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1:30 on a Tuesday.

Buying my husband socks.

This is what I was doing when my mom called me to tell me that my older brother had taken his life.

I broke down crying in the middle of the underwear section as onlookers watched. We bought our items and drove to my sister’s workplace to tell her what had happened.

My brother was bipolar. He was in the middle of a divorce. His six month old son had died a year ago. Our father had been abusive. He didn’t like his job. He was adopted. He had been in jail several times. He had attempted to take his life several times before. All of these are risk factors, we just never thought he’d actually do it. 

That day was the most painful day in my entire life. Even now as I write this, I’m welling up with tears. He was only 21 years old. He was the most brilliant person I know. He was always inventing things and had a unique way of looking at things. He could be a jerk sometimes. I mean, he was my older brother. We yelled at each other. I feel terrible saying this, but I hate it when people sugar-coat the lives of the deceased.

I had gotten married ten days before his death. He didn’t make it to my wedding because he had to appear in court. We had just gotten back from our honeymoon and were going to go spend our gift cards, thus the sock buying. I hadn’t spent much time with my brother leading up to the wedding even though he was living in the same house as me because I was so busy and I regret that. But I can’t go back and change what has been done.