This Saturday, 23rd April 2016 will be the third anniversary of the death of my brother, aged 47. We didn’t often speak, usually once or twice a month very late at night when he was blind drunk. Unusually I spoke with him that morning, 8.20am. He was stone cold sober, but I was “too busy” with kids’ pack lunches, breakfast, getting them out the door to school, to listen. I just didn’t hear him. I just wasn’t listening. The last thing I said was “get on a train and I’ll look after you, but I won’t pay for your fags and beer. We’ll get you a job. And don’t do anything stupid”. That was the last thing I said to him, “don’t do anything stupid”. The phone call came around 2pm from his daughter. He had hanged himself upstairs in the pub he ran. As I write this, I am welling up. I still can’t believe he could be so stupid. Did he intend to take his life? Was it meant to be a call for help? Was someone meant to find him before it was too late? What on earth was going through his mind? Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him, how different things might have been had I just stopped for one minute to listen. Had I just let the kids be late for school for once. But I didn’t. And now all I have left is the grief and regret. I wonder whether the hurt will ever stop. In some weird way I hope it doesn’t, that way I won’t ever forget.
p.s I hope you are ok, and that they find you and your dog in good health.