I wrote this letter and mailed it to my brother about 6 months before he died. Today is the three year anniversary of his death. I am sharing this in his memory. I actually had told him all of this at one time or another while he was alive but before he died it got increasingly difficult for him to communicate by phone so I reiterated some of the things that were in my heart for him.
I think of my brother pretty much all the time. He got sick and died in the same time I was withdrawing from drugs and so towards the end off his life I was already quite sick. In fact the last time I visited him we were both needing to take multiple breaks to sit down if we went out.
Ironically and sadly, he was my only sibling who asked, every time we had contact how my withdrawal was going. Now it’s been two years since my other two siblings have even called me on the phone let alone asked me how I am. So the devastation of losing him was all the greater. He’s my only sibling who ever took my life seriously. I don’t really feel like I have siblings left.
He is still in my heart. Today and always.
My dear (brother),
I want to take this opportunity to tell you what you’ve meant to me all my life and how much I love you. I know you are suffering now and don’t know how to talk to you on the phone. I hope I will be able to spend some quiet contemplative time with you soon.
You mean so much to me and the phone has been a completely inadequate piece of technology for sharing that with you. And so now I write this letter.
You have always been the brother, the family member that “got” me. You wrote me letters when I was a teenager in the midst of typical teenage angst and you gave me hope for my future. I was in the dysfunction that was our family at the time as well as in our hometown, another stifling dark place for me. You assured me that I was among a small percentage of sensitive people in the world and that when I got to university I would find my element. I believed you and I held on to that as a lifeline. You gave me the hope I needed to get through the last couple of years of difficulty at home. I did indeed find like-minded souls in college and you became my knight in shining armor. I love you so much.
We continued our correspondence once I was in college while you lived abroad. I know you worried about me once I got involved in searching my psyche with drugs and got hospitalized etc. But you never condescended to me and instead you shared your admiration of me. You admired what you said was my sense of adventure and you said I was courageous. You boosted my self-confidence when I felt everyone else was judging me and making me wrong for making the mistakes of youth. You once said you saw optimism in me. In fact you said that I was the most optimistic person you knew. That I never gave up. That was the first time I recognized some of my strengths. You trusted something inside me. You saw my potential and you loved me without judgment. That allowed me to trust myself more and in turn also judge myself less. You always had a healing effect on me.
So you see, you planted seeds in me. Seeds that have served me my whole life and will continue to serve me. You saw in me what no one else did and you helped me see it too.
I love you. I don’t know what will happen in the future but I needed to tell you this. You have been one of the most important people in my life, even in the many years we did not have as much contact because of your living in another country you continued to inspire me. It’s been so nice to be able to see you more and talk to you in the last few years. I wish it wasn’t because you’ve been sick. I’m so sorry that that is what brought it about. But I’ve been grateful for the time we’ve spent together in the last few years and hope we have more time to spend together soon.
All my love to you (brother), all of it now, wishing you healing in body, mind and spirit.
Peace and love to you,