I’m no expert; I can only share my experience. Four years ago, I became a sister bereaved by suicide. At times, it hits me and I remember. It’s still hard to accept that he is gone. We were supposed to grow old together. A few months after he died, my brother came to me in a dream one night. For one last goodbye. He didn’t speak; only gave me a big hug and I remember so clearly the feeling of all his love surround me.
Before, suicide was one of those things that happened to other people. And in my wisdom, I was certain I knew what it would be like to lose someone. The reality was nothing that you could prepare for. What I didn’t know then, and I do now, are the extreme range of emotions that have become my constant companions ever since. They don’t visit as much as they used to, but they’re still there. And they always will be, but I’m okay with that, really.
And of course, the guilt. I know there is nothing that I can do to change what happened. I know this. I know I should not think about what ifs – “I know I know I know….” but some days I just. Cant. Stop. Thinking. About. It. I didn’t see this coming AT ALL. I have spent four years digesting every little moment, conversation, argument, looking for the signs and clues to tell me, and reading about suicide looking for more educated clues and answers.
I’m no expert. But I have had an experience that I quite unexpectedly, came out the other end with positive learnings. For me I decided that there had to be something good to take away from this, otherwise what’s the point of life, and of death. I reprioritised what was truly important in life. I learned to remind myself that I am alive, that I cannot change the past, that it is important to keep going on, to use my experience to support others, to cry when I need to, and laugh when there is something funny.
And I thank my brother for that.
My poem to my brother..
Don’t you know that I love you
Don’t you know that I care
Did I not tell you
Was I not there
Do you hear me now
Do you realise the truth
You are my everything
My tears are the proof.