suicide

An Open Letter to My Dead Brother, June 2015

Dear Connor,

I had another dream about you last night, this time that I pushed you against the upstairs banister, causing you to fall through the bars, face first down to ground level. You were dead, it was all my fault, and you looked a lot like you did when I found your unconscious, damp body in real life. I woke up shaking and wide-eyed. Needless to say, it was a rough morning.

Mom just vividly described Gran’s gaudy, pink-nightmare of a casket to Aaron and, in doing so, reminded me that she and Dad couldn’t bear to put your ashes in the ground. Your cremated remains are held in a polished, wooden, latched box in your room. (more…)

An Open Letter to My Dead Brother, April 2015

Dear Connor,

The first of April has come and gone, so happy 20th birthday, little brother. When I had originally drafted this piece on February 23, and it had been exactly six years and five months since you died. Google says that’s about 2,344 days — or, as you would prefer, 202,490,275,166,666,688 nanoseconds. Sounds like a long time, right? Some days, it feels like it. Other days, it feels more like just a week has passed.

I’m still mad you’re gone, but over the past few years, my anger and frustration have started to feel more… empty.

(more…)

That Time You Wanted to Kill Yourself

As I prepare for a lengthy and fulfilling career as a psychotherapist, one of my greatest fears is how I will help suicidal clients. My thirteen-year-old brother killed himself a week before I turned seventeen, and although his suicide is a topic which regularly invades my mind and which I openly discuss with anyone who asks, I am concerned that in a professional setting, I may not be able to maintain the sufficient emotional composure which my client-therapist relationships will require. Suicide may always be too “close to home” of a topic, despite the time which has passed since Connor’s death. But even as angry, disappointed, and frustrated as I am with Connor for killing himself, his suicide forced me to reconsider my views on the subject. (more…)

Bully, The Documentary

I recently watched the documentary, “Bully”, for the first time (gotta love Netflix) and ended up crying through most of it. As the name suggests, the film features a number of adolescents sharing their experiences as victims of bullying.

My brother killed himself five years ago. A brainy loner, he (more…)

The Problem With Death Platitudes

When someone you know has a death in the family, there are a few things you’re expected to do. When my brother died, people came out of the woodwork to comfort my family, yet many ended up relying on us to console them because the story of his suicide made them sad.  (more…)

An Open Letter to My Dead Brother, February 2013

Dead Connor,

I was thinking about you this morning. And afternoon. I think about you a lot these days, a lot more than I used to. (more…)

An Open Letter to My Dead Brother, September 2012

Dear Connor,

Today is one of the few days of the year for which I cry hardest over you, and it amazes me that it has only been four years since I came home and found you dead.

(more…)

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. (more…)