

I blame my parents for teaching my brother good work ethic. They taught him how to save and live within his means. They taught him how to work hard in school, jobs, chores and anything that he needed to do or anything that he ever wanted to achieve. They taught him to always be a helper, not a hinderer. He was put in a world only to observe that others did not show the same work ethic. I blame my parents for teaching him that hard work pays off in a world that doesn’t always believe the same thing.

I blame my parents for sending my brother into a world where a fellow runner spit on my brother on the trail because he didn’t even care to look at who was behind him on the trail… when all they taught him was consideration.

I blame my parents for instilling such strong worth ethic that he would be placed with people who did not want care about the work they produced, only to make work more difficult for my brother.

I blame my parents for sending my brother into a world where there were people destroying his city, right outside of his apartment, by looting and smashing windows when all they taught him was respect. I blame my parents for giving him a heart that could be hurt for another human being while on jury duty for a trial of a black man being wrongfully arrested and wrongfully accused.

The apple does not fall far from the tree. Children learn what they live, so please pray for my daughters. I am a reflection of my parents and what they taught me is all I know. I blame my parents for raising me to now raise my daughters the same way they taught my brother and myself. My husband and myself teach our daughters empathy, compassion, respect, loyalty, sympathy, consideration, good work ethic and to be a helper. I blame my parents for loving my brother and myself with every ounce of their being.

Please world, blame my parents too… maybe if we do, the world will change.

I love you, Mom and Dad.

Photo by Rainier Ridao on Unsplash


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