On my Tumblr something came up on my dash. A project called “The Love Letters Project”
The post came from a blog I follow called “Writing Prompts” and it asked the person reading it to imagine the worst thing they have survived and write a letter to someone else going through it. I knew what I needed to write about.
So, this morning, I went on their site and I wrote a letter. I thought I would share it here, in case someone else needs to see it:
My brother killed himself in February of 2012. It was, as these things usually are, unexpected. I had seen him the week before and he was laughing and smiling. We hugged. I had some things I was going to show him the next time I saw him because they wouldn’t load on my iPad in just that moment.
I never got to show him those things.
He was my other half in my family. We had the same dark sense of humor, same love of music and books that no one else in my family really shares. He was mine and I was his. And I will never see him again.
Most of the time I avoid the subject, but if it comes up I say “My brother died” It’s easier than saying “My brother killed himself.”
I don’t know why.
In writing this letter, I am not going to tell you the things you have undoubtedly already heard. “Time heals all wounds” “It gets better” etc…etc…
The truth is that you survive because you have to. In time you will be able to laugh about the things that you enjoyed in the life of the person you lost. But it never goes away.
In time, you will go an hour without thinking about them, and then a day and then a week and so on. It seems impossible now, but it will happen. In that way, I suppose, time does heal.
You survive because you have to.
I’m writing this letter to tell you not to fight the waves of grief and sadness and pain that overcome you. Don’t try to rationalize or push it away. That doesn’t help. Let yourself replay your conversations. Let yourself try and find the signals that would have told you this was coming.
Most importantly, let yourself be angry. I love and miss my brother with every fiber of my being but I am angry at him. I am angry at him for killing himself. I am angry at him for leaving me. I am angry at him for putting my mom through this. I am angry at him for what happened to my family because of this.
I used to feel bad because I felt angry. But I’ve learned that it’s okay to be angry. This person hurt you. Intentional or not you are hurting because of their actions. You can love and miss someone and still be angry at them.
I’ve probably gone on too long.
I guess I just wanted you to know, even if it doesn’t help much, that you are not alone. That your pain will fade even though it will sometimes sneak up and surprise you. Eventually the surprises will lessen too. Your feelings are valid. Don’t fight them. Don’t pretend they aren’t there for someone else’s benefit.
And if someone tells you to “Get over it” don’t get too angry. They have no idea what they are talking about.
You survive because you have to. But it does become easier.
I love you.
If you want to write your own love letter, visit the project here