In the last eight months or so, my brother and I spoke over the phone relatively frequently when I was not at home. I visited home twice – once for a long weekend in February since I was in LA for work and flew up for four days, and once for a scheduled trip to see my family for two weeks in March. I still vividly remember how happy he was to see me and how strong his hold on me was when he hugged me.
When there were days when I wouldn’t speak to him, I sent him e-mails to encourage his job search, helped him spruce up his resume, and gave him words of encouragement and love. In the most recent weeks before his passing, my messages were very short and to the point.
Message: I love you. Please don’t hurt yourself.
Message: Please be strong. I love you.
And the last message when he went missing and did not come home, and I had some false, deluded hope that somehow he’d read his e-mail wherever he went:
Subject: Please come home
Message: I love you and am worrying about you. Please come home if you love me. We are all worrying about you and freaking out.