You chose to leave me, but I am learning to forgive you. 

I spoke at your funeral – I described you as my soul mate, two people completely opposite of one another but still with this unconditional love and understanding that is hard to comprehend. Like field grass that is flowing wildly and beautifully in the wind, but held together by thick dark soil, they need each other to grow and to sustain. Just you needed me & I needed you.

I didn’t cry at your funeral because I didn’t realise you were really gone. I just watched the hundreds and hundreds of people, some I knew and some I didn’t, cry for me. They probably cried for 5 minutes that day. My heart has cried for 22 weeks now.

The weird thing about being told your brother has taken his own life is the way the human brain tries to understand it. The way I try to understand it.My inadequacy as a big sister has haunted me the last 22 weeks. If I had really done my job as your protector and confident would you still be here?

Ultimately you made the decision to leave me, forever.

Leave our family behind and in turn rid yourself of the demons that haunted you. Coming to terms with this fact has been a test of my mind, a test of my knowledge on mental health, a test of my realism and a test of my love for you. During this time, I have spent a lot of my time alone, not physically but mentally. People could be in my company but I was never really there, I was with you, analysing you and looking into your eyes in pictures to see any sign of your anguish.

According to Kubler Ross, there are 5 stages of grief. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. I have watched my parents reach them all except acceptance. Watched them cry, squeal, fight with one another, love one another and laugh all in the space of 5 minutes. Seeing them emit more emotions that I knew humanly possible, all whilst I continue to worry for their safety.

Suicide is a funny thing to happen to your family, you suddenly start thinking about it yourself, wondering the mindset of your loved one and imagining how they must have been thinking in that moment. What way would I do it? What would it feel like? People have said that suicide is one of the most selfish things that a person can do to their family, others have stated that your pain over thought and overcame your love for me. Both of these sides I understand now because you couldn’t have been thinking of me, of mum, of dad. Even of how your suicide could result in the depression of our Shar Pei’s, Galliano and Lorenzo, they miss you so much. But on the other side, you were in so much pain that your mind could only think of ending it – imagining how that must feel is heartbreaking and makes my heart heavy that such a beautiful soul was subject to feeling such emotions.

 One of the stages I have not yet come to and I do not believe I will, is the stage of anger, because I am not angry at you. Many of the emotions that I have experienced due to your passing have been the deepest aching feelings that I never thought were possible. However, anger is not one of them. Each passing day that goes by, I learn to understand you more, understand your mind and I teach myself about mental illnesses and the way your brain was just different than mine. If I was to change the course of events, would I have changed my experiences with you? The way you process information, the way you have high morals and the creative fluer that you were born with, is the reason you are beautiful because you have a fragile mind? 

The worst thing, as a sister and the worst thing, in suicide, is knowing that the person you love the most, was in so much pain that they could not take it anymore. I can’t and won’t blame you for succumbing to that pain. Do I wish I could have taken your pain all away without you feeling the need to leave? Everyday. Do I think suicide is the answer? definitely not. Do I feel that I should dedicate my life to trying to prevent this epidemic that is suicide within our society? I truely do. But until you experience what I have, and the wonder that you are subject to, every time I find a feather, one of our songs come on the radio, a gust of wind comes that I can faintly smell his aftershave I believe he is weeping for what’s happened, what’s been left behind, the destruction caused and everyday I look up at the sky and say; Zachary, I forgive you.