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Mental Health

To Anyone Who Has Ever Lost Anybody to Suicide

*Content Warning: This piece contains references to suicide and mental illness, which may be triggering to some.*

1.

Dear Claire — my best friend & soul sister,

It’ll be a year in March, how can it be? The memories linger. I’ll never forget the day I met you. The strength you embodied. You were an independent lioness. 

I want to forget the last vision… finding you that way. I try every single day to rid it out of my mind, it feels impossible. The nightmares are never-ending and I’m not strong enough to cope with having to see your soulless body in the way I did. The letter. I cry and have chills as I read this. I know you’re with me.

I am sure you’ve noticed, I haven’t taken off your ring or necklace.

I work tirelessly to replace the unfathomable heartache in exchange for our last beautiful interaction. I know you weren’t the most affectionate person, but you still embraced me. You told me how much you loved me. The way we locked eyes was alluding a goodbye without either of us even realizing it. The universe painted it clearly, but I was too blind to see. Where did my intuition go? It vanished that day.

This was the last time I felt your love. The last interaction the day of, I felt a darkness cast over you. A blanket of emptiness and hopelessness. You came to my room to borrow my headphones and my dog barked at you. Leo never barks, especially not at you. He could sense what was going to happen at 11:30 that night. 3/29/2019. Dogs can see and feel things humans cannot.

I don’t forgive your family and I don’t know if I ever will. They did not show you the unconditional love you deserved nor did they treat you like a part of the rest of your eight siblings. I’ll never stop saying this, but you were not the “sick” one. It is NOT your fault your parents were too busy and too good to be there for you when you needed them the most. It is not your fault that your mother neglected you, stepfather divided you, and father rejected you.

I validate you and your pain. I always have and always will.

I am so disgusted by their stigmatization of your mental illnesses. The day we cleaned your room after the coroner granted us access, they did nothing but minimize you. Talk about how sick you were and how they were not surprised. I gathered your things and kept what I could before they threw the rest away. Thank you for leaving me your money, clothes and your car. I would give up everything in my life to have you back for one hour.

We shared the bond of being exiled by our families. The “troubled, sick ones.” The mentally ill children. The lack of accountability of our parent’s abuse is on them. They will take that guilt to the grave. I wish more than anything that they were there for you. At the same time, I know you are feeling more at peace than you ever did in this lifetime. All you wanted to do was find love. I hope you have found your soulmate up there.

The fact of the matter is, the most creative people struggle with identity. The saddest people are the most artistically inclined. In the isolation consumed with loneliness, there is nothing else to do but express the suppressed internal everything.

I have so much to say to you. I still talk out loud to you everyday… I know you can hear me because I feel you. I listen to your music every day and see your eyes every time I close mine.

2. 

My brother, 

In the recollection of time
You are the earliest of mine

Our memories were meant to stay
They had to stay, they had no say
& understood you would have to go away someday
How could the winds of change ever think about blowing them away?
Not a single second-hour-day 

I know you and the love you have for me
You must have made them promise
You made our memories swear to never leave my life until the end of time

We’ve been bonded at birth and none can compare
I have a side of your ribcage and you have mine

I wish you would have let me take your heartbreak & throw it like a stone in the water Remember when we skipped rocks as kids? You taught me everything I know

Remember when we sliced our hands with knives? We were fearless.
We proudly smiled – held hands so tight
We swore to never leave each other’s side – “blood brothers for life!” we said

God, I wish we could have stayed those kids
The cruel reality around us
The equation of life took over – it couldn’t be solved
I will eternally question why – you loved math
Knew the solution to every problem
Each operator – the positive and negative variable too 

Why didn’t we push pause on our VHS & stay in those days
Goddamn it, why?

Time did what it does
What it will never stop doing
Why is it so demanding, predictable, and inevitable? 

Being me, I still tried to intervene
The lights grew dim…
& your soul followed closely behind  

My eyes fill up with our times
Until the tear-shaped memories trickle down my cheeks 

I feel you linger – probably to make sure I don’t waver
You whisper my name at night and no not in that cheesy way I know you hate
Then in my dreams, you replay our memories through your eyes
You are forever in the forefront of my mind
But I still cry and cry and cry
I swear to god I can feel your hand on mine
How do I cope?
You have to know – I know that you do
I can’t decode this math equation without you
I always wanted to be just like you – I hope I make you proud  

Kyle Alan, I could never thank the Angels above for the 27 years I got to spend with you – although it is not enough for me – it never will be enough. Where did the last nearly three decades go? 

Thank you for protecting me.
Promise. Just promise me one thing?
Your spirit can’t ever leave my side. I can’t be on this planet without you.
You can’t forget it – remember? We are blood brothers for life, for eternity 

If only we could be those kids & stay in those days forever 

Our human language is far too limited, saying I love you isn’t enough but you speak that eternal language now. I am certain you feel what I am trying to convey. We understood each other – my artsy spirit and your mathematical genius mind somehow had a way to intercommunicate without words

 


Harness was built on the premise of support and community; including those that may be struggling in ways that others can’t see. Here are some resources in case you need them, today or in the future.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Suicide Prevention Online Resources: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/talk-to-someone-now/

Better Help Online Counseling & Therapy: https://www.betterhelp.com/ 

Anxiety and Depression Association of America — Find Help: https://adaa.org/finding-help 

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by awinchester93

Alyssa M. Winchester-Calderon is a traveling freelance writer, poet, and Integrative Healing Arts Practitioner. She is a crochet designer and founder of Little Bird Crochet Collective where curates handmade goods of all kinds. You can find her writing in Do You Endo, The Edge Magazine, For Women Who Roar, and NUWLA. She is a Diaphragmatic and Abdominopelvic Endometriosis survivor and very passionate about dismantling the system, veganism, sustainability, advocacy, and social justice. Instagram @alyssa.m.calderon & @littlebirdcrochetcollective

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