My little brother, Tyler, and I were extremely close growing up. We’d make up top-secret handshakes after watching our favorite show. We spent hours talking about music: I play the clarinet[单簧管], and Ty was a true band geek[怪胎] whose trumpet[小号] was never far out of his reach. Sure, we bickered[斗嘴] over stupid stuff—it drove me crazy when he’d leave up the toilet seat in the bathroom! But we told each other everything. Or so I’d thought.
Dazed [茫然的] and Confused
There was nothing particularly memorable about the cold midwinter Arkansas day when Ty killed himself. Ty, 14, got home from band practice and did the usual: cheerfully greeted everyone, then went straight to his room to practice his trumpet. Once dinner was ready, he joined my mom, my dad, and me to eat barbecued[烤肉] chicken while watching TV. I noticed then that Ty wasn’t talking much—typically[通常] he and my dad joked around the whole time. But it didn’t seem like anything was wrong, and after taking out the trash, Ty went back to his room. I had no idea it would be the last time I’d see him.
It was nearly 8 o’ clock when I heard what sounded like glass breaking coming from Ty’s room. My dad went to find out what happened, then my mom checked too before dragging[拖，拉] me into their bedroom. “What’s going on?” I asked. She was crying so hard, she couldn’t answer. Then my dad showed up with all of our shoes and coats and screamed, “He’s still got a pulse[脉搏]. We’re going to the emergency room[急救室]!”
“Oh, my God, I don’t get it! What happened?” I yelled. But no one answered me. All of a sudden, an ambulance[救护车] was at my house, and we got into the car and sped off behind it. When we arrived at the hospital, Mom and I were put in a private room while my dad checked on Ty. “What’s going on?!” I asked again. Mom was hyperventilating[强力呼吸], but she was able to catch her breath enough to say, “Ty tried to kill himself.”
I was in total denial[否认]. “That’s not funny!” I yelled. Then my dad returned, looked at my mom, and shook his head as if to say, “Ty didn’t make it.” My mom passed out[昏倒]. I didn’t have any emotion. I wasn’t even crying. NOTHING made sense[有意义].
After Ty shot himself, my family alternated[交替，轮流] between tears and silence, barely leaving the house. I didn’t go to school for more than four months. I just couldn’t understand why he’d done it—he’d never said that anything was wrong, and it wasn’t until after Ty died that his friend told us that my brother had confessed[承认，坦白] to having thoughts of suicide[自杀]. I went to therapy[治疗], but I didn’t like talking to a stranger. Thankfully my best friend was always there for me, but she never pushed me to share my feelings.
When I returned to school, I was surprised that most people treated me normally. That helped because I wanted to act as if it hadn’t happened. But just because nobody mentioned the word suicide didn’t make it disappear. I felt so alone with my feelings, and I didn’t really have anyone I could turn to who had real experience with suicide.
The following spring, I had to do a project for a community-service class, and I realized my topic should be suicide awareness[意识]. I thought if more people talked about it, maybe it wouldn’t happen to another teen. I called the Arkansas Crisis Center, the group who’d spoken to kids at my brother’s school right after his death. I told them I wanted to raise awareness and keep my brother’s memory alive, and when I asked if I could help organize a walkathon注, they said yes! I was so comforted when I saw hundreds of people show up to support my family and other survivors who’d lost loved ones to suicide—I knew then that I wasn’t alone.
Shedding Some Light
Being open about suicide rather than treating it like a secret felt so incredible that I started to speak at school assemblies[集会]. Sharing Ty’s story is helping me heal, and so far I’ve had two people confess that they had thoughts of suicide. I directed them to help right away. It is so amazing to know that another family wouldn’t have to go through what mine did. If Ty were here, I think he’d be really proud of me and happy to know his life is having such a positive[积极的] effect on others.
by Ciema Mayo