First things first…
There is use of explicit language in this post. I use the F-bomb like I do commas, periods, and oxygen. This is your only warning for that. Also, the letter you are about to read was written to my brother Jon a few months after he committed suicide. He died on December 16th. 2015. I’ve had so much crap going on in my head because of this. I felt like I needed to write him and say all the things I’ll never get the chance to say to him now. So I did and now I’m ready to share that letter. It’s taken me a while to get to the point where I was comfortable opening myself up like this. I’m ready today to get this letter out there and let it go. So here it is.
This letter has been working its way through my head and heart for the last 4½ months, screaming for acknowledgement. The more I push it away, the more it pushes back. I’m done ignoring my thoughts and emotions where you’re concerned so, here we are.
There’s so much I want to say to you, I just don’t know where exactly to start. I figure I’ll keep it real and start with the bad shit so that I can end with the positive. There has to be something positive in the middle of all this negativity. Even just a little. I have to believe that.
You’re a fucking jerk for pulling this shit! What an asshole move this was, seriously! Did you take even a second to consider the impact this was going to have on not only YOUR CHILDREN but on the person(s) whose going to find you? Did you think about the possibility that one of my grandbabies could have found you? Could have seen you like that? Of course you didn’t, the fact I even questioned that is just plain stupid and pisses me off that much more. Even though I know the answers already I can’t stop myself from asking. Asking who? You, me, the universe, God? If I thought it would help me I’d even ask that damn magic 8-ball. I’m not delusional though, I know I’ll never get the answers I need from you until my time here is done.
I still can’t believe you did this. You took the easy way out and pulled a bitch move. Of all the people in my life you were one of the last I’d ever ever consider a coward. Regardless of how epically you have screwed up, you still weren’t a coward. You owned your mistakes, manned-up and acknowledged your stumbles and falls. You never passed blame off or tried to downplay the severity of the things you’ve done. It was your cross to bear and you took it. Even at some of the lowest points you pushed on no matter how hard it could get. You struggled but you still survived. Now, none of that means anything anymore. In one swipe you changed all of that. You became exactly what you’ve judged others to be, a coward. You don’t think I remember the conversation you and I had about this very thing? The words you said to me after hearing my story. You said, “Jeri, listen to me. Only a coward would kill themselves instead of facing shit head on. That’s not you sis, you’re not a coward. You’re stronger than that.” You said that, to me, and I never forgot. I guess you did though and that breaks my heart.
Why? Why would you do something so selfish? Did it matter at all what this was going to do to any of us? Your kids, your sisters, nieces and nephews that still looked up to you even after everything that happened. We’re the ones trying to put things back together now. Desperately scrambling to make some kind of sense out of an impossible situation. Trying to help my grown kids work this out is hard as hell. Did you think about how it was going to be for Alissa? When she has to sit down with her 8 and 5 year old kids and somehow explain to them that their daddy killed himself and why. Your 15 and 13 year old kids don’t even really fully understand. But none of that matters for you because you’re not here to deal with it. You don’t have to pick up the pieces of all the hearts and lives that were shattered the minute you took your own life and ended it. Because you’re not here. You don’t have to look in your 5 year old daughters eyes and watch as she realizes what this all means. Because you’re not here. Or when your 15 year old daughter gets to a place where the idea, of one day possibly forgiving you, doesn’t seem so impossible anymore. Only to be told that it will never happen now. Because you’re not here. You don’t have any problems anymore because you left them all here for us to carry. I hate you for that and I don’t hate anything. You did that to me.
At the same time that I am angry with you I’m also juggling a host of other emotions too. Guilt, sadness, and believe it or not, understanding. I know where your head was when you did this. I know what you were thinking at that exact moment when you decided this was the only option left for you. That there was no coming back from all you’ve experienced. There was no light at the end of the tunnel for you. You gave up the ghost and lost your will to fight. I know how you felt, how you thought, everything. I was where you were once, remember? My demons had broken me down farther than I was able to recover from. In my head, my guilt was that I had become nothing but a burden to my kids. I was stuck inside myself with no way out. My darkness had completely enveloped me. I was convinced that everyone around me would benefit more if I was gone, permanently. Most especially my kids. You already know this story, we’ve talked about it. That was my lowest moment in life. That part is always with me still, that’s where my understanding of what you did comes from. I can’t honestly say I don’t think back to those moments ever. I’d be lying. I still struggle daily with depression. I just have a different understanding of it all now too. A different perspective of the way things look. It’s still there though, locked down where it can be acknowledged but not in control anymore. One thing I do know is that today and every other day, I am extremely grateful for the second chance I was given. Had my attempt been successful I wouldn’t be here either. But my kids still would and I know now that, had I committed suicide, their lives would have been epically altered and their hearts shattered. Their view of me would be vastly different than what it is now. I would be a coward in their eyes. They would love me still and hate me for it. I would have screwed them up worse than I probably already have. At least today we’re a special kind of screwed up, together.
I also feel guilty and so much sadness. Maybe I should have tried to talk to you more, or see you more. Maybe I could have been a better sister to you. I admit that I all but disowned you after what you did back then. You know what I’m talking about. Sure, if we ran into each other I never ignored you and I was civil. But I wasn’t anything like the sister I used to be to you. The closeness we shared all our lives was gone. You weren’t the brother I remembered. You were some stranger that looked like him. It broke my heart. But I didn’t hate you Jon. I hated what you did. What you had become. I never ever hated you. I told you that and you said you understood. I should have tried harder for you. I went on with my life and practically wrote you out of it. What you did was so wrong Jon. Forgiveness and understanding were things I wasn’t able to even consider offering you at the time. Gah, even now it’s hard for me. Then I think about what mom and dad would have done if they were still here. They wouldn’t have condoned what you did at all. They wouldn’t have made excuses for you or try to deny or ignore your actions. Mom would have fucked you up big time. You would have had your ass handed to you. They would have been heartbroken and disappointed too. But they would have still loved you through it. They would have been by your side every step of the way. Gotten you the help you so desperately needed. Huh, maybe that would have happened before your final fuck up and your story would have been written differently. It never would have happened. Regardless, mom and dad would have never turned their back on you like I did. And I’m so so sorry I did Jon. I’m sorry I wasn’t there to be your strength when you needed me. I’m sorry I wasn’t strong enough myself to open my eyes and see clearly. If I could go back and change things I would in a flash. And not just in the past few years either. I would go back to the first time you stumbled and I would pick you up and push you forward. I would remind you daily of the man I know you could be. I’d have more faith in you. I would never let one day go by without telling you how much I love you brother. I would have been the kind of woman mom would have expected me to be. One like her. I’m sorry I failed you as a sister. I’m sorry that I’ll never be able to tell you that. I’ll never get the chance to tell you that I never stopped loving you. You’re my baby brother, Jon and I’ll always love you.
Shit this turned out to be a lot longer than I expected it to be. It happens when I ramble. You know that though. Jon, I don’t know where you went from here. No one does. We won’t either till it’s our time. But my hopes are that when you went before God to face judgement he saw that your heart was true, you had just gotten lost in your journey. I hope that you’ve found your way home finally. I hope that you’ve found peace at last too. I also hope that when you saw mom and dad again, they kicked your stupid fucking ass. Because you truly do deserve it. Then, I hope they wrapped their arms around you and gave you the love you needed. In fact, I know they did, that’s mom and dad for ya.
Goodnight Jon, till I see you again.