my twin 48 year old brother died on tuesday 10 sept 2013- he killed himself by hanging. he was an atheist. As am i. I hope that doesn’t matter here. My brother had been talking of suicide for 4-5 years. but recently he really did. he said he had lost all hope. His final message the dau before he died said “there was no good way through and he was a burden. it is not fun for anyone”. he said he had had no friends for 30 years: no-one to ask him how he is. He said he couldn’t remember the last time he laughed. i didn’t recognised the fatal loss of hope.  i didn't know what to say.   I have since written him a letter with all the things i should have said. But it is too late. He showed all the signs of severe suicide risk. He had a fatal plan. He told me he had written a "death note" years ago but recently that it was updated. He told me 1 year ago told me he had bought a rope. He sent me webpages of funeral directors on 12 Aug 2013.
  he was my best friend and i never told him.  the facts are that my brother didn't want to die but just get rid of the pain: i could have ridden him of one of the biggest causes of pain, by asking him to live with me. And if he had done so he may not have done it. that is my burden and my pain. i can't see how i can or should live with it. or that i deserve to he had never worked and the only person he knew was me. i miss him terribly. i feel that i am to blame and i could have stopped him by offering him hope and a home. we had been on holiday with only each other for 30 years . he did all of his socialising with me. I spoke to him every day.  he didn't know anyone else. i am so sad. I took a photo of him 2 days before he died and I can’t stop looking at it.  I have looked through his emails to me over the last 2-3 months and he is almost pleading with me to help him  and for advice on what to do.  I tried to keep things normal but  things were clearly deteriorating.   i don't understand why i didn't act. whether living with me  would have solved everything or for how long-  i'll never know.  but  i have lost the only member of my family that loved me and my best friend. and i am totally alone. It is my own fault. sorry to my beloved brother.   when it REALLY mattered i did not give hope and a way out. i didn't think he'd do it. Even though he all but told me he would  but had been for a while. but something clicked and i missed it.  I need to share with people how guilty and full of remorse i am. I feel ashamed and in agony.

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Stephen I have good news for you in all this mess that has occured you still have someone who loves you unconditional and his name is Jesus. (John 3:16). Stephen i know you are an atheist and i respect your view but i also know that my brother was murdered and i questioned God. Through God I have received hope and understanding for my purpose driven Life. I know you feel like it is your fault but guess.what it is NOT!!!!!Youre brother was sick he needed a psychologist ...it was beyond anything that you could repair...he was hopeless and felt empty for many years.Do not dwell yourself in misery and.drag yourself into the same state of mind hw fell into. I know you will overcome this!!! I still have days that I cry uncontrollbly for my brother and its been 6 years. If you need anything or want to about anything I am here for you just pour your heart out and ask me whatever. I will be here along the way of your recovery.Do not lose hope....this is a sign for you to open your eyes and heart to new hope and heal from this one day at a time . Jesus loves you and this I know for sure because he spoke into my heaart and told me what to say to you this very moment. He will never leave you nor forsake you :)
I hope your okay Stephen I actually have been worried because I wrote to you on Monday and you never wrote back. Hope everything is ok. Feel free write back.

If it helps to share this then you need to do it.  It is obvious you loved and cared for your brother. I am definitely not an atheist- in case that is important to you. I have never been in your particular situation and I am afraid I am not qualified to address it or give advice on what you are experiencing- and you likely do not want it or need it anyway- you just need to share and know someone is hearing you.  If it helps at all, which only you can know, I will tell you that I have had several experiences with feeling responsible for hurting and desperate people-children and young adults mostly.  I have plenty of compassion, and determination to help and it has taken me a long time to realize that even my best efforts have never been able to address their deepest needs, so many of them are too far beyond my reach- and believe me, I know most the signs.  So often, they disappear and spiral like your brother seems to have done and sometimes, in spite of my interference, they find healing.  I don't delude myself- I know it has never been all because of me that they did or did not make it, and I don't excuse myself either- I have had an impact in areas I never new about until years later and many times I think I made a difference only to find out later that it didn't keep them out of self destruction.  Maybe I didn't do enough, and in fact, I am sure I could do more if I knew how and if I wasn't so caught up in the process of living- or at this moment, the process of just trying to breath but I know I cared and I know I have compassion.  Again, your situation is different but maybe not so different.  These kids are not my family,  but I have and will continue to seek peace in the fact that I did the best I could with what I had in myself at the time and it wasn't all on me. Sometimes I think- maybe if I had done this or that, other times I realize there may have been a reason it never occurred to me or a reason I decided not to act.  Loving and caring for someone works only if they are able to accept it.   I am convinced no one human is ever going to be enough to completely meet the needs of another. Not very long ago I found out really bad news about another kid.  I wonder if I should have tried to keep in touch.  I don't know.  I'll never really know.  Anyway, I am sorry for what you are going through. I only lost my brother three and a half months ago and I am still hurting so bad I can't breath, literally.  Keep sharing as you need to.  I don't know that reading about other people's experiences makes me hurt less but there is a measure of support being reminded that I am not the only one.  So your story has helped me get through today- for what that's worth. I am not thinking only about my self now.

 

thank you for your responses.  i have read other peoples' stories over the last days across many sites. i don't know if it helps. i do know that others are experiencing similar feelings. i feel still overwhelmed with guilt and remorse. perhaps it would have delayed things, perhaps it would have stopped it. but i shall never know whether the things i could/should have done would have kept my beloved brother alive. i miss him so much. it has changed my present and future in such a way that i have no capacity to address. i know there were things that i could never have helped with.  it seems easy in retrospect to see what i should have done. my challenge and torture is figuring out why i did not see it or do enough about it at the time.  it was not a surprise but it was entirely unexpected. it has left such a void and i simply do not know how to get through it. i hope it was what he wanted. i hope he is at peace in some way. i am sorry also for your losses and your continued pain.

Dear Stephen,

I am in my 50's and lost my sister two years ago.  My sister also committed suicide.  She had a long history of major depression and chronic pain.  Like you I don't believe my sister wanted to die but to escape the pain.   I have also had to deal with the guilt and self blame.  One thing I have learned in the past two years is that I can not make people to behave.  I had a great relationship with my sister and I have a lot of experience dealing with mental health issues. My sister did not die as a result of anything I did not do, she died to escape the pain.  I am also an athiest.  Many people tried to point out how a belief in a god and afterlife can help with my pain.  My response, I would rather be honest thing cling to a myth just to reduce my own fears.  I have many wonderful memories of my sister and I will focus on these.

Take Care!!  Marlk A

Dear Mark

thank you for your post. i am sorry for your loss. it has only been just under 4 months for me and he pain just seems to get worse. i am still utterly devastated and overwhelmed. my brother pretty much old me what he was intending, i just did not think he would do it. i miss him so much. i had a great relationship with my twin and that makes it both harder and easier. i am trying to focus on positive memories. the formal coroner inquest is on 14 january and then i have to try and find a way. i am told 50% of identical twins die within 2 years if their twin commits suicide. i just have to try and find a way through. best wishes and take care of yourself, Stephen

Mark Anderson said:

Dear Stephen,

I am in my 50's and lost my sister two years ago.  My sister also committed suicide.  She had a long history of major depression and chronic pain.  Like you I don't believe my sister wanted to die but to escape the pain.   I have also had to deal with the guilt and self blame.  One thing I have learned in the past two years is that I can not make people to behave.  I had a great relationship with my sister and I have a lot of experience dealing with mental health issues. My sister did not die as a result of anything I did not do, she died to escape the pain.  I am also an athiest.  Many people tried to point out how a belief in a god and afterlife can help with my pain.  My response, I would rather be honest thing cling to a myth just to reduce my own fears.  I have many wonderful memories of my sister and I will focus on these.

Take Care!!  Marlk A


 My brother killed himself last month we also had warning signs I also just had a baby and was very distracted with my new child and toddler. I feel very bad about everything that happened my brother was only two years older then me and was in his early 30's my sister told me he was depressed and had told her he was going to hang himself I never even called him and talked to him about it or drove to his house I am not sure why I took it so lightly. Their are a lot of mistakes that I made I wish I did things differently I also feel like I could have stopped it my brother was supposed to move into my house he asked me to move in a couple weeks before and I said yes and he never mentioned it again I wish I would have mentioned it to him. My brother was such a great guy and I miss him so much I wish I could bring him back but now realize he is never coming back and it hurts so bad. I feel like I did so many things wrong and put everything before him and it hurts so bad.

Connie. my sincere condolences. i am so sorry for your loss. it is 24 weeks for me and still overpowering. my sense of guilt can still be overwhelming. but while i may feel guilt i am not responsible - and nor are you. i wish you did not have your pain. it will become easier. it will take time. i have many bad days. but i have had some ok days now. but do not judge how you will feel in a week/month/year.  you did what was right for you. i send you all best wishes and hugs. be kind to yourself.

Connie Queen said:


 My brother killed himself last month we also had warning signs I also just had a baby and was very distracted with my new child and toddler. I feel very bad about everything that happened my brother was only two years older then me and was in his early 30's my sister told me he was depressed and had told her he was going to hang himself I never even called him and talked to him about it or drove to his house I am not sure why I took it so lightly. Their are a lot of mistakes that I made I wish I did things differently I also feel like I could have stopped it my brother was supposed to move into my house he asked me to move in a couple weeks before and I said yes and he never mentioned it again I wish I would have mentioned it to him. My brother was such a great guy and I miss him so much I wish I could bring him back but now realize he is never coming back and it hurts so bad. I feel like I did so many things wrong and put everything before him and it hurts so bad.

Stephen,

 I am so sorry about your brother and please do not blame yourself. Life today is so full of disappointments and suffering so, it's hard for one to have hope. Stephen there is hope.

I have talked to some atheist and they said it's hard to believe in God because there is so much suffering in the world. That's is true. Look at your immediate circle. Seek out those that have been encouraging to you and have been a rock for you....We are thinking of you at this difficult time.

Suffering is temporary (Revelation 21 :3,4)

Firstly, let me give you a MASSIVE hug.

My 43 year old brother died in September 2013 too.  Also by hanging.  I found him on 29th September.  

We all look afterwards at what we could have done.  We all feel guilty.  We all feel we should have done more.  Maybe we should, maybe we couldn't.

When the police asked me if he had been behaving oddly recently - I had to say, he's been behaving oddly for 43 years.  He had a wonderful sense of humour but that also flipped to reverse.  If I showed you the last Birthday Card he made me!

 Your brother, my brother anyone who chooses to kill themselves are, in my opinion, in a very specific and dark head space.  I hope that they were so blind drunk he didn't feel the pain.

Your brother killed himself, don't let that kill you.  That wasn't the point he thought he was making.  It is not your fault.  

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