My older brother took his life at 37.

by Vic
(Seatte,WA)

My older brother who just turned 37 hung himself in a self storage facility he rented to store his classic Chevy last year. He was my parents 2nd eldest child, I have an older sister and a younger sister as well. I'm the only son left now. It feels strange, my brother was 7 years older than me and 8 years older than my younger sister and 2 years younger to my eldest sister and now he is gone.

My mother keeps a strong front for her grandchildren though I can tell she has been crying over her loss even though it's been a year. My father is there to comfort my sisters and mom, though blames himself for being too hard on my brother all his life and never on the rest of us.

My brother grew up with ADD (attention deficit disorder)and the rest of us three went on to be honor students and went to good schools like our father did, who is a retired Doctor. My brother struggled through grammar and high school though a genius in mathematics. Despite his uphill challenges he later enrolled in community college at 25 and transferred to our state University with a degree in Business. He got a job with a well known company and was praised for his work ethic and kindness.

He never married, due to he felt he was not tall or looked like me. He called himself the ugly duckling and avoided family get togethers. He would always say "Mom and Dad have you as their prince and our sisters as there princesses and I am just the fool". My father didn't make things easier for my brother either, but I am not blaming him at all for what happened. My dad dealt with my brother with a belt though never laid a hand on the rest of us other children.

My brother never showed signs of suicide, he took pride in his 1969 Chevy he fixed up from high school.

My daughter and my older sisters son and daughter adored their Uncle and he loved them very much. My younger sister's soon to be born son will never get to meet his Uncle either. I never cried at the funeral service or when I heard the news when he left us. It's been a year now and my 5 year old daughter still cries when she hears a certain Beach Boys song (my brother idolized the Beach Boys). My wife gets emotional due to she grew up an only child and was very close to my brother as her own big brother.

I cried for the first time last week. I decided to go for a walk and noticed a young couple driving an old 1969 chevy Impala like my brothers (my brother's friend took possession of his '69 out of state). I asked about it, and told them my late brother owned one similar.

As they drove off I sat down on the park bench and I started bawling. People walking stopped to see if I was okay and I told them I was fine though just needed a moment. I found this link and could not sleep and wanted to share my families loss along with others, you are not alone to grieve. Sorry for the long story, and thank you for your time.

Comments for My older brother took his life at 37.

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Oct 28, 2013
broken
by: Anonymous

My beautiful brother of 48 yrs took his life. We are all still in shock and my feelings are all over the place. I just miss him so much and it hurts All over! His service is this Fri evening and im trying to find some music for the service. Im at lost I dont understand. I just had coffee with him 4 days before he did it and he looked good and acted the same as usual. God I miss him and what the heck why didint his wife pick up on something???

Apr 26, 2011
Daughters Suicide...
by: Dakota Blues

Vic - what a lovely post. So gentle and tender. 3 years ago my daughter took her life. We were shocked. We had no idea. Suicide rips us apart. The pain our loved ones must have felt is all most unbearable to think about. I believe my daughter did not want to die...but escape whatever pain she was feeling that fatal night.

My living daughter is devastated - of course. Siblings. We think, like our children, we will have a long and "happy" life. Suicide is complicated grief and there is no way around this grief but through it. If there were a short cut...I would have found it.

I isolated myself in my grief the past 3 years. I finally reached out to a church in Jan. The pastor has been very kind and gentle. I tried to go this alone but I don't think we can. We need to work through this with others.

I pray your family will lock arms and reach out for help as a family. And grow stronger and tighter in your journey. My prayers are with you.

Big Hugs -

Jan 26, 2011
I share you pain.
by: Darrin

Vic, my older brother didn't take his own life though god and cancer did at age 29. I was 21 and my sisters 19 and 27. He and my dad had a tough relationship growing up, and like you, my dad seemed to favor me and my sisters over him.

After my brother left us august 10th 1996 the Hospice nurse gave my aunt a note my brother printed out which helped in all of our healing and maybe would you and your fathers also:

"DAD,I NEVER SAW THIS COMING ,DIDN?T THINK IT WOULD BE THIS SOON.
SEEMED LIKE YESTERDAY YOU TOOK THE DAY OFF WORK AND BOUGHT ME A WOODEN TOY PLANE , PUT ME ON YOUR SHOULDERS AND PRETEND I COULD FLY TO THE MOON. YOU WERE MY HERO, MY DADDY, THE ONE WHO CARRIED ME HOME AFTER I FELL OFF MY BIKE CRYING.
NOW HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF AS YOU HOLD ME AGAIN, THOUGH THIS TIME THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO STOP MY ILLNESS AND DYING.
SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY WE GREW APART, I MADE YOU ASHAMED OF ME AND I RESENTFUL AND COULD GO ON THOUGH DON?T KNOW WHERE TO START. I ALWAYS FIGURED YOU AND MOM HAVE YOUR OTHER CHILDREN TO BE PROUD OF, I, JUST A WASTE OF TIME AND DIDN?T DESERVE YOUR LOVE.
NOW I REALIZE HOW I AM VERY WRONG, AS I BARELY FIND THE STRENGTH TO TYPE THESE WORDS I KNOW I DON?T HAVE LONG. MAKE SURE MOM, MY SIBLINGS KNOW I WILL ALWAYS LOVE THEM AND ALWAYS DO THEIR BEST. NOW I MUST GO DAD ,AS I AM VERY TIRED AND MUST LAY DOWN FOR MY INTERNAL REST, GOODBYE, LOVE ALWAYS, YOUR SON."

My father, like yours, was and is tough as nails though he fell apart when he read my brothers poem, though helped him and us in the healing. Take care, Darrin.

Jan 19, 2011
Your older brother took his life
by: M Mack

Vic

My heart goes out to you and your family. The loved ones of suicide have the most difficult time of grief and healing. They really are the victims. All the unanswered questions, feelings of guilt and regret is on the survivors.

I am so afraid like most people of judging ones behavior. When your brother told you of his despair what could you have ever done to make it better for him? Nothing you say, do, feel would have helped. His emotional situation must have been intense and he couldn't get a handle on it.

You are all going through the steps of healing in your own way. Maybe the car is helping you get closure and that's what we all need to heal. Come to this wonderful site anytime you need to. We are here and we listen. My heart and prayers for you and family.

Jan 18, 2011
Thanks
by: Vic

Thank you all for your warm comments and the similar sorrow you share with me. I still get a huge lump in my throat as I am typing now. I went out for coffee with my father and delicately spoke about my brother to him. My father admitted he expected too much out of my brother and regrets forever lending a hand on him.

My father never shows emotion or sadness though it finally came today as it did myself last week. As I dropped my dad off at the house he sat in passenger seat of my car and took his glasses off and started weeping. His words: "I just pray to god every day Roger (my brother's name) didn't leave this world angry at me". I gave my dad a hug and said,"knowing Roger he would of had the last word if he was angry Dad".

My dad laughed. Thanks once again for all your support on this site, my turn for healing and my Dad's just begun, god bless, Vic.

Jan 17, 2011
My Brother Committed Suicide Too
by: Anonymous

My brother stepped off a ledge of the 12th floor of a building under construction in the city.
The violence of this kind of death makes it so tormenting.

I still hate answering the question, "How many siblings do you have?" For some, people I've just met I say that I have two sisters. But I feel a pang of disloyalty every time, though over time it's getting easier. But I learned that I could tell the story every time. There really is a time and a place, you know.

I miss him. I miss growing up, growing older and he's just not here.

I wonder what it would have been like for him to hang out with my kids. He never met them. I wonder what he'd be like now, now that we are all older. But these are the things we missed. And will continue to miss.

I, too, have seen a car like his, and lost it. It just sneaks up on you sometimes. The pain, the sadness.

My brother also had it the hardest with my Dad. I think I did blame him for a long time, but I had to voluntarily choose to forgive. That was a process as well.

Jan 17, 2011
My Brother My Best Friend
by: PatJ

Vic~
I read your post and cried. I just lost my wonderful husband 7 weeks ago. He was and always will be the love of my life.

I lost my brother when he was 33. I was 35 when that happened. My baby brother Tom was diagnosed with juvenile onset diabetes when he was only 8 years old. We found when he became a young adult that none of his friends were aware of his illness. He felt very different than everyone else and hated the fact that he was different, so he chose to pretend nothing was wrong. In a sense one could say that my brother committed a slow suicide. He knew what the results of his actions would be. He drank, he smoked cigarettes and pot, didn't stick to his diet, knowing his fragile body couldn't handle any of those things. He didn't care. He was going along with the crowd and pretended he didn't have an illness that was ravaging his body as he partied.
I never thought I would live long enough to see my "Archie Bunker" father shed a tear in front of anyone. The day of my brother's funeral he sobbed like a young child to leave his youngest son at the cemetary. I loved my dad so much for showing those emotions. I knew how much he loved my brother.

I look back at pictures of my parents from before my brother became so ill. My parents were in their early 60's, still young, vibrant and enjoying life. I look at pictures taken 6 months after my brother passed and saw that his illness and death sucked the life out of both of them. They both looked 15 years older in a 2 year span.
The death of my brother was hard for me but the toll it took on my parents was much harder. Be patient with them and give your mom as much love and support as you can.

I told both of my children after my husband passed that the best thing we can do is live our lives the best we can, do whatever we can to make him proud. We will see him again someday. I believe that God forgives those who have taken their own lives. The pain your brother must have suffered on this earth is intense. With the ADD, that is something God made him with. Your brother didn't chose that for himself. A human being can only take so much pain. I was so angry with my brother. I would talk to him and say, "How could you do this to us? How could you do this to mom and dad?" I wasn't thinking that he was no longer in pain, he was with God and I should actually be celebrating the life he had here on earth. I still miss him and that was 20 years ago. The pain never goes away. We are never the same people again.

Don't beat yourself up for any bad feelings you are having. I felt severe guilt as a child and young adult that I was healthy and my brother wasn't. It's completely normal to feel like you feel. Love those around you (especially those parents) and carry on for your brother. God's blessings to you. Come to this site and write your feelings. It really helps. We are all here for you.

Jan 17, 2011
So glad you found us...
by:

Vic,

I am so glad that you found this site. Please keep reading other posts. It will not erase the guilt or sorrow that you feel but will help you work through it. We all have similar feelings here and you could not find a finer group of people to help you through your grief.

They are like a life raft as we nearly drown in sorrow.

Just knowing that other people are having a hard time. Knowing that they too feel so lost sure does help.

Please keep reading and post when you are comfortable. We are here to listen always...
HH

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