great to be different by jacob thomas of jt writes on

Still Too Soon

It’s just over thirty minutes to midnight, Arizona time, before August 27th, 2018. It was year one ago when the clock strikes midnight when my middle brother took his own life.

Shamed to say there has been only a few minutes of crying over his death – on the arrival of the scene. Why am I ashamed of myself for not having cried beyond the few minutes of my arrival? My brother and I never saw eye to eye on many things growing up, often spending months upon months without hearing from one another as well.

Still, he was my middle brother.

Torn between how society defines how one should grieve over a lost sibling and what I feel. At least, what I think I feel, anyway. Although I think about the moments of my arrival on the scene every single day, I’m not sure whether I am intentionally or subconsciously shoving down certain emotions or feelings.

I’ve always been an advocate for mental health awareness, especially suicide prevention. Maybe I wasn’t as big of an advocate after all. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be writing this post. His two children would never know the most important holidays without their father. He would not have missed his son’s preschool graduation nor his daughters big tee-ball and church soccer league wins.

In some ways, I’ve come to better understand the meaning behind you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.

He wasn’t perfect – not by a long shot. But he was still my brother. Learning to let go of my anger included being able to look him directly in the eye, informing him of the damage he’s done in my life. Now, I’ll never get that chance.

And in the time of this writing, still haven’t visited his grave. Does that make me a terrible sibling? Or person? Perhaps it’s both. My life was and has been defined in some ways by the movies and television shows I clung on to, looking for some adolescent closure, even as an adult. When I look at how the same movies and television shows deal with the death of a loved one, I’m both moved and skeptical of their actions – one side waging war with the other.

Can someone tell me it’s okay to feel this way?

I’m not afraid to admit that shows like Steven Universe have taught me quite a lot about relationships, family, love, and more. In fact, it’s a show that helped me feel comfortable, as an adult, for realizing my true self as a bisexual man.

Even then, I don’t know what to do with myself. The confusion angers me further. Both not knowing and the pressure for being forced to understand/know it in full, angers me even more.

I don’t know what to do.

I’m afraid I will never know what to do.

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