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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A wish for my brother the day BEFORE World Suicide Prevention Day

Today would have been my brother's 46th birthday.

I know this very specifically.  Not just because he was my brother, but because he was 2 years, 11 months and 13 days younger than me :)

It was our joke - I wasn't 3 years older.  No, no, nooooo....
2 years, 11 months and 13 days
Get it right!  :)

My favorite picture of me  & my bro - Back in the day :)
Yeah, I know... he looks thrilled :)
Now he's immortally 38 years, 11 months & 13 day's old, and that matters.  (I just picked up on that numeric irony.)

It matters, because I've kept on aging.

It matters, because I'm still here and he's not.

It matters, because his birthday - today, September 9th, is the day BEFORE World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10th.

It matters, because suicide is what took my brother from me.

It matters, because even though he and I weren't speaking at the time of his death - I will never, ever, ever have another opportunity to try to talk sense into his thick skull.  I will never have another argument with him. We will never cave in and forgive each other - then laugh like idiots and hug it out.

It matters, because the relationship we once had is gone forever.

It matters, because my girls will never remember their Uncle Eric.

It matters because my son's Godfather didn't get to see him graduate boot camp or continue in the Navy, or whatever the next important mark in his life will be.

It matters.

It may not seem like it should matter to you, but it all matters.  It should matter.

To me it matters most of all, because HE DIDN'T HAVE TO GO!

It matters, because he suffered in silence.

It matters, because all of us are left behind to wonder why.  Why now? We never knew what was going on in his head.  He didn't show any signs (this time) that anyone picked up on.  It's probably why he never took my calls.  He knew I'd know.  He knew that I'd see through his bull shit and call him out.  He knew I'd step in, step up and find a way to help him, but he just couldn't handle it anymore.

It matters, because my brother - and every other person suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts - just wanted the pain to stop.

His pain stopped.
...And then it passed on to the rest of us left behind.

Some may say I didn't care, because I was tough on him.  Yes, I was very tough on him.  He needed me to be. Sometimes he thanked me for being so tough on him.  It got him through our childhood, through the Navy and through some really difficult situations I won't discuss in this blog.

He was my brother.  He was the person who I plotted with when we were younger, the one who beat me in tickle fights and made me laugh until chocolate milk came out my nose.  He was smart and cute and funny.  He had a heart of gold. He's the one, that although struggling with depression - made it through 3 previous attempts at taking his own life and continued on to become a functioning adult, until that day.

He was my brother, and I loved him.

In my heart I always knew my brother loved & missed me.  Sometimes it's hard to say - "I'm sorry.  I was wrong."  Even if the other person says it first.

Tomorrow, September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day.

Don't be a statistic - Suicide Victim or Suicide Survivor.

Educate yourself.  Know the signs.  Help save a life!

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:
S.A.V.E. Suicide & Depression Voices of Education:

If you are someone who is struggling - It's OK to have a bad day.
It's NOT OK to have several bad days that turn into weeks, months, years. Please reach out!

In my heart, I believe that as much pain as my brother had and as much as he wanted it to stop - I don't believe he thought he'd really pull it off.
...and now it's too late.

It IS OK to reach out for help.  The taboos of the past are behind you.
Your friends, family - whom ever... Trust me, they would rather hear you say "HELP ME, PLEASE", than pick out your casket.

Of this, I'm sure.

Someone DOES love you.  Someone WILL miss you.  
Reach out...Someone WILL grab your hand.
...Even if it's a total stranger.

Life is good.  Every single second.  No one said it would be easy, just that it would be worth it.

Love you all!



In loving memory of my brother, Eric, on what would have been his 46th birthday.

I will always love you, Eric.  Gone, but forever in my heart!

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