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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

When you don't see suicide coming....or do you?

It was me, several times, that took my brother to the hospital bleeding from his wrists, or pulling a gun out of his mouth when he was younger.

Most people didn't know. Others push it back to the dark recesses of their memory. Some, like my "baby brother", wouldn't remember the specifics, the why's of my brother being in the hospital. He may not remember at all. Then, it was taboo. We hid it. It was a secret.

Many people didn't see it coming, my brother's suicide. I saw it coming.  I believe that was the biggest reasons my brother pushed me out of his life. He knew I'd stop him - again.

My brother and I weren't speaking when he left this planet. It's one of the things that haunt me most about his death. Yes, it's that and not that he's gone, though I will always miss him. In my heart, I always knew he'd succeed some day. I believe he kept me away because I - even above my mother - was the one he answered to, the one who kicked his ass (physically and metaphorically) for putting me through finding him on a floor with wrists cut in my house. I was the one pulling a gun out of his mouth. I was the one telling the hospital, "PLEASE, don't listen to him. Our dad died by suicide. This is not his first attempt. PLEASE keep him here. PLEASE help him."

Eventually everyone listened to him. I was the crazy one. I was the one trying to "hurt" him by having him locked up in a hospital. I was the one he pushed away.

The others who knew, ignored it or were just fooled by his "I won't do it again. I promise."

A week or so before my brother eventually pulled the trigger for the last time, he threw a huge party. A Luau, I'm told. I wasn't invited. He knew I'd know something was up.

I could never believe that no one knew, besides me. I couldn't believe all of the people who gave the gun back to him - after I'd taken it away. I couldn't believe that the people closest to him didn't know.

I wish he were honest with what he felt.

I clearly remember, at dinner in between wake sessions, having a conversation with my brother's heartbroken fiancée - she had NO CLUE. None. I don't blame her. I'm sure he hid it well. He was a strong, handsome guy who seemed very put together. He had a good job, a nice house and was raising a beautiful son. The picture seemed wonderful. I spoke with her, to try to ease her heart, telling of his previous attempts, telling her that she'd done nothing wrong. It wasn't her. His heart had been full of clouds for years. He was broken his entire life. His best friend, as if a light bulb went off, suddenly realized what I was saying. He didn't know either. It finally made sense. He'd fooled them all.

Just because someone looks / is depressed doesn't mean they're suicidal. Just because they don't doesn't mean they're not. My brother held to his facade for those who didn't know his back story. He didn't display a depressed human. He played the part of the strong, successful man engaged to the woman of his dreams...all happy and care free.  NOT!

His party was a good bye party.
...And no one knew it.

The pain of my brother's loss runs even deeper than the loss of my dad by suicide. Siblings are supposed to run the distance of life with you, not just check out.

Depression / Suicide are hard topics to discuss. It's not a topic anyone wants to hear about. I don't blame them. It sucks! This post, written from my heart, was hard for me to write. It may be hard for you to read. I know that someone somewhere needs to see it. There may be a brother, sister, best friend, parent,  fiancée somewhere who is looking into the hollow eyes of someone with a beautiful facade. Knowing something is wrong, but can't quite put it all together.
Look for the signs.

None of this is about me. It's not about fortune or fame. I'd probably make a fabulous Greta Garbo running toward, yet hiding from the spotlight. This...all of it, is about them or maybe you. The person struggling. If using my pain saves a life, I've accomplished something I've set out to do.

I truly believe God gives us everything, the good and the bad, in order to help another.

Thank you for supporting me in this quest by being faithful to my blog.


Warning signs of suicide (as taken from SAVE)

These signs may mean someone is at risk for suicide. Risk is greater if a behavior is new or has increased and if it seems related to a painful event, loss or change.
  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself.
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun.
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
  • Sleeping too little or too much.
  • Withdrawn or feeling isolated.
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.

Additional Warning Signs of Suicide

  • Preoccupation with death.
  • Suddenly happier, calmer.
  • Loss of interest in things one cares about.
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye.
  • Making arrangements; setting one's affairs in order.
  • Giving things away, such as prized possessions.
A suicidal person urgently needs to see a doctor or mental health professional.

In an emergency, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

If you are a survivor of suicide, meaning someone you love died by suicide, there are places where YOU can vent also.  I am thrilled to have found a page on Facebook called Solos ~ Survivors of Loved Ones to Suicide    This page also has separate groups, (loss of parent, loss of sibling, loss of spouse, loss of friend, etc) since Suicide is not a "one size fits all" topic.  It's good to know you're not alone in this.

Big hugs to you all!!

Thank you for your constant support of me and my blog.  I love you all <3

~Jenn <3

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  1. I know how hard this month is for you and I truly commend you for sharing your story in hopes of helping others. It's not easy to be the one left behind questioning what you could have done differently, but in the end it is about them and it's taken me a long time to come to terms with that as well. Love you! xoxo

    1. <3 Thank you for always being here for me!! xoxo Love you!!

  2. Do you think suicides run in families? My Mom, her dad and his dad all committed suicide. Your dad and then your brother.

    The ones you think could, don't. The ones you least suspect, sometimes, do. My mom was a strong woman. I knew she was depressed but I believed she would heal. Of course at that time, I did not know her dad and grandfather had committed suicide. Everyone kept saying how surprised they were - she was so strong. Even the strong, have their weaknesses.

    Good post!


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