Today is your birthday.
Six years ago today, you were at a BBQ, celebrating, acting as though you’d made the turn and were finally seeing the light in life again. Six years ago today, you looked happy in all the photos that were taken.
Those pictures are the last we have of you. Whatever joy you may have found in that day was later sapped away and the grip of depression retained its wicked hold on you. In a matter of weeks, DAYS, we found ourselves staring at those photos with tears streaming down our faces.
Many times over these last years, I’ve asked myself why? How could you? What was the final straw that broke your back? I’ve alternated between anger that you would leave me to find you like that and hurt that you didn’t reach out to me. I WAS IN THE VERY NEXT ROOM.
Through my own battles with depression, I know you couldn’t see far enough out of the pit to see how much we all loved you, how much we would miss you. I know if you had thought of me finding you that morning, you would never have made that fatal decision. You would never have intentionally hurt me like that.
But even knowing that, I’m still hurt. I’m still angry. And I harbor a deep, cutting hatred for HER. Depression’s lies and taunts hurt badly enough without having them repeated back to you by the one person who is supposed to love you the most. I can never forgive her for pushing you further that night.
You’ve missed a lot in these last six years. More babies have been born, we have more nieces and nephews for you to love on. My own son has grown so much! He may one day rival you for height. We’ve all moved, had relationships come together and fall apart. Our parents have bought a new home and gotten new dogs. Your dad is going to pin Chief this year. And I’m going to be married next year.
You’ve left a void, Ty, that can’t be filled. There’s a darkness in your dad’s eyes, an emptiness in my mother’s soul. Our sisters miss your camaraderie, my son misses his favorite uncle. I miss my brother, my friend.
You’d be 30 today. We’d probably have another BBQ, they were your favorite. There would be water fights maybe, definitely more photos. We’d have tons of great food, maybe you and I would swap a few new recipes. You and my fiance could talk music, Kim would make you one of her famous cakes, you and Stepf would maybe plan some kind of special thing for your dad’s pinning ceremony.
Most of all, you’d be here. And you’d be smiling.
**If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, please know that help is available. 1-800-273-TALK is a 24 hour hotline. Please call. Please reach out. Suicide is NEVER the answer.