Missing My Brother Sorry for the heavy laundry!
Posted 18 June 2008 - 08:51 AM
This is tough, so I'm just going to come out with it...
Yesterday was 8 months since my youngest brother took his own life. He was 20 years, 7 months and 7 days old. It was an absolute shock, to say the least. He was on the Dean's List at college, had a part-time job where he NEVER missed a day, played in a band that was achieving some local acclaim, had tons of friends. I/we had no idea the demons he was battling. None whatsoever. I have been a detective trying to reconstruct his last hours and am uncovering so much I never knew.
Apparently, he felt he was a total screw-up and had a fairly extensive drug and alcohol problem. Most of us knew he was smoking (more than cigarettes) and drinking some, but we all thought, "Who hasn't?" especially at age almost-21. We all certainly did it and turned out OK. Anyway, long story short, no one knew how bad it was until it was too late.
I am devastated and this has crushed our entire family. I am so angry with him, sometimes I don't know what to do and I miss him so much it's ridiculous. I still cannot believe this happened.
On the night he died, he was at a party at school where he was drinking, smoking and probably doing other things. He left around 11:30 PM and sometime around midnight was in a car accident. (Car was totalled, he flipped it end-over-end, it's amazing he survived the accident.) Some people who lived nearby (very rural area) came out to help him, but he refused. He took the license plate off the car and threw it over a bank and left the scene on foot.
The police get to the scene, track the car and call the house. Police tell his mom (my stepmother, who had just gotten home from work) that they found Joel's wrecked car and no one was at the scene. She leaves the house to go look for him. This rural road is a trucking route with no shoulder to walk on -- very dangerous at night. In the meantime, the police find his cell phone in the car and call the last number dialed, which is his ex-girlfriend (age 17 -- still in high school). They ask her if she's seen him, she says no and they ask her to call them at such-and-such a number if she hears from him. She says OK.
Joel walks to a church, steals a van from the parking lot and drives home (probably passing his mother, who is very worried to say the least). He parks the van at the top of the driveway, walks to the house, calls his ex and tells her he's screwed up his life, let everyone down, is worthless, etc., etc. and that he's going to kill himself. She tries to reason with him, but he isn't listening. She can hear him loading the gun. He tells her he loves her and hangs up. She immediately dials the police.
Sometime while all this is going on, the cop who is out looking for my brother contacts my step-mom and asks to meet her at the house. They drive there (cop following behind her car). When he sees the van at the top of the driveway, he stops to investigate. Step-mom continues up the drive and enters the house, where she finds my brother on the kitchen floor. There is no love lost between my step-mom and I, but as a mother myself, I would not wish that scene upon anyone.
I am shaking now and have to stop typing. I apologize for the heavy topic, but it helps to talk about it to get it out of my head. Thank you for providing a forum to do so.
Posted 18 June 2008 - 09:21 AM
I am so very very sorry at the loss of your brother! My heart aches for you and those out there that feel such heavy burdens. I have a son who is very critical of himself and is only 13 year of age and this story reitterates the fact that I need to watch him. He can get very angry at himself. If we could only know the 'secret's' of our loved ones lives we feel we could at least try to help or seek the help they need. This world has great pains indeed. I wish I knew how to take them away but, all I know how to do it to pray that my Father in heaven knows and can help us 'through' our pain. May God bless you and help you 'through' this difficult time.
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Posted 18 June 2008 - 10:10 AM
This is a terrible thing that has happened.
Years ago my nephew took his own life and it
has got to be one of the hardest things to deal with.
Please don't take the responsibility of his actions unto your
shoulders. You said many nice things about your brother and you need to remember
It is a great heartache to carry and I will pray that Our Lord be with
you and your family through this tragic time.
Posted 18 June 2008 - 11:30 AM
I lost my best bud brother at that same age many years ago... the loss was unbelievable.
He, too, had dabbled in drugs, had been drinking and wrecked the car the night he was
killed. After hitting two cars head-on, he too died with five others... such a tragic loss!
That is a very vulnerable age... my heart goes out to you. Although my loss was 34 yrs
ago, your story brought it into the past month for hurting...
Praying for your entire family! Such a loss!
Posted 18 June 2008 - 12:29 PM
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Posted 18 June 2008 - 12:48 PM
Posted 18 June 2008 - 01:07 PM
It's a wakeup call for us all - we never know what kind of pain the people in our lives are dealing with.
Just like we never know how our actions can impact on these same people.
If we all take it as a gentle reminder to be a little kinder and more concerned in our daily interactions, we may help someone who is hurting before it gets that far.
It's true that we never know. I lost a friend at work who had very carefully put up a screen of mental health. None of us knew the demons he'd been battling since childhood. I believe his friendships at work kept him alive much longer than he would have been otherwise.
You were most likely a bright spot in his troubled life.
Remember Mother Theresa's saying - we can do no great things. We can only do small things with great love.
Holding you and your family in my thoughts, Gayle
Posted 18 June 2008 - 02:23 PM
Posted 18 June 2008 - 05:35 PM
Posted 19 June 2008 - 04:10 AM
God bless you and your family, we are here for you, any time
Posted 19 June 2008 - 06:27 AM
I lost a friend to suicide a couple of months ago, also involving too much drugs and alcohol...
He was in a very famous swedish band, had a good job on the side. But had trouble in his relationship and never felt that he was good enough...
Even if he was "just a friend", and not my family, I felt (and still feel) a good deal of anger towards him for doing what he did.
It affected his whole family, his fans and all of his friends greatly.
But I also miss him loads, and there have been, and will still be, a couple of moments where it makes me cry...
I think it helps to talk about it, even if it makes you angry or sad...
And I don't think any of you could have helped him...
Some people are destructive in a way most of us can never even begin to understand. It doesn't matter how much love or help they get, they still feel inadequate even if they're not...
I pray that you and your family will be able to work through this, even if you never fully recover from it...