Letter to Brian: May 12, 2013

Dear Brian,

Today is Mother’s Day.  Three times this week I tried picking out a Mother’s Day card for Mom only to leave the store crying with no card in hand.  I mean… try finding a card that fits how she has felt since you died.  I mean she obviously is still a Mom– to both of us– but to outlive your own child… well I just can’t imagine the grief she feels now and has for the past 2-1/2 years.

I know how hard it is when I meet new people to hear the question, “so how about you, do you have any siblings?”  The obvious answer is “yes” because I do, I have you– you’re just not here anymore.  But it spurs that awkward silence when I tell them I do have one brother but that he passed away.  I know she also must feel a horrible pit in her stomach when asked how many children she has because it reminds her how much she has lost and just doesn’t know how to answer that question anymore… because our answers are, like I’ve mentioned before, instant conversation stoppers.  While I whole-heartedly believe your choice to end your life was not a selfish one but rather one you deemed your ONLY choice… I don’t know that you could have predicted how you would change our mother’s life.  You have altered the very fiber of her being– her sense of motherhood.  She misses you with every ounce of her soul and this holiday, set aside to honor and recognize mothers, is a painful reminder that she’s lost a vital part of what made her a mother in the first place.

Mom is one of the few people in the world now who I feel I can relate to because we lost the very same person and we still want to talk about you and not have your existence on this plane be forgotten.  When I had that AMAZING dream in which you came to visit me shortly after you died, Mom was so moved by that and was so very grateful that you chose to come to me to try and take a little of my pain away by letting me know that you were alright and that you were no longer hurting; but I know, deep down, that her heart was jealously aching so badly for the same kind of connection with you too.  The very best present she could ever receive today would be a sign or visit from you.  I’d like to ask you to reach out to her in some special way that she’d know it could only be you– if not today, then soon.  I think she really needs that from you now.

Please know that Mom also loves you more than any of my words would ever represent and she misses you every waking moment.

We love you, Brian.


p.s. For anyone reading who may know a mother who has lost a child–  either before they were ever born, when they were too young or even if that child lived a long life I offer these words from www.sheknows.com: “Acknowledge the loss and recognize that she is a mom. Even though the child is no longer with her physically, she will always be a mother. Don’t think that she doesn’t want to talk about her child. Many moms who have experienced the death of a child would love people to acknowledge their children and talk about fond memories with them.”  So please reach out to those Moms today and help them honor the children they have lost.

Thanks for reading!

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I lost my brother Brian, my only sibling, to suicide on October 13, 2010. I write about dealing with the loss as well as my own life-long struggle with depression and suicidal ideation.

3 thoughts on “Letter to Brian: May 12, 2013”

  1. This was perfect. My son did not die in the same way as your brother, but the end result is the same anyway. You are very sensitive to your mother’s feelings and experience.

    As a mother who now has only a daughter left, I imagine your mother feels as sad as I do that the person you shared so much with growing up and who you should have grown into old age with is now gone. We never wanted our daughters to be alone.

    Your mother is fortunate to have a daughter like you.

  2. i’m glad you connected with this post. my heart goes out to your family and a special thought goes to your daughter. I grieve a little bit every day for the future I’ve lost with brian and i’m sure she experiences that for the loss of graham too. thinking of you today, on mother’s day!

  3. Wow – my brother ended his life 12 years ago – and you have totally put into words my feelings when I am asked “do you have any siblings”. It’s such a hard questions – even 12 years later. Hugs….

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