On May 25th, 2011. I lost my only brother. He was 40 yrs old. My brother did not have a problem with alchohol or drugs. He wasn't on any kind of medication. As I'm writing this I still keep asking myself the question "why he did it"? I got the call from one of my older sisters around 1:30am. She called me to tell me that my brother had committed suicide. Just a couple hours after we celebrated my mothers 65th birthday. My mother who currently resides in a nursing home due to her living condition with Alhzeimers. Does not know my brother has passed away. Its 5 kids including my brother. Most of us reside here in NYC but he lived in upstate NY. Where he brought a house and lived with his now ex wife. We all knew our brother was stressed out. Who had some financial issues. He had two ex wives and kids with both of them. Both of his ex wives were taking him to court for child support. At times my brother had to work two jobs just to make the ends meet to pay child support. And if he was late with his payments, one of his ex wives wouldnt let him see his own kids. My brother was a good guy. Kind hearted, funny and very charming. And he had this unique laugh to him. He could be such a nerd at time. But was so cool. He rode motorcycles and just loved to make people laugh. He loved watching South Park. At the time of his death his was currently engaged. This woman helped him through eny struggles he needed. But my brother was a man full of pride and he hated the fact he needed to borrow money or ask for help. He shot himself infront of the house he and his fiance shared. He asked her to take the dog inside and as she did...he pulled the trigger. My mother who I visit alot will always ask for him when her memory serves her right. And it kills me that I have to lie to her and tell her hes working late. Or that he is sick. She will some times confuse us and call me by my brothers name. Before he passed our mothers nursing staff told us the day before he died. he spent alot of time with our mother. He was very affectionate and loving. Didn't let her out of his sight. I am convinced that was his way of saying goodbye. He also passed by the neighborhood we all grew up in and just parked his car and just stared at the apartment window we all lived in. I knew he had problems with his kids and ex wives and finances. I wish I would of helped him as being his brother and being able to sense something wrong with him. I don't know what to do at times. I miss him dearly and cry just about everynight.

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hi   jerica,im so sorry for your loss stay strong for yourself and your loved ones i know its eis easier said than done sometimes i lost my son on oct29 2010 so i know what your dealing with .  i will keep you in my prayers hugs to you.  you have a beautiful profile picture you have those memories to treasure.my best to you and yours Daphne Vaughn                                                                                 
Thank u Daphne.... i really appreciate yr kind words. i cant possible imagine losing a child. I am still trying to stay strong but its hard. i do it because i have another brother and 2 sisters. also i have a partner and 3 kids to live on.... i think about him everyday n cry just about everyday as well. i know i have the pictures to remind me of the wonderful and funny times we had together. I try to take it easy day by day. i feel so empty inside cuz is like my bro was my twin and a part of me died with him. :( i know i must move forward and cherish his memories. im soo sorry for your lose Daphne, my condolences and prayer are with u and yr family. :)

daphne vaughn said:
hi   jerica,im so sorry for your loss stay strong for yourself and your loved ones i know its eis easier said than done sometimes i lost my son on oct29 2010 so i know what your dealing with .  i will keep you in my prayers hugs to you.  you have a beautiful profile picture you have those memories to treasure.my best to you and yours Daphne Vaughn                                                                                 
Thank you for sharing Heather.

Heather J. Crawford-Strout said:

A really sweet lady posted this for me on another website and I thought I could share.

Jar of Stones:

If you filled a quart jar with small stones, and held it straight out in front of you, you would find that with each passing moment the jar would seem heavier. The weight of the stones did not change, but your arm would hurt more and more until the pain spread to your shoulder, neck, and back and become unbearable. Suppose you wish the people around you to think you are strong enough to hold the jar forever, so when someone talks to you or offers help, you smile and refuse. You pretend everything is fine, even though by now you are in excruciating pain.

Why not allow your friends and family to support your arm or even remove some of the stones from the jar?  Would you be ashamed that you could not bear the pain alone? Ashamed that you need help? Ashamed to ask for help?

This is how many suicidal people feel as they scream inwardly for help, but they will neither ask for it nor admit they are hurting. There are many people who would rush to take the jar from you if only they knew that you and your jar of stones were about to crash to the earth.

When a suicide occurs, we survivors are astounded to learn that our loved ones had struggled with a jar of stones that caused them such enormous pain. Each of us is left with a shattered jar that cannot be put together. We scurry to gather the scattered stones, frantically examining each in hopes of magically seeing what caused our loved one to suffer silently and alone. But the stones hold no answers, and the jar is forever broken. We survivors must work, even kicking and screaming to heal the scars on our hearts, so that we may hold the beautiful memories of our loved ones there. 

 

(((hugs)))

heather

 

Hi Theresa.. the photo was taken on 5/5/07 on my civil union ceremony. he was sooo happy for me n that i found someone that love me unconditionally like he did too. :)  well i guess my birthdays will be sad for me and i know me i wouldnt want to celebrate it either, instead i will go and always go to the cementary and spend it there. Until i think im ready to celebrate it somewhere else, but i know thats gonna take a while..... Thank you for the compliment on my picture! :)

Theresa Sweaney said:
My son's d-day was the day before my daughter's b-day.  She traveled on her birthday to get here to be with me.  I felt bad that she was away from her own family and friends and spent her birthday under such dreadful circumstances.  I just hope that it doesn't make her future birthdays sad for her. What a beautiful and very special photograph of you and your brother.  When was it taken?

A little taken aback as I lost my only brother to suicide May 27, 2011. He WOULD have been 40 August 30th. The story changes slightly from there but ends in the same damned place. My brother struggled with drugs for years... specifically meth... and my family and I felt like we had no choice but to watch him slowly deteriorate and become someone else. My mother tried hard to get him in rehab and get his life back together... but 5 years prior our father had died and there was just no turning of the pendulum. He was a grown man and we couldn't fix it for him. I have to unfortunately take it one step further and be honest... maybe for the first time... I even did the drugs with him from time to time. NEVER did I say to him "hey this is not good bubba and we need to not let each other hurt ourselves". I know it's not my fault but having never mentioned to him that I wanted a better life for him, I chose to follow him in his numbing. For some sick reason I made it through the drugs (I think) but he didn't. The LACK of drugs in his system that day and the shame he felt for where he had got himself were too much. He was sitting on my porch saying OK OK to me as I drove off to do what? Get drugs... but 15 minutes later I got a call from a friend saying that my brother had called him for a ride and while driving down the highway, shot himself in the head at point-blank range. All I can say is Are You Kidding Me? WTF was I thinking? He was my best friend and I feel alone in rooms filled with many people. 

But I have to say that even having given you all this information about my dude, I had no thought that he was going to take care of his drug problem in a rather permanent way. But it wasnt about me and I hoep you can get to a point where you have at least answered your questions as far as you can. As my mom and I are sitting here taking care of his 18 year old handicapped son, I KNOW that not even for a nano-second can I allow myself to accept blame. Blame goes nowhere. This child, my mom and I must live on... whether we like it or not. 

Your life is different now as is mine... and we started this F'd up path just a day or so apart. I never thought that what happened to Jay could possibly have happened to someone else at the same time but in reading about your brother, the ringing in my ears quieted, knowing you are in the same place and I have the power to try and say something and pray that we all go the right direction. My rambling probably seems crazy but that's as good as it gets these days. Remember.... You are alive. He is not and its not OK but you must live. His death must give each of us even more life to take forward and share with others or else it be in vain. I can't do this now but I know that I will fight until I can't move to be sure that life comes from his death. Choose you. Seems like God is far away but He's coming and I feel a sense of relief that you will get to see that magnificent day. Maybe I'll see you there!

What a moving and powerful letter by you, Jared.  I really liked the part about "be sure that life comes from his death," for that is the cry of my own heart as well.  Just this last week, I prayed that very thing, and, in many ways, I do see it happening already.  I appreciated reading your letter and perspective.



Jared Cunningham said:

A little taken aback as I lost my only brother to suicide May 27, 2011. He WOULD have been 40 August 30th. The story changes slightly from there but ends in the same damned place. My brother struggled with drugs for years... specifically meth... and my family and I felt like we had no choice but to watch him slowly deteriorate and become someone else. My mother tried hard to get him in rehab and get his life back together... but 5 years prior our father had died and there was just no turning of the pendulum. He was a grown man and we couldn't fix it for him. I have to unfortunately take it one step further and be honest... maybe for the first time... I even did the drugs with him from time to time. NEVER did I say to him "hey this is not good bubba and we need to not let each other hurt ourselves". I know it's not my fault but having never mentioned to him that I wanted a better life for him, I chose to follow him in his numbing. For some sick reason I made it through the drugs (I think) but he didn't. The LACK of drugs in his system that day and the shame he felt for where he had got himself were too much. He was sitting on my porch saying OK OK to me as I drove off to do what? Get drugs... but 15 minutes later I got a call from a friend saying that my brother had called him for a ride and while driving down the highway, shot himself in the head at point-blank range. All I can say is Are You Kidding Me? WTF was I thinking? He was my best friend and I feel alone in rooms filled with many people. 

But I have to say that even having given you all this information about my dude, I had no thought that he was going to take care of his drug problem in a rather permanent way. But it wasnt about me and I hoep you can get to a point where you have at least answered your questions as far as you can. As my mom and I are sitting here taking care of his 18 year old handicapped son, I KNOW that not even for a nano-second can I allow myself to accept blame. Blame goes nowhere. This child, my mom and I must live on... whether we like it or not. 

Your life is different now as is mine... and we started this F'd up path just a day or so apart. I never thought that what happened to Jay could possibly have happened to someone else at the same time but in reading about your brother, the ringing in my ears quieted, knowing you are in the same place and I have the power to try and say something and pray that we all go the right direction. My rambling probably seems crazy but that's as good as it gets these days. Remember.... You are alive. He is not and its not OK but you must live. His death must give each of us even more life to take forward and share with others or else it be in vain. I can't do this now but I know that I will fight until I can't move to be sure that life comes from his death. Choose you. Seems like God is far away but He's coming and I feel a sense of relief that you will get to see that magnificent day. Maybe I'll see you there!

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