brian55
My name is Laura and I lost my only sibling, my brother Brian, to suicide in October of 2010. He was only 35.

I’ve been writing letters to him as a way to help me express the grief I’m experiencing and decided to publish this blog in the hopes that it may help other people who have also experienced such a loss.

I do need to say that some of it may be difficult to read. I have chosen not to modify or filter my thoughts in any way that may make them less true for the sake of making others more comfortable. Grieving the suicide loss of someone close to you is not a comfortable process and I wanted to honor that by remaining as truthful as possible. The best way through the grief is just that– through it, not around it. Those feelings need to be dealt with– if not now, they’ll find their way out sooner or later. Very painful things come up and often those around us would like the feelings to go away and just want the “old us” back. The problem with that is that person no longer exists; the very fabric of our being has been irriversibly changed and there are a lot of feelings that go along with learning to survive in our “new normal.”

While some of it may sound alarming please know that I am OK– this is the process that works best for me as I continue to grieve the loss of my only brother. If even one person out there reads my letters and feels just a little less crazy or a little less alone… I’ll have considered this a great success.

I’ve also included links to a few great websites off to the right– I have no affiliation with them but they are wonderful organizations relating to mental health, self-injury support and suicide prevention and awareness. I’d like to extend a special thank you to The Christi Center. They offer free grief support groups here in Austin, Texas. I began attending their Tuesday evening meetings for survivors of suicide a few weeks after Brian’s death and their love, help and support have been absolutely invaluable to me.

Thank you for reading!

33 Responses to “About”

  1. Genevieve Says:

    Thank you for sharing. xo

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Thank you, Laura. You show a lot of courage in being so vulnerable. Brian is alive in the words you share.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. gatito2 Says:

    I feel like you have gone inside of my mind and saw everything I am thinking and feeling about the writing of our lost loved ones. I also hold nothing back…welll almost nothing. I worry that many things will alarm my family. But the reality of what is left behind in a suicide needs to be put out there in all of is ugliness and honesty. You can’t sugarcoat it because if you do, no one will ever understand the depth of the horribleness of it. And besides, it helps me to get it out. I see it does you too. Thank you for your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rodd Says:

    Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kamara Says:

    Thank you !

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Delana Wherland Says:

    I’ll follow you 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kristine Says:

    I just came across your website, this evening. I lost my brother to suicide 7 months ago. He was also my only sibling. It is still early in the healing process for my folks and I. Your site brought me comfort knowing you understand.
    ~Kristine
    Boston, MA

    Liked by 1 person

    • lhabedank Says:

      Hi Kristine, I’m so sorry for your loss. 7 months is not long at all and I can imagine all the pain you are still feeling– it was so raw for me at that stage, too. I’m glad you found come comfort in the blog, thank you for reading.

      Love,
      Laura

      Like

  8. MistyHenderson Says:

    It has been 24 days since my only sister took her life. She was 12 years younger than me, only 28. I feel
    Like the world should have stopped turning but it didn’t. Time is moving in huge leaps and in minuscule increments at the same time. It seems like a long time has passed and like it was just yesterday at the same time. Part of me cannot believe it is true yet. I don’t know how to cope with the pain. I have a family and yet loosing her makes me feel like I’m alone now.

    Like

    • lhabedank Says:

      Oh Misty, I’m so terribly sorry. I know exactly what you mean about feeling like the world should have stopped turning… I clearly remember walking around one afternoon about a month after Brian died and it was beautiful and sunny out and every person I passed on the street was bouncing around and smiling seemingly without a care and it hurt so much– I wanted the world to stop and wait for me to feel like joining them again.

      I also know what you mean about feeling alone. I also felt so alone though I have family and the support of a group of friends… but it’s hard because this is a tragedy that a lot of people aren’t comfortable talking about so it often feels as though you have to grieve in private and on your own. I’m here anytime you want to talk, Misty.

      I’m sending you a personal message so you have my email address if you ever want someone to talk to who understands! Thinking of you and your family. Love, Laura

      Like

    • Kristine Says:

      Misty – I am so sorry for your loss – I am unsure if you saw my post above, but I also lost my only sibling 7 months ago – I agree, I will never get over this – I may be able to accept it better in time, but life will never be the same – I carry him with me everywhere I go – I see stores, cars, songs, etc that remind me of him, each time I travel alone – Like he is my co-pilot. We are going through the same feelings, it is normal to feel this way. We will continue to go through waves of emotions. I will feel better once we get through the “Firsts” of everything – Then I will have a better handle of how things will feel each year going forward. My brother was a wonderful person, life just got a bit too much for him. A real loss to all of us. I will keep you in my thoughts.
      ~Kristine

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Misty Says:

    It’s been 6 weeks. I finally saw a grief counselor. Just the fact that she said I’m not crazy to feel what I feel helped me a little. I couldn’t get dressed today. I cried 4 or 5 times.

    I am so grateful that you have had the courage to write this blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lhabedank Says:

      Misty, I’m so glad you saw a grief counselor. And you are absolutely NOT crazy. The feelings we have after our sibling takes their own life are so upsetting and confusing and our emotions are all over the map. Just allow yourself to feel all of it… you deserve to take care of yourself now. I’m glad you’re here and that you found the blog! <3 :)

      Like

      • MIsty Says:

        Why does it feel like other people think I should be “over this thing” and ready to “get back on the horse”? I have heard so many well- meaning friends and family tell me that I will get over it. NO!! I will NEVER GET OVER IT! I know one day I will be able to cope with it, and deal with it, but it is a part of me and I will NEVER “get over” this loss.

        Like

        • mandy Says:

          Misty, I commented below, a message to you and other siblings of those lost. I hope you’ll read it. I’m so sorry for the pain you feel right now. I understand. I wish I didn’t.

          Like

  10. lhabedank Says:

    You know, that was one of the most frustrating things I heard– that I should “move on” and “stop torturing myself” and “you know, Brian wouldn’t want you to be sad.” Seriously? I know that. But the thing is… he killed himself and he doesn’t have a choice in deciding whether or not I get to be sad now because I AM. You know? The “Brian wouldn’t want you to be so sad” comment was one of the worst for me and continues to be– because I just AM. And you’re right— we don’t ever get “over” it… we just learn to live with the pain. <3 <3 <3

    Like

  11. Meghan Says:

    Hi Laura, Thank you so much for sharing. I lost my little brother Jonathan to suicide five months ago and I’m still struggling to make sense of it all. I have spoken to others who have lost a parent or friend, and blogged about my own experiences, but hadn’t read the perspective of a sibling until I found your blog today. So much of what you have written resonates, and I admire your courage and openness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lhabedank Says:

      Hi Meghan! I’m so very sorry for your loss of your brother, Jonathan. I know exactly what you mean about there being a lot of dialogue out there for others but little for siblings specifically. That’s what led me to start writing, so I’m glad you found the page. If you’re interested, there is a documentary that is just being released about sibling survivors– I was one of the 4 sisters interviewed and the director lost her own brother to suicide as well.

      The link is here: http://vimeo.com/ondemand/foursisters

      Here is their Facebook page as well: https://www.facebook.com/foursistersdoc

      Please stay in touch, I’m glad you’re here!! <3 Laura

      Like

    • mandy Says:

      Meghan, I commented below a message that I hoped you’d read. I’m so sorry for your loss of Jonathan.

      Like

      • kaortega1120 Says:

        I can so relate to all of your posts – My brother’s one year anniversary will be coming up in August – Hard to believe it has been almost a year without him – I think of him each morning and each night driving home from work – I look up at the sky for some type of sign – I watch the clouds more often now – It is a void that will never be filled – It is the emptiness I feel weighs me down – No other siblings – Just me – My folks are aging – Times will become tougher without him – My Rock – The one who understood, listened and was always there – I get signs and hope they are from him – A flash of light, or a single leaf that falls when there are no other leaves around etc – Does he really think we are going to forget him? I have another forty years or so on this earth without him – The worst feeling in the world – Most days I smile through the pain, and other nights I need a good cry – He will always be my guardian angel
        ~Kristine

        Like

  12. kvonalt Says:

    Beautiful Laura, I’m so very sorry for your brothers death, I’m glad our blogs and the Christi Center connect us now.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. MS Says:

    Thank you for visiting my blog so I could find yours. This is really crazy, but I started my other blog at Christmas time (I lost the blog through my own fault trying to transfer it). Dec is the anniversary of my only brother’s suicide and I still can hardly get through the month. That was 32 years ago–when we were 30 (him) and 28. I continued a life of torment over it. At the time, I googled about it and found your story! And now you’ve somehow found my NEW blog that began yesterday. I just want to say thank you now, for directing your pain in such a positive way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lhabedank Says:

      Wow, that is amazing. I think everything happens for a reason– I’m glad I found your blog! 32 years is a long time– I’ve been preparing myself for a lifetime of missing him everyday. Can’t wait to read more of your new blog!! <3

      Like

  14. atempleton Says:

    I am so sorry for the loss of your brother. My thoughts are with you as you go through this process, and I admire your determination to meet the grief straight on. My best wishes to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Misty Says:

    It’s been just over 3 months now since I lost my only sibling. My sister. My baby sister. 12 years younger than me. It seems like a very very long time and then it seems like yesterday and then it goes back to those first few days and weeks, like it isn’t even real.
    I’ve had one beautiful and sweet dream of her. It was comforting and I treasure it. But the last couple of weeks I have been having terrifying nightmares about her. Scary movie stuff. Dreams of waking to her staring at me in my bed. And so much worse. I don’t know what to attribute it to. I am now afraid to go to sleep out of fear of having an awful nightmare. I miss her terribly and as much as I want to see her, not like this. I feel like something must be wrong with me for me to dream such terrible things.

    Like

  16. mandy Says:

    Laura, I saw your post this morning and have been thinking about it all day. I just came back to read the comments before I commented and it breaks my heart to feel the pain of those who have recently experienced a sibling loss to suicide and trying to “get over it.” I’ve mentioned before that I started my blog in Dec because I was unable to “get over” the suicide of my brother. And that was 32 years ago! But we didn’t have computer and blogs and I didn’t have any support so I never moved ahead at all. Blogging has started the recovery. (Unfortunately I recently messed up and deleted my blog! so I’ve started over so all the story isn’t there anymore.) But I have come so far. I hope MISTY and MEHGAN and any others who experience the loss of someone to suicide will pour their hearts out here on WP where I know they will get support in processing their terrible loss. And I again thank YOU Laura for continuing to share your letters to Brian. They express with such honesty and vulnerability the pain of losing a sibling and how there is no such thing as getting over it. With time, we just hope to manage better and do something positive with the experience like you are.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Lynn Says:

    I lost my younger sister to suicide two months ago, yesterday my grief counsellor gave me the link to the Four Sisters documentary where I was introduced to you on the screen. I watched it twice last night and will be sharing the link with my other surviving sister. These past two months I’ve been walking around in a daze, feeling lost, trying to find answers, replaying what I could have done or said that could have helped her want to survive. Thank you for starting this blog, I feel so much less alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lhabedank Says:

      Lynn, I’m so terribly sorry for the loss of your sister. Two months is just so recent and I know how raw and painful it is for you now. I’m glad you found the documentary– Caley did a beautiful job creating a film that really touches people and shows how much pain the siblings, the “forgotten mourners” go through. I’m grateful to have been put in contact with you, Lynn! <3

      Like


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