(I was a brother) Emptiness fills

Marcus, the youngest sibling of three decided to take his life in the early morning hours, 9 months and 1 day ago. Being apart from him he did it in my old room, the only one in the house. Memories within those walls are both haunting and comforting since that's the only place we've ever lived. One memory is of us sitting on my computer, and being artists I would show him techniques I learned using the basic paint program to create graphic visuals. I once showed him a finished portrait of himself done by exploiting microsoft paint's various nuances. Now that his photos are the only representation of my brother in life, I want to create art out of as many of them as I can. One of the many things we would do together was to be online playing games or visiting sites where you could quiz yourself on a wide range of subjects about general knowledge. We would compare our results to do two things, be an avenue to learn, and to give him perspective that knowledge comes from living. I hoped that by showing him these things his mind would be opened to the possibilities he had within himself. Being his older brother it was natural for me to try to be an example of what he could do and who he could be. I didn't worry that if I knew more than he did, or I did something better than him that he would think of himself any less of a person.

My adventure in life was getting to be a big brother. I feel like I came to that realization too late, I should have had the appreciation for it long before. My baby brother has since shined light on that for me when I notice the way he took after some of my ways and my loves. Of the many things I took on, he became his own; writer, artist, and dog lover to name a few. We both were into playing sports, and I would say he outdid me in creativity. Among all those things were of course the younger sibling "copy-cat" stuff. I was touched when I found his stacks of letters stored in a ziplock bag, so similar to a clear thick-plastic manufacturer's pouch I stored mine in. I put my letters in there just to use that pouch for something, because it was too sturdy to throw away. The other thing he copied was a screen name I chose for my identity online. I came up with it simply because I got tired of trying over and over for 10 or 15 minutes to create a screen name. The message I kept getting was "this name has already been taken," so I typed in 'no one chose this 1'. My brother taking notice as well as being my little brother created his own as 'no one got this yet'. I did these two things without any thought, and they wouldn't stand out in my mind now if I was an only child.
I don't have very much to be sad about when I remember my brother as much as regretting that we never once connected online the way we did in real life. There wasn't even a single email between us, ever. We knew about eachother's messenger handles, yet neither one sought the other out. My justification was that as my brother we were closer than that, and of course we would always be in eachother's lives. I used email and messenger for people already distant, where those platforms were the only way to bring them closer. For people right here in my life I reasoned that being physically present with your loved ones was the strongest bond to have so no substitute was needed. My brother could have thought different, but he never brought it up.
I'd say we were typical guys, not verbalizing our affection, no love talk, just knowing how deeply those things ran by the way we treated one another. I'm comforted knowing I didn't tease him, bully him, order him around, talk down to him, make him feel ridiculous, or do anything to make him doubt himself. He didn't always do everything right, and when moments came to point out his error I wasn't passive about that. As many times as those might have come up, I don't remember ever having an argument with him. I almost didn't even treat him like a baby brother whereas what I did could be follwed, I instead acted toward him like we were balanced halves and what I did could be replicated. It seems like much more of a mistake now than it might have been then. If I regret anything it would be that I wasn't more of the big brother my little brother might have needed. If I lead at all, the outcome should have been his pleas for my help. It must be hard though when you regard a person so highly to then turn to them and show them that you aren't so well-off and are a cause for concern. You would want to show your role model your best, not your worst. My brother didn't want my pity, not if he had to sound the alarm. If I was home to be around him and observed whatever he was going through I perceive that to be the closest way his situation could have been brought up.
I had my brother for only 20 years. I was away from him for 13 months and 10 days, and this world has gone on without him for 9 months and a day. Today will always be a day for me to mark, being a year and a month since we were last together. The reason for his visit, just to "spend time with my brother". He wanted to hang out because he thought it was cool that we could be in a place that wasn't home. We were together for 8 days, I saw him for the last time on the 25th of June. My last memory is of him walking away to his jet, 4 months later we'd be concluding his life by putting him into the ground. I have the rest of my life to mark new milestones and remember one that will never change, my brother will always be just 20 years old.

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