The Year Passes

Today is the first “anniversary” of my brother’s death. I wrote about his death, by his own hand, here last year. I have been thinking about him today. Saddened at the thought of his being gone from this world, sad for the troubled life he led, and sad at the thought that so few remember him. I am thinking about the mark each of us leaves, or maybe doesn’t leave. My sisters and I remember him, his 1 niece and 1 nephew whom he lived near and saw fairly frequently until his mental issues prevented that. Our cousins remember him as a young boy, teenager, young adult, the person they spent summer vacations with and shared holiday meals with growing up. It’s a small list of people as he didn’t have friends, was divorced for almost as long as he had been married. I hope somewhere at some time he had touched someone’s life in a meaningful way, shared a laugh with them that they remember, showed a kindness before his mental illness erased the good that had once existed within him. Replacing it with anger and irrational thoughts and all the injustices he thought had ever rained down upon him.

Today I choose to try to think back to those times before the darkness descended, to when he joked around and found humor in silly situations, to the laughter we shared together, to his love of the sea, of nature, how he loved to read the Encyclopedia. His curiosity about things and wanting to learn more and find out more. His love of yoga and meditation that centered him for a time, bringing solace to him and his world. Remembering that once long ago there had been light in his life.

 

39 thoughts on “The Year Passes

  1. My brother and my son are ones I have to check in with frequently. The first is single and the second (presumably) has a good life, wife and a combination family of 5 children. My youngest brother and I talk about how one never knows when family members who are lifelong depressive victims will get to “their last straws.” It is their brain’s wiring differently that is still a puzzle.
    I know this post is a special and meaningful tribute full of happy memories. I feel bad about your losing your brother. I think you tried everything you could to help him.
    Just thought I would say something no one else will, but they are words I would want to hear should either my brother or son decide to “end it all.”
    “You loved your brother with your whole heart and gave him many happy memories. It was not something you could fix or help.”
    My (sad) brother and I talked endlessly after the death of comedian Robin Williams. My brother said it doesn’t matter when you have money, children, fame and fortune. It is the lost and lonely feeling “In that singular moment before you kill yourself when you feel there is no other choice.”
    When I ask how he is, I add “today.” Many live only moment to moment. Hugs, Robin xo

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    • Robin thanks so much for your very heartfelt comment. Depression and mental illness cross all lives- as you said, money or not, fame or not. As hard as it is to come to terms with someone taking their life, my brother was so unhappy I really came to feel this is what he wanted. Thank you for the validation in terms of not being able to fix or help, that is something that took me a long time to accept. Thank you again ❤ ❤

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  2. A very moving tribute to your brother. …and it is lovely to see the photos of him when he was young and happy…perhaps as time goes on, that will be what you will remember most.

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    • Thanks so much- anniversaries of a death always hold mixed emotions, sadness, resignation, but a smile at the thought of better times during that person’s life. ❤

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  3. I’m so sorry for your loss. Some wounds are harder to heal than others and I suspect this might be one of those. I hope you find comfort in warm and happier memories ❤

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  4. You look so alike in some of those photos. Remembering, and all the unanswered questions, make grieving so difficult ~ especially in this case.
    If he found solace in meditation, then he did have peace in his nature that he surely shared with others. May you find comfort….

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  5. Condolences for you and his family on this sad anniversary. The pictures are nice – (here and last year’s post) showing a boy, young man, brother… with a bright future ahead. Thanks for sharing. M

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    • Thank you- yes the it is that future that did not turn out as planned, but I am glad he did have years of marriage and happiness before things changed for him- his smile reflected through those photos during his life.

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  6. Oh, this is so heart-breaking. So sorry for your loss. Everyone touches others, whether that kindness is remembered or not. He touched your life and I pray you find comfort in that. Your pictures show a vibrant and joyful man. Remember the good, my mother told me. Remember the good. Hugs.

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  7. Lisa I remember him from our years in High School. I cannot believe that a year has passed since he decided to leave this world. Life can be such a struggle. It is sad that for him it was too overwhelming.

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  8. Most of us are not remembered by any but the very closest friends and family. I was out of the country for 9 years and when I got back, it was like I’d never been there at all … except for a handful of people. And I was popular and highly social. The importance of a life can’t be measured by how many people miss us when we are gone. It’s more complex and intricate than that. I’m always reminded of “It’s A Wonderful Life” and the ways a life touches others, even when no one realizes it.

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    • You make a good point Marilyn- it is not the amount of people, you are right. I suppose I saw his world as so closed off and that made me sad, perhaps to think of how alone he really was. Thank you

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