Six weeks after having our son, Carson, I was in a pretty good mood. Life was going great. I graduated college. Everything was working out just fine. We found a great church home and everything! Then, I received the worst news possible. My brother was dead. This will be my hardest post to write. I am sure that I will cry while typing this, but here it is…
My brother left Arkansas about 4.5 years before this happened. He moved to Sugar Grove, Illinois to help our Grandpa Cuneo. He ended up staying there and moving to Chicago. We did not keep in touch a whole lot. He didn’t allow me to get closer to him. Every time I called him and tried to talk, he had some excuse to cut it short. I even went and visited him with my dad once and I could tell that he seemed a little bit depressed. A couple years later, I visited him with my husband’s old room mate and my boyfriend at the time and he seemed extremely depressed. It made me so sad to see him so different and so down. When he lived in Arkansas, he was so goofy and hilarious. He was also fairly happy. I am sure that he still had his struggles, but Chicago depressed him so much more. He was a musician and some of his songs were about him missing Arkansas.
No one knows for sure what really pushed him to the edge, but he left work early and went home and took all of his prescription sleeping pills, anti-depressants, drank some alcohol and suffocated himself the rest of the way. It sucks. The only two words that I have to describe that fact that he chose to do that are, “It. Sucks.” I hate it. Not a day goes by when I do not think of him. He was my best friend growing up. I loved him so much. I remember us making can telephones out of aluminum cans and some string and pretending to call each other on them when we lived in Heber Springs. We had so much fun playing war out in the woods and catching minnows in the creek. The list goes on and on. This is nasty, but it was so him…He had a “fart catcher” and every time he had the chance, he would fart in the “fart catcher” aka pringles can and put the lid on it and then, beg me to take a smell. Not to mention, he had different names for the different scents. It makes me laugh and want to throw up all at the same time! Yuck. One of the scents was “roasted weenies.” Who comes up with that?…He did. Another time, he had me record him pooping on the side of the road when we lived in Sherwood. That was another moment that made me want to puke and laugh at the same time. That was him, though. His classic was the time that he streaked at Parkview High School’s pep rally and got arrested for it. Of course, he borrowed some of my panties to wear for it. eeeeck. My friends got a good laugh out of that. I heard all about it. He told me that he was going to do it before he did and of course, once he was out of jail, he came home begging me to watch the video of it. He was so proud.
I will always miss my brother. I will always have the desire to see him right now and to just know that his spirit is okay and happy where he is. I believe in Heaven and Hell and the hardest part for me is, his post before he passed away read, “lost at sea…exploring the unkown…Am I brave? Where will I go? No one really knows. Will there be pipers at the gates to welcome my soul, or dark spaces lit by ghouls.”
Needless to say, he did not know where his destination was. That breaks my heart. He was in so much pain that he did not even know where his soul would end up and he was willing to take the chance. I have spent many days crying until there were no tears left. I had to plan his funeral and it was not easy. My son was only 6 weeks old when all of this happened. Because of him, I had to go on. One of the saddest parts is, I found out that he had tried killing himself 6 months before this and he just told me that he was in the hospital for “stomach issues.” I had no clue that he had gotten his stomach pumped! If I would have known that, I would have opened up to him about my attempt and maybe it would have helped him some. I regret a lot and those feelings are common when someone you love takes their own life. He did it and there is no reverse and no turning back. I have to live my life and I just make it through each day by telling myself, “You will see him again one day. Just wait. Be patient. You will get to see him one day. You will.”
Whether I believe it completely or not is a different story. I really hope I do see him with all of my might. Losing an only sibling in inexplainable and when you lose them to suicide, it adds a whole ‘nother layer to the grief.
I always pray, “God, please tell Mark that I love him and miss him. Please make sure that he is happy.” God ordained for my son to be born right before he did this, because I could have very well taken my own life because of the grief. Looking back, I just don’t know how I made it through all of that. It is still very difficult for me, but it was extremely excruciating then. He was supposed to come visit me the next month and it just completely shocked me when I heard the news through our mutual friend and my old room mate. He left a note saying that he was sorry, but he just couldn’t take this crazy world anymore. Six months prior to all of this, when he made his attempt, he left notes for my mom, dad and some of his friends. I know I should not be selfish and wonder this, but I have wondered why he had nothing to say to me. The last time that I saw him was on my wedding day (July 22nd, 2010). The last time that I ever spoke to him was the day that my son was born, June 16, 2011. I told him that Carson was cute. I will always wonder if he compared his life to mine and wanted to be married and have a kid already. I don’t know. I just always wonder what I could have done to depress him more and I should not think that way. It is still a journey and I am making it, though, with God’s help.