Losing Neil..Dealing with my Cousin's (more like brother) suicide

My cousin Neil was the brother I never had.  I remember going to his parent's wedding when I was very young.  I remember him attacking my room when I was 13 and he was 3 and me screaming to "GET NEIL OUT OF MY ROOM MOM!"  Fast forward many years, and Neil started staying with my own family when he was about 14.  He would stay a couple of weeks or more each summer with my husband, daughter and me every year.  He was such a big part of our lives, he went everywhere with us and our friends soon considered him part of the group.  Neil was one of a kind.  He had the biggest heart and the most beautiful soul, plus the smile to match.  He went through all kinds of things like all of us do, some things that hopefully, most don't.  But, through it all he was so damn happy.  Every single room in my home is graced with memories and physical remnants of Neil.  He spent so much time here that I feel like his spirit remains. I am not able to fully share everything because it's so hard to find words to describe his life in such a short span.   I want to post more of what he meant to us, but this is the first step for me, so it is what it is.  On July 4th, Neil's sister called me to let me know that Neil had taken his life that morning.  I was supposed to call him the night before to let him know that I was coming up to see him on the 5th, but I didn't.  Had I made that call....God, had I made that *(&(*&*( call.  Maybe the fun day I planned for us on the 5th would have happened.  I ended up seeing Neil on the 5th after all, it was at his funeral.  I have heard everyone say you couldn't have changed anything, but I will never, ever, forgive myself for not making that call to let him know I was coming to see him.  He never knew.  I was going to surprise him. My boy...my friend..my brother is dead, because I didn't call and let him know.  I could have maybe talked him out of the pain he felt over what he saw that night that caused him to kill himself.

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