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Out of the blue. 3 1/2 years later.


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Two months after I turned 15 my only brother took his own life. No one in my family saw this coming. My brother had just finished his first semester of senior year in high school. He was captain of the football team on one of the best teams in the state. Had scholarships for football, track, and academics to multiple colleges. Had enough college credits to be a sophomore in college and had the credits and requirements to graduate high school completed. My brother was not the first person or idea someone might have when you think of suicide. He was not depressed, he didn't suffer for a long time and then come to the decision. No, he made up his mind in mere hours. A few hours earlier he had been reading his bible, having a quiet time. He made a list of food and hair products he needed when my parents went shopping. Then, on that Saturday night on January 9th 2016, my family went to church so we could take my older sister back to college the next day. My brother didn't sit with us and left before the service was over. As I got home with my mom we saw his car and my mom went upstairs to talk to him. My dad and sister were at a store getting last minute winter clothing because it is cold in Iowa and Nebraska, my sister went to Nebraska Lincoln. I heard screaming coming from upstairs and ran up to find my mom holding up my brother, trying to put slack into the rope he used to hang himself. I had to be the one to call 911. Then, I had to call my dad and my sister to get them home. My brother wasn't breathing. The first responders didn't give up though. His heart beat came back. 


As we arrived at the hospital family friends began showing up. News got out. Hundreds of students showed up, wanting to see him. The hospital broke so many rules, allowing non family members into the ICU room to see their captain and friend. I say my brother died on the 9th, but he stopped breathing on his own in the evening on Sunday the 10th but was not pronounced brain dead until 11:55 AM on Monday, January 11th 2016. To my family, my brother died the 9th. He might have technically been alive, but he didn't wake up, there were no more good memories past the 9th.


My brother was known. When news spread, the news wanted answers. My parents began to speak out about what happened, urging people to speak up and talk to someone before it is too late. My brother became an organ donor and so far has been able to help 190 people around the country and world. He even was honored on the Donate Life Rose Bowl Parade Float in 2018.


It feels weird because my family tries to talk about organ donation and the good that it has been able to do in so many lives, but it still feels wrong. Sometimes I feel like a horrible person because even though I know people lived because of my brother, I'd rather have him back.


This past year has been incredibly difficult. I just went through my senior year. The first part of the year was fine. I was doing everything my brother had already done. Then second semester started and I was doing okay. Then March 22nd happened. That was the first time I really began to fall apart. I had become older than my brother. Then prom, which already was not fun because people are stupid. As the horrible music was playing I became overwhelmed and went off to the side and began crying. My brother didn't love dances, but it didn't matter. Prom marked the first big activity that I began to do that my brother never got the chance. Then I went to senior nights, I went to awards nights for my activities. Then I walked across my graduation stage. Something my brother never got to do. I am a theatre kid, I love theatre. It was within my speech team that I was able to write about my feelings. About all the missed opportunities and that I never get to have. That 15 years was not enough despite great memories. That I can't go to his wedding, know who he would marry. He doesn't get to meet my future husband, see what I do with my future. That any kids I might have, will only know him through pictures and stories. That is all my brother will ever be. Some of these feelings are hitting hard again as I go off to college. Something he should have done before me. 


Losing a sibling is never easy. But knowing that I still have 70 or more years of living without him kills me daily. The hardest part though is not losing them it is the days, weeks, months, years after that kill you a little bit each day. No one knows how to talk about it, they still treat it like a horrible topic. As if speaking his name will cause me more pain. People don't know how to react and so they don't bring it up. And even if I am the one who brings him up because I want to talk about my brother and share with people good memories, they shut it down because they don't want me getting sad.


If you are a christian and you are reading this, I just ask for your prayers as I am going into a hard time as I look towards college and a future I get to have that my brother should have reached first.


Thank you for reading, let me know if you connect.

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Hello, I will say prayers that you stay strong. People don’t realize that talking about good memories keeps his spirit alive. Just thinking about the good times ,sometimes isn’t enough. If you speak them it is more meaningful. In my opinion anyways. I know it is the not knowing why that hurts so much! The what if ? I Am truly sorry for your loss.

,I am reading  a book that helps me a little. My sister had been with me for 52 yrs .She was the biggest warrior I had ever known . She was sick for a long time with numerous things from breast cancer to a rare brain disease. I would get mad when people would say ; she is in a better place and not suffering. Yes this is true,but the selfish part of me says but she isn’t here!!! I can’t call her when I have a problem or need to vent about something. You see my sister was very smart. And super stubborn! She would always help me with different stuff. I never asked her but she just did it. She was my bestest friend!  It’s been 2 months and we still don’t know why she actually died! She had just surgery and her children and I though wow she has finally beat this after so many years. I asked to go to dinner,  after church always picked her up for dinner.that day she said nah my legs feel wobbly, can we go tomorrow? I said yes of course. But tomorrow never came for her.

Her autopsy hasn’t came back yet , the not knowing why is so hard to digest.

My hearts everyday, I still email her .

Bless you  


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I am so touched by your note..and filled with sadness by your loss. Your brother sounded like a very special person, and your deep love for him comes through the words you have written. I have a rather large family, 5 sister’s and 1 brother,and I can’t imagine losing them thru illness,or suicide.

When tragedy’s strikes, the tendency is to look back to see what we could have done to change the situation or to help the person who has committed suicide. But sometimes because of the complexity of life, the person who has made such an decision may show no signs of there being and issue in their lives.

A scripture that I have come to lean on in times of stress and deep sorrow is  the hope found in 

Revelation 21:3,4- “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them.  4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”

That scripture promises a literal time on the earth when pain,suffering and mourning will be done away with. That includes internal strife that may have been within your brother causing him to take his life, and includes the pain that you feel, the emptiness that exist within. 

How will all of this happen?

We are given the answer at John 5:28,29-

Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice  29 and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life.

Can this really happen? Can the pain,and emptiness that you feel now really be replaced with the joy of seeing your loved on again?

For the thrilling facts  on how this will happen,

Please look at the attached tract.




May you find peace..my condolences

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