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To My Little Brother Who Died by Suicide: What I Would Have Told You

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I know this letter is late. I cannot undo what has been done. But if I could have met you in your lowest moment, I would have. I have spent the last two months trying to find peace and going over again and again what I would have said if I’d been given the chance.

I would start with, while I don’t understand the circumstances that brought you to this place, I understand this place very well. I never told you. I never told anyone of the darkest time of my life. I was afraid you would all think I was weak for being weary and wanting to be through with the pain. I had a plan. You know me and plans… Thankfully, the two most important aspects of that plan didn’t come together and life changed before I was able to. But I know what it’s like to get on my knees and cry out for God to just take me home. I know what it’s like to feel alone surrounded by people. I know what it’s like to think that the world would be a better place without me in it. And I know what it is like to crave the peace of death more than my next breath.

I would be crying as I assured you that life would get better. In that pit, it seems like it never will. But I’m living proof that if you hold out long enough, the whole landscape of your life can change. Am I still in pain every day? Yes. Do some days take everything I have to offer and then some? Absolutely. Have the people in my life become any more accepting of my disabilities? Unfortunately not. But the little things have changed. I think maybe I changed along this path. I am stronger for having survived that, and you would be too.

I would remind you of the cost of suicide. A cost I didn’t know then. Not the price of the casket, or the beautiful service we had for you. Not the cost of the 10 pounds I gained because everyone wants to feed someone who is grieving. I am speaking of the human cost. A father and mother who should never have to bury their son, and now have buried two. An infant son who will grow up without a father and his mother who will now raise him alone.  And sisters and brothers who will grapple with “why’s and what ifs “of this decision.

I would hug you, like I used to when you were young and promise that eventually it would be OK. I would tell you how many people love you. And I would promise I would fight with you. On my knees, every night. But this letter is too late, so instead I will say these things to anyone who can still listen. I love you very much and miss you every day.

Love You,

Big Sis

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 or text “START” to741-741.

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Originally published: November 21, 2016
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