My One and Only Older Brother Took His Life 2 Weeks Ago

by Karl
(Ireland)

It was the worst phone call of my life. My poor mother called me at 6am. I instantly knew something awful had happened. She just said, "bad news about your beautiful brother".

He had been depressed for the last 2.5 years and he had shut himself away from me and my parents and even life long friends. His only confidant was his girl friend who he lived with. I thought it was a phase and he would come around. We let him know that we loved him and we were there for him but the lack of contact over these past 2.5 years was awful. Now it just adds to the hurt. What could/should we have done to prevent this tragedy?

The awful thing about this is that it didn't have to happen. He was 36 years old, tall, handsome, intelligent and successful in his life. He lived life to the full and had many achievements and lots to live for.

It's as if some awful dosease just took hold of him in the last 2 - 3 years and now he's gone. Such an awful, awful waste.

I have had minor depression myself and general anxiety disorder. I'm 33 years old and I'm married and thankfully I have a job that I enjoy.

But I feel such huge loss. My parents are elderly and, other than my wife, my brother was the closest person to me on this earth.

I worry that what happened to him could happen to me. I also feel very alone now as I've no other siblings so no one else can know just what I feel.

However, having read through some posts on this site I see that I'm not alone.

I wish you all the best in coping with your loss.

Thanks for reading.

Karl

Comments for My One and Only Older Brother Took His Life 2 Weeks Ago

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Oct 29, 2014
You are strong
by: Karl

@Clive.

Hello Clive.

Thank you so much for your kind words.

I am sorry to hear about your brother.

It's good to know there are people out there who understand.

Take care,

Karl

Oct 28, 2014
You are strong
by: Clive

Karl.

You had courage to write your thoughts and grief to share and you are not alone. Carry on sharing your grief never be afraid to talk . There are people in this world who understand and will listen. Your strength will carry you through your grief.

I too lost my brother in 2009, he took his life at 61 years and has been a very painful experience. It took a long time to realise that it was his only option. He had been bipolar nearly all his life.

I have never responded to anything like this before but feel great respect for you in writing down your grief. Time heals but never forget your love.

Clive

Jul 09, 2012
Response
by: Karl

@Karen and Ruth.

Thank you both for your words of support and comfort. It was very sad to hear about your loss too. Brent and Michael respectively
sound like two great guys who were dearly loved and are sadly missed.

This awful illness (depression) has affected so many lives.

It's been good for me to share this experience, as painful as it is, with people who know what I'm going through.

Thanks again and God bless.

Jul 08, 2012
I too grieve
by: Karen

Kari,
My son Brent took his life April 28, 2010. My daughter Cristina and he were very close. She misses him and cries. I miss him and cry. A day doesn't go by that we don't refer to him. Our reflections started out sad and now we can smile and laugh at things that remind us of him. Oh we still cry - lots. I've been doing lots of research. I believe that God took my son "Home" and out of his misery. I believe in reincarnation and that Brent wasn't ready to live this life on Earth. It was too much for him. The depression led to alcohol, the alcohol lead to outbursts and so on. When he's ready and if his soul chooses, he can try it again. But I have to belief that he is now happy, happier than he was on Earth and he is sorry for our sorrow. I also know (really) that he is around us a lot. We will be with him again--he's saving a place for us. My prayer for you is to hang in; it will get better.
Sincerely,
Brent's mom

Jul 07, 2012
Response
by: Karl

@Doreen and Diego.

Thank you both so much for your kind words - I appreciate it.

I have actually arranged to meet with a bereavement counsellor so hopefully that will bring some comfort.

Thanks again.

Jul 07, 2012
Support and condolences
by: Ruthn Mattucci

Hi Karl,
I just want to join in to offer support. My only child, Michael (26 yrs) suffered depression and was bipolar 2. He basically chose a "passive suicide" out of consideration for me. His best friend told me that he used to say "If it was not for my Mother, I would have blown my head off my shoulders a long time ago." He just stopped taking care of himself and instead of getting professional medical help from the mental health community, he used illicit drugs to self medicate. He medicated himself so well one evening on June 4th, 2010 that his heart stopped beating while he slept and then he was gone.

I understand your fear of what could happen to you, these things tend to run in the family. I suffered depression and still do but chose to seek counselling and take medication for my condition. I have to work very hard, eat right and exercise and make concious choices every day that help me not spiral, but it can be done. I like to believe that it was simply my sons time to go as it was with your brother. This is a hard concept to grasp, however it does help. I did all I could for my son and like so many others in his and your brothers condition, they tend to isolate, its part of the condition. Thats why seeking help is so important, learn about it, own it and then manage it. Take responsibility. Its true that it did not have to happen, but it did and we cant change it. "Mental health requires a dedication to reality no matter what the cost" Paraphrased from a favorite book called "The Road Less Traveled" by Scott Peck.

I dont know how in the world that we can help a person that does not want to be helped, it cant be done. I have come to believe that these poor souls somehow have already lived a life in Hell, my son was very demonstrative and was able to communicate quite well how he was tortured mentally and how difficult it was for him to just get through the day. I actively imagine him healthy and well now getting to do the things that he could not while he as his disease robbed him of any opportunity. He was handsome and charming, smart and funny and had everything to live for. I guess some mental illness is so sever, but self medication and isolation makes it worse. You have a choice in this matter, I hope you choose to reach out. Comming here is reaching out so you will probably continue with that. I will pray for you as you grieve the loss of your dear brother and also will pray that you have the strength to continue to reach out for help. Its there if you need it. God Bless and keep you.
Regard,
Ruth

Jul 07, 2012
My one and only oder brother too his own life 2 weeks ago
by: Doreen England

Karl, I am sorry for the loss of your one and only older brother. There is nothing you could have said or done to stop your brother taking his own life. Your brother shut himself away from you. Your parents. family and friends. Which means he wanted his own space. You say in your post that you let him know that YOU LOVED him and were there for him. FOCUS ON THIS. You didn't let him down. You gave him space. You respected that space. Often one can irritate someone with depression by being around and crowding them. It is not easy knowing what the right thing is to do.
I suffered depression for over 30 years and struggled to bring up children and be in a marriage with this depression. I tried to take my own life many times. But was interupted often. I lived. I don't know why. I was in so much pain I couldn't live another day. I was fortunate to meet a wonderfull psychologist/counsellor who counselled me for over 7 years. He gave me my life back. I felt great for the first time in my life. I felt I could breath, love, live, sing if I wanted to. People who experience grief from a suicide should seek counselling as the type of death affects the grief. (I almost became a grief counsellor). I ended up giving back to my counsellor 8 years in voluntary work. The happiest part of my working life. Depression is a disease and could happen to anyone. Even successful people suffer this. Depression is no respector of persons. My nephew aged 30yrs. threw himself in front of an express train. He called out for help to the medical profession. They let him down. His mum my sister was mad with grief and needed grief counselling. She is such a loving happy person now and gives back support to others. It can't happen to you. don't let it happen to you. YOU are IN CONTROL. Go see a bereavement counsellor for support for your loss of your brother and your own anxiety. Usually all what we are feeling evaporates in counselling and we don't feel the same way again. You will feel better. You will never recover from this but you will learn how to live with this loss. Best wishes.

Jul 06, 2012
I understand you
by: Diego

Hi Karl, so sorry to hear about the loss of your brother…my beloved and only brother died one month ago from a heart attack, he was only 26; I’m 28…why these things happen to good people? …I understand you perfectly; my brother was my best friend also, we were supposed to live a long life together but that’s not going to happen, a sense of emptiness is getting bigger every day, the pain is unbearable…writing in this site has helped me a lot, and reading at the coping strategies available on this site has helped me to maintain my mental stability otherwise I would have to go to a mental institution… I also join a local grief group it helps a lot to talk with people who is going through the same situation. The only thing I have to say is that we are not alone in this journey, Wish you all the best.

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