Last week, my younger brother committed suicide.
It was a shock, but not a surprise. He had been a severe alcoholic for years, and was plagued with bodily pain and depression.
It all started when he had to retire from law enforcement and, literally, lost his identity. He lost his purpose. He lost himself.
It has been difficult for my older brother and me. Our father committed suicide, and we had both loved, nurtured and supported Damon, who was only seven at the time, as surrogate parents might care for an abandoned child.
As with many suicides, it seemed to the family that he was better, happier, and more stable in the past weeks. I always spoke to him 2-3 times a week, and I felt happy that he sounded happier.
He wasn’t. He had just come to a decision.
I have spent the week consciously choosing to send him love, claim peacefulness for him, and remember the funny, witty, big-hearted brother I loved to love. When he was sober and really being his true self, he was a light of love for all of us.
And I am proud to say he depended on his big sister to help him know he was taken care of, from the time he had to have stitches when he was little, to sleeping with me while daddy was on his drunken nightly sprees, to enabling him to go through rehab.
We were Sistro and Buddha against the world.
So Buddha, here’s to you and the fight you fought against your demons. Here’s to Us and all the love we shared. You are free. Go be with mom and Nero, your beloved dog. Say hi to Gram for me.
And know you are not blamed.
You are simply loved.
“Here’s to us, and those like us. Damn few of us.”