Sometimes I wonder what I should share, and what I should not share. There are childhood stories and adventures that I experienced that probably can be said in just a few sentences, and so I keep quiet on them because to me they are so much more. A couple sentences when spoken are a lifetime to me, and sadly all I have left. I tell myself that for now, those are for me, they are my memories and I’m not ready to put them out there yet.
There is one thing though that I was finally able to share with someone, my younger brother. Throughout this whole year I’ve had an anger towards him, I admit that. I guess I just kept hoping that all this would bring us together, make us closer, and it’s been disappointing to see it really hasn’t. My younger brother lives with me, and yet neither of us have offered support to the other this whole time. That’s sad, isn’t it? I’ve expressed to my mother that I felt it was.
It was the end of July, 11 months roughly since my older brother took his life, and just shy of five months since our mad-dash to try and save my dad from the same fate, before my younger brother and I finally talked. Seems like a long time for two siblings living in the same household to finally talk about all this, but guess we just each needed to process it ourselves.
I’m not sure I recall what exactly prompted the discussion, probably something to do with the courts or some sort of paperwork we are still dealing with, but I’m glad it happened. I’m glad we were given the privacy to let it be discussed. What I do know is I expressed a deep regret I hold within myself that with my older brother, Lassen, the loss of him is so painful that a year later I still have tears streak down my face. I feel such a deep regret for what happened with him that this blog, writing this, still is very difficult for me. However, with my dad the feelings are different.
My younger brother made me feel better about how I view each of their suicides, letting me know he felt the same. With our dad the loss hasn’t become so hurtful, and the tears don’t flow as they do with Lassen. I still try and figure out why, after all I love my dad. He was, is, my world. I have so many memories of my dad, I did everything I could for him. I spent more holidays with my dad than anyone else in my family, I took more time off in the summer to be with him, and I helped out on his property without him ever asking because I wanted to. I grew up with my dad, a choice I made when given in the 7th grade, and was a daddy’s girl. So if that’s the case, why isn’t there that heavy-hearted feeling like there is with my older brother?
Well, as I said, my younger brother expressed the same differences in emotions and this is the best thing we can conclude. Lassen took his life in a spur-of-the-moment domestic dispute. He had a stressful week, and was having his wife leave him. It was a vulnerability along with an argument that lead him to just do it. Quick. No thinking. No talking about it. Just done. I guess with him I feel he was driven to it by a cheating spouse and the lack of family for support being near him (as he was in the Navy and stationed across the country).
With our dad, well, mental illness runs deep in our family. Our dad was on and off different medications for the past twenty years, and he had stress triggers. As far back as my mother has known my dad he talked about suicide, and my dad was morbid in telling us kids about his own death and depressing thoughts about how he would never enjoy his retirement. We tried being supportive, though sometimes it’s hard to tell someone’s true feelings verses them joking. But also, with my dad, I feel his suicide was selfish. And excuse me if that offends. But my dad really thought his through. It was no quick of the moment one, it was planned. He died in a slow, painless, well thought out, way. He made it difficult to find him, and he knew what he was doing. He felt abandoned, and with it being six months after my older brother’s death, he stepped away from us and decided to be alone. Unlike my brother who just didn’t have anyone for support, my dad decided to push away his.
The day my dad took his life my younger brother called him, they talked just two hours before my dad drove off into the woods to hide and follow through with his plans. My brother never knew that while they talked my dad was heading home, already with his mind made up. Along with that bit of hurtfulness, he called my step-mother to tell her goodbye, but none of us kids.
So why the difference in how we feel? I’m not exactly sure, but I know I feel a lot more hurt over my dad’s suicide. Hurt, betrayed, abandoned, and a failure.