That time that my sister died
I never really knew my sister. At the time she died, it was a little bit surreal, as no-one really told me what was happening. I was 14, my mum had rushed over to Melbourne and my dad wouldn’t let me or my twin sister leave the house, or go to school.
It was really strange, ‘cause I don’t remember him being sad, or angry or anything. We just spent the two weeks when mum was away at home, doing nothing, waiting for her to come back. It was long and boring and everything seemed a little off. I remember one night, I spoke to my mum on the phone and she sounded hollow, and gaunt. My mother is a big woman, and hearing the sound like that was horrible. It was like, when she had made the decision to pull the plug on her daughter, she had killed herself too.
No-one told us that she was dead, ever. No-one actually said ‘Your sister is dead’. But, after being on the phone with mum for five minutes, I knew she had died. I knew that the sister who I met four times and barely remembered, had died, and I would never get the chance to really know her.
I cried once, and not for very long. And I didn’t even cry for my sister. She killed herself. She wasn’t selfish, but she was stupid, and she should not have done it to our parents. I cried for my mum and dad, and for the unfairness of it all that they should lose two children, 17 years apart. I cried because they had to go through all the pain again, and they shouldn’t have had to. And then, after a few little tears, I stopped and I went and I hugged my Father.
Thinking about it now, 5 years after she did it, her death changed everything. And I think that it affected me more than I realised. I obsess over my family now, over the way things were when I was a little boy. I compulsively collect photos from when I was young and if I can’t get them, I get an itch under the skin until I do. I worry about it.
The point is that suicide is not a fair thing to do. It isn’t selfish, because the people you love CAN heal over time, but it isn’t the fair thing to do to anyone. Least of all to yourself or to your family. But, it also can’t be ignored.