Ripple Effect: the Not-So-Physical Aftermath of Suicide

November 1, 2011
Death: such a simple word, bearing such significantly terrible meaning. Death is mysterious and often unexpected; sly and heartless. On the night of July twenty-second 2010, during the same few hours that me, my best friend, and my family were having the time of our lives swimming and splashing in the river, my uncle Brock was being found dead in his suburban apartment. We always knew he was a bit eccentric, but after thirty four years of pain, drugs and taking advice from the voices that seemed to dwell in his mind, he decided to end his own life…

My uncle Brock had fathered two daughters who have been recently taken by child protective services for the third or fourth time. My family happened to be in the process of getting the girls in our custody when he died. Once he was found, his parents, who had divorced many years ago, began to fight about the placement of all of his material items. His death caused, in my opinion, one
inescapably dreadful thing after another. Everyone felt mournful and lost without him, but with everyone proceeding through the mourning process at the same time, we were all bound to encounter the “anger and blame stage” at relatively the same time too. Everyone was wondering why they couldn’t do anything to help and finding someone else to blame for it. I’m sure that when he finally made the decision that he did, he wasn’t thinking at all about how it might impact the ones closest to him. My uncle Brock's death was the most significant incident of my entire life- he was the only meaningful person I’d ever experienced death with, other than my pet goldfish Pablo, of coarse.
We found it hard to see any good in the situation for a long while.

Though one day- a few weeks following his loss- my mother (his sister) saw a poster up in the library that read “the walk to stop suicide”. It turned out to be some form of a parade that would be held soon to help spread the word about how treacherous suicide is for the family that experiences it. That spark of light caused my mom and I to consider many more things we could do to help stop suicide- we concluded that it would be quite productive to travel and speak in high schools about the after math of committing
suicide, considering the most common age of suicide is between and . Alas, our spirits were lightened. We decided that because we could do nothing about our
family’s current pain, we would try to stop the tragedy of suicide in as many others lives as we possibly could. We also decided to never stop fighting to get custody of my cousins, for they need to be with as much loving family as they can at this point.

My family and I are quite new to the process of death, and we know that there is still a lot that could come of his loss, so we are preparing ourselves as best we can. In the end, this horrendous occurrence could be a hidden miracle, as we attempt to spread the word about suicide and what it can really do to a family. I miss my uncle Brock at virtually all times, but it has made me a stronger person in the end. It has made me realize that most of the drama in your life and anger you feel toward people is so much pettier that it seems at the moment, because you never know exactly when everything could be lost. In all, my family has become closer and more involved since his death, because we know that we cannot take the time that we spend together for granted ever again. We need to love more, resent much less, laugh often, and learn from everything we can.

In loving memory of my uncle Brock

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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

fiftiesgal467 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 5, 2011 at 11:04 am
I'm so sorry for your loss. What an amazing thing you are doing by spreading the word! One question, you say that the most common age of suicide is between    and . What are those ages?
LearnLoveLaugh replied...
Nov. 5, 2011 at 1:43 pm
Oh, gosh! I'm sorry! It's 14 and 22. Ha, I knew I forgot about that xD
fiftiesgal467 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 5, 2011 at 4:03 pm
Oh that's so sad! Thanks for writing this. I'm sure it wasn't easy.
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