My older brother, Jay, shot himself in the face with a shotgun on April 11, 2011. I was in my dorm room at college and I recieved a phone call from my father. It was an odd phone call, started just like so many others. How was I doing in school, was I studying, what was I doing that week. Then he asked if I could make it home for a few days and told me it was important, but I had an exam the next day so I made him tell me why before I agreed to. I wasn't ready for that. I had to take a deep breath and hold it in, my burning lungs helped the swell in my chest feel smaller. But I don't let things like that show. I told my dad that I was okay and I'd get a ride home with a friend since I didn't have a car. An awkward two hour drive. It didn't seem real. It doesn't seem real. I still feel a moment of shock when I let myself contemplate the fact that I'll never talk to Jay again. I don't know how to put what I feel into words. I don't even know how I feel. I still haven't cried at all. I am extremely introverted, I can't recall a single instance in my life where I've honestly shared my feelings with another person. People ask me how I am and I reply with "okay", "pretty good", or just a shrug and a smile. Such a fake smile. My face feels like a mask. I laugh a hollow laugh and people seem to buy it. We went to see a grief counselor the day after it happened. I smiled and shook his hand. I looked him in the eye and kept a level tone. I can be such a good liar at times. He seemed to buy it also. Focused on my other two brothers and my parents. Let me sit quietly watching it all play out. I felt like a robot, I didn't understand how they could expose their emotions the way they did. I try to make myself talk, really talk, but my throat clenches and something in me just won't allow it. So I become an outsider, watching as my family console each other in their grief. Everyone seems to think that I'm fine. The funeral comes and goes and I still can't talk to anyone. I go back to school and start to isolate myself more completely than I ever have before. I stop talking to my friends, I blow off the girl I thought I was interested in, I lock myself in my head and let no one see my true feelings. I can't even see them. Yet through it all I strive to keep up the apperance of a content person. I get angry much easier now. I've never really had much of a temper, but now I find myself lashing out at people for such little things. Not physically, just harsher words than I usaully use. Sometimes I do want to start a fight, I want to hit something, to break something. Get my blood pumping and feel alive. I want to punch the walls until my knuckles are broken and my hands are bloody. I don't know who I'm angry at. Not at my friend for asking me if I want to go to the gym with him so often. Not at my younger brother when he eats the last of the pizza. I can't be angry at Jay, I know what it feels like to be lonely and depressed. To look at life and feel only hoplessness. The rest of my family has this theory that it was an accident. That when he had decided against it and the trigger slipped as he got out of the tub. All based on the dent he left behind. "Why would he have head held up and not resting? If I were to do it I'd get as relaxed as possible first." I don't find any comfort in this theory. I try to put myself in that moment, when he has the barrel in his mouth and needs to sit up a bit to reach the trigger. He must have used his thumbs. I don't see the relief in the idea that he decided against it. I almost pray that he felt no regret, that he knew oblivion before he had a chance to mourn his own death. I still have such vivid dreams where he's still alive. We play a video game or just talk about girls. I wake up and for a moment I forget he's dead. I hate that. I don't know what else to write.
Eric: my brother, also named Jay shot himself in the head this past May and I know what you have building up inside as I have watched it overtake my life and devour me. I have so much mroe to say to you but I needed to say HEY ERIC! I had a Jay too.... and would love nothing more than for you to be able to talk to me as much as you want about yoru Jay. Keep his spirit alive in saying his name. AND JAY! We'll get to you later.
HAng in there Eric and know I will check this religiously to see if you reply