An Open Letter to My Dead Brother, September 2013

Dear Connor,

It’s yet another somber day in our household as we each take a couple moments to remember how you left us five years ago today. Just kidding, we all think of you quite often, but today’s an especially rough annual kick in the gut. Dad says it’s best to focus on the happier memories, but that’s harder than it sounds. Speaking of which, just the other day I told Sarah about that time you were chewing on a Geomag ball when I deliberately made you giggle hard enough to swallow it. Sorry for that. At least you got the last laugh, though, since you got to go to the bathroom in a bucket for a week, and poor Mom had to sift through it.

Back to Dad for a sec — he can’t bear to say your name these days, and he either stonewalls or tears up and looks away when someone else does. Nuts, right? Turns out ol’ Spock-with-a-sense-of-humor does have emotions and is still trying his damnedest not to crack. Mom, on the other hand… her ship sailed years ago. She’s been in breakdown-mode ever since we found your lifeless body. I often catch her quietly crying when she thinks no one is looking.

Your death, by itself, is sad enough, and the motivation and unanswered questions behind your death sting even more harshly, but what hurts most is seeing Mom and Dad struggle with your memory every day. If you ever wanted to see parental love in action, whoo boy. Choosing to take your own life was — obviously — ultimately up to you, but in doing so, you also snatched half of Mom’s and Dad’s, and a chunk of mine as well. You wounded us all, and it really sucks. Consider us even a few rounds over for that time I accidentally kicked you square in the crotch. (Seriously though, sorry about that one, too. I honestly was aiming for your knee, but we both know superior motor coordination isn’t exactly on the family crest for a nerd herd like ours.)

Just so you know, to distract myself from being sad about you today, I’ll be spending all afternoon (and half the evening) playing with invigoratingly adorable twin two-year-olds. More importantly, yep, that does include changing diapers. Even in death, I know full well that the thought of me knuckle deep in baby shit would have delighted you more than most things in life ever did. So, here ya go.

I miss you. Please come home.

All my love, your bratty sister

4 comments

  1. My brother was murdered at 18 years old not quite a year ago. I’ve thought about writing him letters but I didn’t want to be weird. I have so much to say I don’t even know where to start. We were close. And so many memories. Thank you for giving me an idea on how to say things. If you could email me, that would be great. It’s nice to have someone to talk to who knows what you’re going through.

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    1. My heart goes out to you and your family, and you have my deepest sympathy. There really is a special kind of grieving from the loss of a sibling, and as sad as I am that you can relate to my pain, I am glad to have helped you find one outlet for your feelings. Just sent you a message ❤

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  2. This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing. My the fond memories you have of your brother continue to carry you even on the most difficult days.

    I too lost a sibling not long ago. As a sister, it hurt. It still hurts. Seeing how it hurts my mother is even harder. It’s one thing to lose a sibling, a friend. A piece of you is gone, as you so aptly stated. However I could never imagine losing a child. Hand to my heart, I hope to God that I never have to know that pain firsthand.

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