Letter To My Brother, A Murderer

8655428106_1f26bf2ccb_zToday is your 17th birthday. I can’t believe it. Looking back at old pictures of you as a little boy, your face is just the same. Only now, your eyes are sadder.

I’m sorry I haven’t written you back. I’ve been desperately searching for the right words, but I don’t think they exist. Please forgive me if I say something stupid.

I too wish that we could go back to the day of my wedding and the dance we shared. It is one of my favorite photos. It reminds me of how much fun we used to have when we were younger. Do you remember the songs and poems you used to write and recite for us? Or when you used to try and break dance? You were such a goof, always making us laugh. Your eyes sparkled, your smile beautiful.

I love you so much. I’ve always cared about you so much, worried about you, wanted to help you. Did you know? Did you know that I loved you all this time? It used to hurt me to see your social media posts about how absolutely no one cared about you. Because I did. And I thought I had made that clear. But it always felt like you just wanted to push me away. I felt like I would stick my neck out for you, or try to help you or love you and you didn’t care. Or it didn’t matter. And I wonder now if you even knew. Or if I went about it the wrong way.

I wish you had trusted me enough to let me in. I wish we knew each other better.

I won’t lie to you: I’m angry. I’m beyond angry with you for what you did, what has happened. I’m angry with our parents too, for both what they did and what they didn’t do. I’m mad at myself for not having had the answers to everything, for not knowing how to help or make things better, and for not being a better sister. I won’t be angry at you forever. But I am now.

I wonder if you can have any idea of the ripple effects of the decisions you’ve made. I wonder if you’ll ever fully know. How you affected her family and friends and friends of her family, how you’ve impacted our family and friends. How it’s affected me, my relationship with my husband, my work, how I relate to people in general.

But mostly I wonder why. WHY? Maybe you don’t even know the answer yourself. Maybe why doesn’t even matter. But the question haunts me.

What do you think lead you up to this point? I could certainly make some guesses, but I want to hear what you think. What were the things that lead you here?

No matter what, I am your sister. And I will love you. I hope you know that your life is not over. The life you knew is over, yes. But your life still has purpose, even if most or all of it is lived in prison. So don’t give up.

Happy birthday, baby brother. You’re not alone.

I hope to hear from you.

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20 responses to “Letter To My Brother, A Murderer

  1. You’re so right . . . every life has a purpose

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  2. Wow I could have written this myself, except my brother died, whether by his own hand or by his alcoholism, we will never know. I think you should send this, or a version of this. God bless and help you through this, so sad 😦

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    • I’m so sorry to hear that, kbailey. I cannot imagine how difficult that would have been for you. Your blog is so encouraging, and your comments are always so kind. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with others. 🙂 I did end up sending this letter. And although most of my questions went unanswered, it felt therapeutic just to ask them.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Willowwisp

    Warm. Well written.

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  4. Magenta Designs Studio

    That was beautiful! I almost cried, it was heartfelt and very honest.

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  5. wow! tough! not the letter, the situation. I found the letter to be well written, to the point and not too accusatory, though it may be deserving. job well done.

    on your brother rejecting you by saying no one cares; that’s not about you, that’s about isolation.

    isolation sucks! it starts as a person pulls away and friends and loved ones begin to drop off. soon, as the pulling away continues, the isolation becomes self-fulfilling; the person becomes truly alone. the isolation doesn’t stop there; it still continues. people still reach out to the isolated person saying they care. the isolated person will have none of it; they’ve reached a point where they want to be alone. virtually nothing can penetrate the fort constructed by someone in deep isolation. they as good as cover their ears an yell la la la la! you’re talking, but I can’t hear you! la la la la la!

    unfortunately, the fort has to come down from the inside, at least partially for someone, anyone, to get through. the isolated person has to get tired of feeling alone or reach a point where they no longer want to be alone. only then can the fort begin to be deconstructed.

    i feel for you and the isolation you felt from your brother. it must have been hard to bang on the walls of his fort yelling i’m here for you ! and hear nothing in return.

    i also honor you for not giving up on him. it sounds as if you are at least communicating. that shows that you kept banging on the wall. that you truly do care. good job!

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    • Thank you for the feedback! I really appreciate your thoughts. And you’re right about the isolation. It’s so sad – I can’t even begin to imagine that kind of isolation. He did this terrible thing and then told no one about it for many months. What a terrible, unimaginable secret.

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  6. A well constructed writing of your feelings towards the situation between you and your brother. Sometimes, things like this won’t change or can’t change but you can decide how much it will affect your life. Writing does help.

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  7. You have written a powerful peace, my thoughts and heart goes out to you. My writing has helped me push through a great deal of personal problems..You and your brother can grow from this even though it is so painful…Well done

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  8. jamesleard

    Thank you for posting this lulufille. As you send this letter to your brother, it sounds like it’s directed at me. I also have a sister, and I believe she is angry with me and my stupid decisions in life, but she doesn’t know how to communicate it like you have here. I was pulled into the dark side, just like your brother. And I eventually reached a breaking point. Breaking points manifest in different ways. Mine was mental illness. But just like jail, mental illness keeps one trapped in a small place. When in this place, there is nothing to do but think and reflect on life. One has to face their mistakes and learn how they impacted not only themselves, but all of those around them. It is heartbreaking, and the only way to heal the heart is to forgive. I am still learning to forgive myself. But it is a process. From a Brother to another sister, I want you to know I love you, despite poor decision making. The intention is never to hurt others. That is just an unfortunate consequence of doing stupid things that we need to learn from.

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  9. One is writing to you in response to a sight of your letter to your little brother this year on his 17th birthday, and unknown bitter tears of no ego would like to attain the mighty ocean that both of you are watching. For no ego, but only the self of humanity can parallel your efforts. You said to your brother “Did you know that I loved you all this time? It used to hurt me to see your social media posts about how absolutely no one cared about you. Because I did. And I thought I had made that clear. But it always felt like you just wanted to push me away” … and in these episodes it must have been as if you could not reach him at all, could you?
    Is it possible that a very awkward person can please you or console You: precious ‘daughter of the mentally ill’ as you call yourself. For your writing seems truthful , considerate and without any mistakes, and sure it has and probably will have a value beyond words. So let me try. Those who believe to have the right to judge the bad ones, who distribute crime and differ between the respectable blameless and the criminal minds exist since many thousand years. You know when about the right was invented, and since those days we have this separation between the good and the bad, the powerful and the powerless, the judge and the condemned prisoner. Since day one (of his captivity) your brother knows that there are two worlds which can never come together. Try to listen and just follow what I try to explain with neither trying to acknowledge nor to reject it. We all have this interval between freedom and captivity internalized, since many thousand years. Now, something strange happens when a human like your brother is incarcerated. He knows after a few days that he is in another reality, in a parallel world, that cannot in any way be attained or even only imagined by any free agent, by us who live in civil freedom. They asked a high enforcement officer if he can imagine what a prisoner experiences, whether closely guarded or not, and the officer answered no, no he cannot and no free person will ever have a true imagination. These worlds are inwardly separated. So we have the following: You and me, the free ones, do not know confinement, we are familiar only with freedom. We are not familiar with captivity. Your brother, however, is familiar with both, freedom and captivity. Now, there is a mystery connected with this fact, namely, we the free ones even do not know about freedom. We do not know our own freedom! Why? Because we are not familiar with captivity! But you brother is familiar with both. So, my self is here to show the world why your brother truly knows both the free and the tortured and jailed. He represents the bridge between two parallel worlds which are separated by our own misunderstanding, our own confusion. Now let us go a step further, so that we can meet like two friends in some unusual chat. You wrote in some other thread: “Is the blame solely his? What about the father who beat him? What about the mother who neglected his needs? What about the teacher that felt he wasn’t worth teaching? The brothers that left him in the dust and set terrible examples? The community that saw signs of abuse but didn’t report it? What about me? I knew he was on a destructive path, but I didn’t do everything in my power to intervene. Are we all responsible?” He has been blamed enough, and sure the blame is not solely his. But it is our turn to confess that we have no right whatsoever to keep another person prisoner or to judge what she was or is or will be doing. For love and care are the true weapons in the struggle against our misfortunes and our disaster. You have not stopped to care, you have done enough, and it is you who have not made the mistakes the others are making while they seem to rest in their own innocence. Indeed, none of us is innocent. And I see in your action an uncompromising effort, a true service for your brother. As you insist on the power of love, you will have my comp. So please, for the time being, say hallo to your brother , and go further in dignity, slowly and considerate as you are, dear woman.

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