It was a bright, sunny Sunday afternoon in October 2001. Usually I would be picking up around the house for Bible Study, but we had some sort of fellowship going on at the church that night. It was a lazy day. Zane was in Cuba. My parents were in Seattle. I remember standing with Lacey by the dining room table when the phone rang.
My dad, with THAT tone in his voice, was on the other end. He was struggling trying to find the right words...saying any words at all. My mind started racing and I was trying to imagine what had happened. My first thought was Zane had been arrested. I moved into the laundry room more out of nervousness than anything else. What I heard was nothing I had imagined and hit me hard. "It's your brother...Tom has died!"
I don't remember a lot of the next few minutes. My dad was talking, I had dropped to the floor, he was asking if I was ok, I was speechless and my head was spinning. "What?" "No!" "What happened?" "I talked to him several times that week."
Suicide! There I said it! It is extremely difficult to talk about! No one knows how to talk about suicide, not in giving sympathy and not being the family. People want to know what was wrong? where the family went wrong? what was so terrible to end your own life?
Before Tom, I'm not sure what my thoughts were about suicide. I'm sure I had a few opinions. But like a lot of my opinions after life lessons, I've learned to be a lot less judgmental (or snap judgements) about some things (and a lot more about attitudes) and see things from another point of view.
I often hear suicide is selfish! It is! A family is left grieving and feeling immense guilt for years. There have been so many times I've yelled at Tom. There have been things/times he should have been here. There have been times in my life that I needed him!
But being selfish is not what they are thinking. They are so deep and dark and filled with pain that they do not see the hurt they are leaving. It is really sad for them and for those their death hits hard.
Tonight, I heard "it's so hard to say goodbye" by Boyz II Men. We used that song in Tom's service. It hit me hard. Tears immediately formed and were rolling down my face before I even knew what was happening. It still hurts!
I miss my big brother! He was my hero and protector! He was 8 years older than me but we weathered a lot of family circumstances together. Although he could be mean to me, no one had better ever be mean to me. He fought for me. He stood up for me I miss him every day!
Now that Lacey is off at college, I find myself with way too much time to think. For me, thinking leads to worrying and worrying leads to worst case scenario. So I thought maybe blogging and putting some of my thoughts down might help myself. You never know, at some point I might come up with a clever thought or idea in the process!