I’ve had moments over the last year and half when I’ve thought about my brother’s suicide and the lack of note he left. I’ve wondered if I would have felt better or worse if there had been a note. Some people say a last note gives them a greater sense of closure. I’m not sure I quite agree with that because in my brother’s case, I know myself, and I probably would have obsessed over every single word in that note and never would want to get rid of it. I knew he was clinically depressed and spiraling out of control the last three months of his life. It wasn’t a surprise to me, and I could sense it more and more every time I talked to him over the phone in those days leading up to his death.
I did a quick search on how common suicide notes are. In an NIH study done in 1992 (the last year data was collected on this that I could find, which is pretty sad), less than a quarter of those who committed suicide wrote last notes. The majority of them were young females with no history of mental illness or previous suicide attempts. My brother’s not a woman, and he also had a strong history of mental illness with one previous suicide attempt. Ed was so lost in his own pain and suffering to even consider the idea of a note.
I feel an emptiness in this house without him here. I can feel his energy, but he’s not here in the flesh. It’s always the same feeling I get right before bed because I would have always gone to bed after him, and now that he’s no longer here, I can’t expect him to be in the bed next to me sleeping as I turn out the light. I have a strong urge to see him again. It would be nice to see him just once for a few hours, just to talk to him and hear his voice and laugh again. I’d tell him about how he’s going to be missing our crazy wedding in a year and how our mother is trying to control parts of it a bit at a time, and I’d let him know that I’m trying to incorporate him as much as possible because I haven’t forgotten about him — not even a bit. I just want a piece of him, and as the days go by, I feel as though I have less and less of him. It’s as though he is slipping further away from me even though he’s already been gone out of this life almost 19 months.
I look at the big framed photo of him smiling, the same framed picture we displayed at his funeral service, at night before bed while I am back home, and I just feel so hurt. Am I really never going to see you again in this life? Ever? Can’t I just hug you again, just once?