Thursday, October 16, 2014

Upon Reflection

A couple of days ago when Ron was cleaning/sorting our 'junk drawer'
in one of our dressers, he came across a letter addressed to me
in a journal book I kept a few years back.

I had forgotten all about this letter. My brother, Bernard, had written it
two months before he took his own life in Toronto in 1971.

I had not remembered what he had said to me in his letter...
until I re-read it.

It was typical Bernard at the time.....funny, somewhat carefree,
typical 19 year old of that time
and yet someone, as I read 'between the lines', who was screaming for help. 

It was very upsetting to read as I recalled getting this letter at home from him.

He was a lonely boy I realized, one that had always been searching for 'the answer'.
He got involved in all the available drugs at the time. He became dependent
on the 'high' for a couple of years before his death.

He was not happy living in the real world.
He was a restless individual from as far as I can remember.

It is still very upsetting to me when I think of the potential he had
but was unable to achieve in his short life.
Things......drugs, along with an unidentified mental illness.....
got in his way.

I know that he would have loved this view at the Gaspereaux Canal the other day.
I would have loved to have been sitting along its edge with him.


  1. Bernard is in your heart, and his words. sent all those years ago, maybe with hindsight, you can re-read with more knowledge of what he was experiencing
    .Yes, he would love that view, may I suggest something?? Print it, frame it , and dedicate it to your Bernard. Hugs,Jean.

  2. Life is often tragically unfair to some of its brightest.

  3. I think, in a way, he is sitting beside you. I have no doubt that he left you a gift of knowledge, self reflection and compassion that made you the man you are now.

  4. we are still losing so many people because of misunderstood mental illness. it is so very sad.

  5. That is a wonderful shot. So sorry to hear about your brother - I know it must hurt after all these years.

  6. It is beautiful and your brother is so sorry, he's probably sitting next to you, wishing you could feel him...don't believe for a second that people who commit suicide don't go to heaven, that's Christian crap (sorry mom, I'm Catholic) people who had to much to bear, get a lesser load next time around but still with lesson so that he never ever commits suicide again, and by the way I am so sorry xo

  7. I'm so sorry about Bernard.


  8. The colorful reflections in the water are lovely, Jim, and I wish you could sit there with Bernard and soak in the soothing, peaceful feeling radiating from that water.. I don't believe in a vengeful, punishing God, but one of mercy and love. I think s/he would treat people who have suffered like your brother or my father with healing compassion. My father didn't commit suicide, but he struggled with mental illness and other demons throughout his life. I live with that pain and loss daily, but I also hope that we will be together again and he will be whole. People who take their lives are in unbearable pain, and they just want it to stop. I have a lot of questions about what happens after death, but even if it's oblivion (which I can't believe for a heartbeat), Bernard is in a better place. His suffering has stopped. And any loving God would treat him with TLC. *Big HUGS* btw, have you heard Hozier's "Take Me to Church?" I almost drove off the road when I heard it for the first time. I'm pretty unhappy with Christianity right now, so this song slammed me. Take care!

  9. A touching post and photo, Jim. I'm so sorry about your brother. I've had a similar experience in my life and know that those who are touched by suicide wrestles with so many emotions and questions that can never be answered. We can only hope that our loved ones have finally found the peace they are looking for. I think they have.

  10. I think he was sitting there with you in your heart. A very touching post.

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  12. Such a beautiful image. I'm sorry to hear about your brother, Jim, but I think he is always with you in spirit.

  13. it's so easy to look back and 'see' all the things we missed, like your brothers mental issues and sadness. He did leave this world too soon but in his world there was no other way. You have wonderful shared memories of growing up and nothing can take that from you, and every time you heart swells with his memory just remember that he is thinking of you too. God love him.

  14. A lovely setting to share and reflect. Even though he's not with you, he's still with you, if you get my drift. Just as my sister is with me when I read her old letters.
    All we can do is love the memories and the words they left to us.

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