Jonas' Story of life and Death
(Merrick, NY USA)
On November 19th, 2012 my brother Jonas ended his life. He was a beautiful person and we all loved and adored him so much. I will forever have a hole in my heart and feel like I lost a part of me. As a child, Jonas was sweet and gorgeous with big blue eyes and blonde hair. He was very shy, spoke late and was very attached to our mother. I am 2 years and 9 months older. My whole life, I was sensitive and aware of my brothers fears. By 1st grade he would wake up every morning and cry that he didn't want to go to school. I would pass his class and see him sad with tears at his desk. As we grew to be adults, I never brought up how he cried. I didn't want to embarrass him or bring up a painful experience. Sometimes now, I wish I had been more direct in helping him get in touch with his fears.
Our weekends and summers growing up were spent in nature exploring. Jonas was in his element when he was in nature. He loved animals, music, gardening and exercising especially running and yoga. He was physically very strong and could walk on his hands and balance on one arm.
Still throughout most of his life he struggled with anxiety and ended up at a job at Social Security 10 years ago. Yes, the job paid well and the benefits were great but his job did not speak to his soul and was not true to the nature/athletic loving person he was. Mondays were especially stressful, I was not surprised to find out that he most likely died on a Monday.
Modern medicine failed him as well. He self medicated and struggled with addiction. But who wouldn;t become addicted when all the medications prescribed were addicting? Rehab was too short and did not deal with life long struggles with anxiety. Medication only gave him short term relief. I wish we would have tried ECT- Electric convulsive therapy. Based on my research, I believe the ECT may be the only method to end depression and repetitive thoughts quickly. Research has shown that patients after 1-2 treatments with ECT have an immediate relief.
Recently I came across KEN ROBINSON and educator and author of a few books. I am reading a book called "THE ELEMENT." I highly recommend it. He describes THe Element within us as when you are doing something creative and you loose track of time, you feel connected, inspired and in your zone. He writes about how our schools are failing us as a society because they are not are not diverse enough and expect all kids to fall into this cookie cutter program with standardized testing. Shouldn't our school inspire all children? Both my brother and I never felt like we fit into school. Thankfully I found my ELEMENT through my passion of gardening and have built a successful landscape design company. WE need to be true to ourselves and our spirit and we need to help our children find themselves. Our schools need to be better... children are born creative...my brother was creative and his education didn't help him find himself. When Jonas was a kid I would ask, "what do you want to be when you grow up." He would say, "An inventor." I would think to myself, what would you invent...but it didn't matter...he wanted to create and feel creative.
More and more today, people don't know who they truly are. Depression is on the rise and no doubt, death by suicide is increasing as well. Kids are growing up in front of TV's and XBOX and are living in these virtual worlds. College graduates still don't know what to do with their lives. It is sad and something has to change. There is a much bigger problem here. If we are failing the majority or even half of our children today, what does that say for our future?
My brother knew who his true spirit was but always doubted himself. I wish we could go back and that I knew what I know now. I would have insisted he follow his heart and passion. In the end there was so much going on...family troubles, relationship troubles, financial problems, medication problems. He was not comfortable in his own skin, his mind was driving him to such dark places. I forgive you JONAS, but I am terribly sad for me.
I will forever miss you my precious brother. I am so sorry if I have failed you in any way. At least I know now that you are not suffering anymore but now I suffer every day missing you and missing us growing old together.
Forever in my heart and spirit,