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SUICIDE: Don’t Make That Choice!

Hello Friends,

I have been feeling a little reluctant to write about this, but honestly, I don’t see how I can NOT write about it.  This will be long; bear with me, please.

On the morning of May 5th, I learned that one of my brothers committed suicide on May 4th.  In a way, I wasn’t surprised when I thought back on the last time I had spoken with him.  He called me out of the blue about a month before this and asked me if I knew where his daughter was.  I thought this was a strange question since I have not seen her since she was three years old!  She and her mom left California in the early ’80’s when her mom and my brother divorced.  Anyway, I asked him why he needed to find her.  I asked him if he was sick.  He said he wasn’t sick, but he couldn’t hardly walk anymore. He said he wanted her to be able to have all of his part of the financial investments that our parents left us “just in case something happens to me.”  In the back of my mind I had a flash of what he may have been planning.  However, I did not ask him if he was feeling suicidal.  I wish I had.   I was actually surprised that he even called me.

My brother and I had a very rocky relationship for most of our lives.  I never really understood why.  I am the youngest.  He was the middle sibling.  We were four and a half years apart.  He would have been 61 this July.  He always seemed closer to our other brother.  However, throughout our lives we all really went our separate ways.  The closest I ever felt to either of them was when we went through the death of our mother in 2006.  Our father died three years later.  So our eldest brother had to handle all of the inheritance stuff.  It was a very stressful time for all of us.  Since then, we have all lived separately; my oldest brother left the area and my other brother and I never knew where he was until about three years ago.

That was when my middle brother decided to call me and apologize for everything he had ever done to hurt me.  He was crying and truly sorry.  This was something I had been praying for since 1987 when God had turned my life around.  I had tried many times to make amends with him, but he was just not ready.  Needless to say, I was thankful for that call.  I told him I had forgiven him many years ago and had been praying we might be able to have that conversation someday.  I told him I had always wanted to know him and I loved him.  I asked him if we could just start to have a relationship then, but he said he didn’t want to.  He was addicted to drugs and couldn’t get clean.  He was living in a trailer park where he had been for the last 20 years.  He didn’t know how to change, and he didn’t ask anyone for help that I know of.  I felt helpless, but I let him be.  I called him a few times just to see how he was doing, but he just didn’t know how to connect with me.

I believe he suffered from mental illness his whole life; most likely anxiety and depression, just as I have since I was at least 15.  Looking back on my childhood, I now believe my dad suffered from depression and this was why he drank.  I also think my mom had anxiety issues not just because of his drinking, but because of her own chemical make-up.  She was always worrying about everything and everyone.

I went through my drug and alcohol abuse days from about 1980 to 1987.  That was the year I quit everything and got help through counseling and an ACA (adult children of alcoholics) meeting every week for a couple of years. However, both of my brothers kept using drugs and alcohol for the rest of their lives.  My brother who died was hurt on a job many years ago and was getting pain medicine through the veterans hospital.  He was in the Navy for four years when he was right out of high school.   Apparently, though, his back became so bad, he could hardly walk anymore.  I believe that he just chose to die to escape the pain that was consuming him.

I have been that low many, many times myself emotionally.  However, I am thankful to have a loving husband and two children who love me and would never ever want me to make that choice just to escape any pain I may go through in my life.  It doesn’t solve anything, and it leaves those whom the person left behind in shock, angry, and sad.

When I learned of my brother’s suicide, I was definitely shocked.  Then I was angry for a few days.  Then I had to begin dealing with the aftermath of what would happen to him and his stuff.  At the time I didn’t have a clue as to where his daughter was.  Then his best friend found my brother’s ex-wife’s phone number.  She was contacted and then my niece was.  Yesterday I spent most of the day on the phone with my 37-year-old niece whom I do not even know.  It was strange, but good.

Hopefully, just getting in touch with her will be the blessing that comes out of his sad choice.  My brother and his daughter were estranged from each other for most of their lives as well.  I always felt sad about that, but hopefully she and I can build a relationship with one another now even though we live very far apart.

To this day I have no clue as to where my other brother lives.  We became estranged after our parents were both gone eight years ago.  He left the area and has never wanted to come back.  However, our brother who died did have a best friend who knew where our oldest brother was.  So the same month that my brother called and apologized to me, he also went and found our other brother to make amends with him as well.  However, I have no way to find our eldest brother to try and do the same.  He is living off the grid which is what he always wanted.

I know this has been a very long post; if you stayed with me, thank you.  I wrote this to encourage anyone who is thinking about suicide or knows anyone who is, to tell you to please reach out for help.  There is lots of help to be found!  First, try to talk to someone you know.  If that doesn’t help, call a local suicide hotline.  Or call 1-800-273-8255.  This is the number for Suicide Prevention Services of America.  Their website is http://www.spsamerica.org if you want more information.  I have never used their services, but I am sure there would be someone there to talk to.

Well, friends, I am definitely going to be reaching out for some help myself in dealing with this.  I have talked with someone locally whom I am planning to meet this afternoon.  Perhaps this is going to be the start of something good.

Have a wonderful day, and give someone you love a big hug!  🙂

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About whitefeatherfloating

When I began this blog I was simply going to share my writing. However, after being part of the blogging world for quite some time now, I decided to begin sharing my artwork. Patsy's Creative Corner will always have my artwork and some writing, but I also created a blog called "My Crazy Life!" in order to simply write my short autobiography and hopefully get some feedback on it as I go. However, it is a very slow project right now. You can find it here: https://spreadingmy2wings.wordpress.com Thanks for visiting! :)

Posted on May 23, 2017, in My Thoughts, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. beavoicefororphans

    Praying for you and your brother’s daughter! Sorry for the loss. May you continue to receive good counsel in your own healing journey… It is good you are being a voice and choosing to care… It’s wonderful you are wanting to be there for others and offer support and encouragement… It is awesome you found God’s love to help you in your time of need… HE also brought me through tough times in order to help me stand again and grow from HIS love and receive much healing along the way because of HIS mercy and compassion.
    https://suicidenotmyheart.wordpress.com/dont-give-up/

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A really tough one, Patsy

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bless your heart! Know how much you are loved dear old friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Praying for you, Patsy. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Patsy so sorry to hear about your brother. I lost my brother to suicide twenty years ago and I feel your pain. I hope you can connect with family members and make the bonds strong. Depression and anxiety can be so destructive and my brother never told anyone how much he suffered, not until after did we realise how much pain he covered up. Many fall into the trap of self medicating. Thankfully we did not have those issues. My brother was close but I felt him push all that love away in his last days. He never got to get married or have children he was 27. Even with all the loving family members around him he told someone you still feel so alone. It is an illness and no amount of what if’s can bring them back. I had to let go of my guilt and live life for both of us. You will do what you have to do to get through this it is different for everyone. Treasure the memories the ones that were special. Big hugs from afar.
    Kath

    Like

    • Thank you so much Kath. Yes I remember you sharing about your brother with me before. Perhaps I will be messaging you on Facebook at times. My brother always acted like he never needed help from anyone his whole life which was just his pride covering up his insecurities. We were all that way to some extent at different times in our lives. I know there were several major things that happened in his life that hurt him deeply but he just wouldn’t talk about them with any of us in the family. So for him to call me two years ago and admit some of these things and apologize in tears the way he did, it was a huge deal for him. I admired him for it and my heart broke for him, but he still wouldn’t let me be in his life! Anyway, yes, I am doing what I need to do to get through this and I want to use what I feel and learn to help others. I went to a new mental health facility in town today to inquire about their programs and to sign up to volunteer in small ways to start which I am looking forward to. My daughter went with me and is going to try checking out the place, too. But she may be starting to work in a month or so, so we don’t know yet if it will work out for her. Anyway, I learned some things just by talking with a sweet woman who lost her daughter to suicide. I am looking forward to getting to know her. Thanks for the big hugs! I appreciate your kind words, Kath. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I am very sorry to read of your loss and pain Patsy – this was a long and tough road for all you siblings, I think your parents included from years past. My condolences and I hope that your appointments help you mend from the pain of all these years. I also agree it takes a lot of courage to write about such deep emotional and personal things ~ my best to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Mary. I appreciate your support and sweet spirit. I really love all of the encouragement I have received from special people like you since I’ve had this blog. And yes, our family was not an easy one to grow up in, but I always have loved my parents for doing the best they knew how to do and my brothers for being who they have been because all of this has helped shaped me into who I am. God bless you Mary.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. I hope a reconciliation of your family is a positive to come out of such sad news.

    Sadly, having personal experience with mental health in my own family, I know that no matter how many so called professionals or friends are there for those suffering, things are not always that straight forward.

    My condolences to you and your family, suicide is heart wrenching, both to those left behind, and those contemplating it.

    It must have taken much courage to write this post, my respects to you.

    X

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much. I greatly appreciate your insights and encouragement. It is true that many people who try to help people with mental illness still cannot always reach them, but there are still stories out there of people who have been helped, me included. I also hope something positive with his daughter comes from this.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. If something good comes of this, it will still be a sad end to a sad life. But at least there will be that something good. Best of luck.

    Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Cock-eyed Giraffe Pencil Drawing | Patsy's Creative Corner

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