Every year I try to put something on social media to memorialize my brother David, who died 20 years ago this month. This year I am publishing my memorial with a message. I lost my brother to suicide. That pain never leaves you; you just learn to live with it. If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, please reach out to someone for help. The National Suicide Hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 800-273-8255. 

Dear David,

I wish that you were here in person to see how our families have changed, to see our children, our grandchildren. I see you in the faces of my sons and daughter, but also my granddaughter. I looked in Nahla’s face the other day, and you were there. You show yourself often. In those moments, I know you are here.

-Love, Tara

Below is an excerpt from one of your poems.

And it hurts me to say, that I might have to one day. Pick up the pieces of my heart, and go my own way. 

-David

Dear Son,

Your passing left a void in my heart that has been impossible to fill. While the gut-wrenching pain subsides over time, the sadness of you not being here never leaves. Missing you is just part of everyday life.

But with the passing of time, I’m also able to think of you now with a smile. Your mischievous grin when you were up to something, Hearing an AC/DC or CCR song on the radio. Remembering how much you loved Doritos and Picante sauce.

Even through your struggles, the kindness in your heart always shown through; you were a loving father, brother, and son.

I cherish my memories of you and know we will meet again.

-Love, Mom

It’s been a long, long road.

We rode together

I thought time would make 

Me feel better

But the memories still 

remain buried in my dreams

They fill my mind with clouds

nothing’s real or as it seems

The full moon shining the

foaming ebbing tide

I wait until the time comes

and I can 

see you on the other side

-Rob

Getting through this together, Atascadero