Two years ago today my younger step-brother went missing and killed himself. We didn't know that he'd killed himself until he was found three days later on 6th April, but it was on 3rd April that he went to a hotel and hanged himself. I hadn't seen him for some time before he did that, but all the same, I miss him so much.
I feel completely alone with my grief, and yes, I am still grieving. There isn't really anyone who knew Nn with whom I can talk about him, or talk about missing him and still grieving for him. I tried a while back, but my feelings were nullified because they 'found him very difficult.' There seemed to be a complete absence of acknowledgement that Nn had been a significant figure in my childhood and in my growing up, simply because this person had only known him in the latter years of his life when he was ravaged by years of drug abuse. Yes, I know that he had become a challenging character - I don't deny that - but he wasn't all bad and he never had been. He was still my step-brother. He had been a big part of my life for a lot of years. We had shared a lot of what life had thrown at us. He was important to me. But none of that was remembered or seemed significant to the person I tried to speak with, and I was squashed.
No one else seems to want to talk about him. Never. Not about anything. Not his life. Not his death. Not the times we all shared together. Not the times he found it so difficult to be with anyone. Sometimes I even wonder if they remember him at all. I do, and I miss him.
I have a thousand and more memories of Nn whizzing through my mind this morning, some good, some not so good. All of them important to me. We were children when we entered each others lives - I was nine; Nn was seven - and from then on we spent every weekend together and hundreds of weeks of school holidays together. We shared a parent/parent-figure. He envied me because the parent was biologically mine, but I envied him because he had every day with that parent. There was rivalry, but there was also friendship and shared interests, and thousands of hours of play together.
The memories I have are now all that I have of him. Well, those and a couple of photos. I will never see Nn again, and the last time I was in the same room as him was at his funeral. I didn't even get to be at the scattering of his ashes because I was ill in hospital, and I so wish I had been able to be there, to see him off, to watch him catch his very last waves ... His ashes were scattered at sea because he used to love surfing. I can go to the beach where he learnt to surf - where I did body-boarding while he surfed because I never could get the hang of standing on the surf board - but being there with my memories of him is a million times different from being there with him, or seeing him there. I watch others on the same stretch of surf, I remember Nn, and I miss him so much.
I think about him two years in the past from now. I think how he would still have been alive at this time of day. I think about him being at work, because he did go to work that morning, but I also think about the distress he must have been feeling too. I think about how twelve hours from now he was probably either dead or preparing for death. I think about how he would have checked himself in to the hotel knowing that he would only leave it dead. I think about annoyed and frustrated his employers probably felt that he didn't turn up for his afternoon shift. I think about what Nn may have been doing while he was supposed to be at work. I think about his mobile phone picking up messages while he hung dead in the hotel room. I think about him being there for three days. I think about the person who found him.
I think a lot of things.
I miss him.
I cry for him.
I cry for me.