A Letter about My Brother
by Louis John baxter
(Dublin, Ga, USA)
My brother took his own life this past Monday. I had taken my wife to the ER for some problems related to her pregnancy and when I came home I found him hung by his belt. I tried to revive him and when I first got there I thought I had a chance. I later found that there was no chance and I was about an hour too late.
When I think about the specific incident and all the problems leading up to it I realize and accept that I might have been able to help him. I knew he needed help before he died, but I don’t judge myself that harshly because first I think if bobby were alive he wouldn’t want me to be so hard on myself; he loves me after all. I also realize that I’m not perfect. I do the best I can with what I have and that’s also how I think I’m able to forgive him, because I know he did the best he could with what he had.
It is an emotional roller coaster for my entire family because he was thirty one years old and we had time to really grow together, but not enough to grow old together. I can’t be sure but I think I am comforted by his presence; I mean to say that I carry with him in my heart and that I feel like he’s watching out for me. I feel like life does have purpose but I just miss him so damn much. I mean, I know that I will see him again. I know it now. I’m comforted by it, but why is it still so hard to think about him for more than thirty seconds.
I notice that I have anxiety when I get tired and especially at night. I wonder if it has to do with the time he died, the fact that when I’m tired my coping mechanism are weaker, or if I feel guilty because there is a list of things I should have done.
I go between feeling like life isn’t fair and everything is going to be alright. I’m supposed to live another 40 or 50 or 60 years without my brother; I don’t see what’s fair about that. I know life isn’t fair. I mean I really know it now but I always understood it I suppose.
So I just want to say a few things about kabob. He worked hard and he really cared about his family. He was a roofer for a long time and he always called his family to check up on them. He was unemployed and had just broken up with his girlfriend when he moved in. I found a journal entry dated a week before he took his life and probably the same day he moved in. He basically says that he feels terrible about lying to her about his children in a previous relationship and lying in general.
He really hated himself and I think maybe he did in fact hate himself for a long while. Bobbo was never the type of person to think his actions through; when he made up his mind to do something he just did it, consequences be damned, a man of action. I imagine he wasn’t thinking of us when he took his life. I know he barely slept and I imagine he only thought of how much everything hurt and the only thing he could do, end it.