15th June 2011
That date is where I am going to start my blog. Those closest to me will know what this date means. This blog isn’t about diabetes. No this blog is about my brother Tim and the worse day of my life so far!
The 15th June 2011 is embedded as the worse day of my life so far. Yet it is a day that I can remember like it was yesterday. I remember moaning about not wanting to go to this fitness class my mum wanted me to go to with my brother Will and then saying I couldn’t do it because I needed to revise for an exam I had the next day. I can remember the phone ringing and the fact it was mum who answered it and later passed it to my dad. I remember him calling the person on the phone a liar but most of all I remember the words; “Tim’s committed suicide!” being said at some point but I’m not sure who said it. I don’t even think I was meant to hear it. The phone call ended and mum and dad left telling us to phone Becki and get her to come round.
Then there was the waiting…waiting for mum and dad to come back, waiting to find out whether my brother was still alive. But that sentence pretty much confirmed my thoughts…if he was alive they would have said attempted not committed. I sat for hours with my sister Becki, her husband Tom and daughter Eve and my brother Will, waiting for mum and dad to come back home.
It surprising how slow time goes when you are waiting for something. Unfortunately my worse fears were confirmed later that evening. My brother Tim aged 18 had taken his own life.
It’s just over three years since that day I had planned to write this blog on the day of his death this year, but this year it happened to fall on Father’s Day and I couldn’t bring myself to write it.
It is hard to describe the pain you feel when you lose someone you love especially unexpectedly! But what I find even harder is explaining the circumstance. Humans are naturally judgemental, I don’t think there is one person who hasn’t once judged someone; maybe for the way the look or act or even for their beliefs, so imagine telling someone that your brother took his own life.
Don’t get me wrong some people don’t react badly at all but in others you can see the flicker in there eyes feel them wanting to ask how and why and sometimes see that they think it’s the ‘cowardly’ way out.
We will never be sure what actually made him take his life but it seems to be the thought of starting adult life and the challenges it brings caused him to be anxious and fearful. I find it hard to think Tim felt like this and didn’t express this to me or anyone else in my family, he suffered in silence until he couldn’t bare it anymore.
Unfortunately the aftermath of a suicide for those left behind isn’t an easy journey.
At first it’s like you go numb and spend the days in shock. I had my first A level exam the day after Tim’s death and I remember sitting in the exam wanting to cry but feeling unbelievably numb.
I can’t tell you what happened the first few weeks after Tim’s death all I can say is that they went by in a blur.
What I can remember is how my family coped with it. The tears, the anger, the horrific sound of crying at night, people coming in and out of the house.
But because at first the shock is so fresh the grief doesn’t fully hit!
Stages Of Grief
The Kubler-Ross model (the five stages of grief) are said to be the stages that everyone experience after the death of someone close to them no matter what the circumstance.
I can say that I went through all those stages and I could sit and talk in depth about them all and then about how I’m now at the end and have reached the acceptance part which I have!
But no matter how much you accept it, it still bloody hurts!!!
So no I’m not going to talk about all the stages and parts of my grief just one! The one I still struggle with and the one that even though I know is somewhat silly I might never get past.
When someone dies due to health you can blame it on that, when someone is murdered you can blame the killer and so on! But who do you blame when someone takes their own life?
Them for doing it maybe?
Their friends and family for not knowing?
Society for the pressure put on people?
The answer is NO to all of them you can’t blame anyone.
But I, more so for the two years after his death, suffered with so much guilt. To the point I would get a recurring nightmare about family and friends telling me I had done it and it was my fault.
I felt like I should have know that he wasn’t happy!
I should have been there for him more!
I should have spent more time with him!
I should have been able to stop him!
The list goes on but I might cry if I carry on! It took some counselling and help from family, James and friends to realise it wasn’t my fault! Tim made a choice, he was 18 so technically an adult, the method he used showed he had thought it out and I hope now he is somewhere where he is happy.
I cling on to the fact that he didn’t want to be on this earth and that if someone had stopped him he would of tried it again! I cling on to the fact it wasn’t a cry for help due to the way he did it and the time he did it! I cling on to the fact wherever he now he is happy and free without the pressure and ups and downs of life!
But every now and then (once in a blue moon) the dream will creep into my mind and I will have to convince myself I’m not to blame!
I am not writing this blog to make anyone pity me I am writing this blog to try and explain how it feels to be left behind when someone commits suicide! I can’t comment on how my dad feels or my mum or my siblings or anyone else, they may feel different to me!
But what I can say is that Tim was one of the most incredible people that I have ever had the privilege of knowing! He was clever (achieving As and A* in the exams he did before he died), he was genuine, funny, caring and hard working!
He wasn’t just a brother to me he was a friend! I remember when he use to come round, after he had played playstation for a bit with Will he would come find me (I was usually on my computer in my room or reading) and we would chat about random things for a while!
I have so many amazing and lovely memories of someone who will always be with me no matter where I go and I will cherish them forever! He will live on in all of his family and we will never stop thinking about him and loving him. Rest in peace brother!!!