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Lost my younger Brother to Suicide


Guilmej

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My wonderful Brother, Jim, decided to end his life on May 1st of this year. We do not know what pushed him over the edge - he had made plans for the coming Friday (5/3) with me that morning via email. I do not know if he knew at that time what he planned to do or if that came later. My last email from him was at 8:49am and he told me he'd most likely be downtown between 5-5:30p on Friday.

I went about my day as usual, finishing my first job and going to my 2nd. My father called me while I was working but I missed the call. I finished what I was doing and called him back. He was cryptic and just said that he needed me to stop by and talk that night. He sounded odd and asked me to try to get off work early. I talked to my manger and after I completed the main task I was needed for I could leave. I went back to the prep cooler to prepare my cart to stock more produce and also send a text to my Dad to let him know when I’d be over. I turned around and saw my Aunt and Uncle.

My Uncle told me they were there to pick me up because my brother was hurt. I started freaking and my Uncle told me that everything was taken care of and that I just needed to go with them. I almost forgot my purse in the rush out of the store. Customers were staring because I was visibly upset and my Uncle (a large man) was leading me out of the store with a hand on my shoulder. They had parked by the curb. Uncle helped me into the back passenger side, my Aunt came around and got in the back seat with me. I then noticed my Uncle didn’t get into the driver’s seat. He knelt on the concrete and placed a hand on my shoulder and looked me in the eye to tell me that my brother had killed himself.

Needless to say I had my meltdown then and there. My Aunt was rubbing my back and my Uncle hugged me tight as I kept screaming. I couldn’t stop screaming “NO!” and he was telling me to let it out. After I had calmed down, they drove me to my Dad’s.

We arrived there just after my stepmom had gotten home. Dad told her just before I got in the house and I heard her wailing as I came up the walk. Grandma had been waiting with Dad until the rest of us got there. The Detectives wouldn’t leave him alone.

I’m glad my Aunt and Uncle came to get me, I think Dad would have been even more worried about me if he had witnessed my meltdown. I was somewhat calm by the time I arrived at Dad’s, though Dad, my Stepmom and I did hug eachother and cry together for a bit.

I miss my brother terribly. We had grown closer as we got older. He was such a wonderful person – he tutored friends so they wouldn’t fail out of college, gave others cooking lessons and lent a shoulder to those who needed it. He had “special” topics with each of his friends – Dad’s was politics, it was Physics Theory with my husband. Jim also took extra care when selecting gifts for people, you’d see him light up when you opened the gift he had selected for you.

The only thing that was elusive to him was a relationship. He’d only had one girlfriend his whole life. We knew that he was frustrated, but he masked the depth of his pain from everyone. He always shrugged it off and gave us the impression he was dealing. He excelled in his job with the University and was taking classes.

My brain still can’t comprehend that he isn’t here. It’s like I feed it the information and a “Does Not Compute” error spits out (Jim would be rolling his eyes at that one). How could someone so full of life and caring of others be gone?

Mom’s death a little over a year ago was much easier to handle She wasn’t in the best of health, so while her passing wasn’t anticipated, it wasn’t completely by surprise either. This has knocked the wind out of me and sometimes I feel like I can’t catch my breath.

My Stepmom and I work at the same place and we have been told that a counselor has already been made available to our family. I am going to take advantage of it as I know I cannot deal with this on my own.

I start back at my primary job on Monday and the 2nd job the following week. I’m not quite ready, but I really don’t have any more time I can take unless I take unpaid leave. We really can’t afford that.

I’m a rollercoaster right now. I know it’s normal, but I still hate it.

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I am sorry for your loss. I am no expert when it comes to suicide, but I can say this. I have found out that we can't control other peoples actions. Whatever your brother was thinking, and whatever decision he made, he made it on his own. You may never know why he did what he did. Some people have a inborn need to be in a relationship, others suffer from what is called "attachment disorder", which usually isn't in anyone's common everyday speech. As some get older and they usually don't talk about, they get a sense of desperation to have a meaningful relationship, marriage, children, etc.. They feel lost and unwanted, and as much as they mean to their families, it isn't as important to them versus having a relationship of their own. We know that we want them to be happy, and it seems like they are on the outside, but only they know their thoughts. We know the world would be a bit smaller with them not around, but sometimes in their minds, they don't understand.

I wish you well, and hope that you find the answers you are looking for.

God Bless,

Al

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Thank you Al. The hardest thing to reconcile in my head is that he chose this. My logic understands this, but it still feels illogical, which is why I think my family is having such a rough time. Dad had to leave our family gathering early today ad I also notice how exhausted I am at the end of each day. It is such a process and I am worried more about Dad than anything.

I took some of the roses from the arrangement around his urn today. I am going to add them to his memory book.

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We will never understand when people do things against what we feel is the "norm". We struggle to put some kind of understanding to a lot of things that can't be understood. There in lays the confusion we go through as we grieve. Men, your dad, have a harder time grieving, as they have had years of good practice of hiding their emotions. When the time comes, as it does with all of us, the flood of emotions is overwhelming. By pushing emotions inside, when it comes time to deal with them, a lot of the coping skills are not there. A lot of men internalize their grief which really does not help them go through the grieving process. If I had to guess, and I am, your dad is feeling hurt and embarrassed at the thought of what happened. Right now he seems, from what you have said, to not being able to cope with what has happened. Speaking from experience, he really needs to let his emotions out, and to talk with either his family or a therapist. It is harder for men to admit they need help let alone seek it out.

There are no right or wrong answers to the questions and feeling you have. One of the reasons it hurts so bad is we don't have all the answers to all the questions we have concerning the situation.

Once again, I am sorry for your lose.

God Bless,

Al

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Hi. I know exactly what you are going through. My brother took his own life 12/30/12. You can read my posts. My father past away 3 months earlier but he had been sick for quite some time so it was not as painful. We are going into the 5th month of my brothers death. I am not going to say it gets better but it gets a little easier and I have less moments of sadness. I think of him everyday. If you need to talk to anyone you can reah out to me. I know what the pain of suicide brings to a family. The not knowing why haunts me all the time. I know my brother would take this back if he could. It was so out of place for him to do this. =(

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I have recently lost my Brother in law to suicide 17 Dec 2013, he was my brother for 23 years, I was 16 when he met my older sister. I did not expect to feel this profound loss as I do. He suffered depression, as I do as well. So I understand the mental anguish that led him to that point. But the mental anguish has now been passed onto my sister, his 14 yr old son, and the rest of us. My sister wants to join him but she knows she has a child to look after. Her life is shattered, he was her best friend, her confidante, they were a true team. She may lose the house, as he had no will and they were not legally married, no life insurance, thou most dont pay on that anyway.

I understand, but I dont understand. I cry all the time, life is in black and white now. I think about the walk he took to the shed, his mental state as he was preparing the rope, the tears he must of been shedding, I wish and wish that we could have saved him, that he knew we loved and respected him.

He suffered as a functioning alcoholic, he was digusted with his addiction and himself and hid it from most people so well. He just couldnt fight it anymore, and gave up.

But that doesnt define him at all, he was educated, well presented, always did his work meticulously, helped people, loved his family, had the closest, best relationship with his son that I have seen with a Father. He had so much and couldnt see it.

The last interactions with my sister and my nephew were not pleasant as they were angry that he had been drinking.

My sister is suffering terrible with guilt and grief. I want to help as much as I can but am overwhelmed by the shear enormity of the future now and the time it takes to get to a coping point where we can extract joy out of life again.

How do you cope? Does anyone have any coping mechanisms that helped them?

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