Every time I hear the horn of a train in the distance; or stop while a train is making its way through town, I feel like I want to throw up. I go back in time to that early morning and feel heart break all over again. I remember the knock on the door; the police officer holding my brother’s driver license, and I hear that phrase all over again, “there was a train accident”. That train gets me every time.
The last time I saw my brother, Charles, was on July 6th, 2005. He was sitting on the living room floor eating Lasagna at my mom’s house. I have rehearsed this moment over and over in my head thinking I could have done something more or should have done something different. This is a memory I will never forget. My brother in this moment created the last memory I ever had with him because the very next day he decided he would be in “train accident”. He left my family to pick up the pieces with many unanswered questions.
There are so many things that remind me of Charles. For example, every time my 4-year-old brings me a bug or starts a question with the word “Why?”. I am reminded of Charles because he was a bug lover and always asked the question, “Why?”. I think of what a great uncle he would have been to my children. He would have been there at the birthday parties and family vacations. I grieve that loss for my children and myself. Therefore, that train gets me every time.
Life does not give you many second chances and we can not go back in time to fix our mistakes or regrets. The hardest part is knowing that the “train accident” was no accident at all. My brother took his life and left my family with much pain and sorrow. It has been 12 years since that police officer showed up at my door saying there had been a “train accident”. The pain, the fog, and the words always come back into my head when I cross any train tracks. I can not shake that memory.
I share all this in hopes that you will not let time pass without it being meaningful. It is important to make the most out of the time God has given you. Life is precious and it is up to you to learn how to seize the moment. Take the time to be a friend to your loved ones and call someone who needs a friend. I am reminded when I hear a train in the distance; it gets me everytime time.
I have managed to adapt and blend into everyday life. I do not necessarily know if I have overcome this heartache because each day is different. However, I can share what I have learned through all of this. I have learned to be more expressive, not hold back, live passionately, care about the details, not mind small talk, take joy in meeting new people, believe in the power of prayer, forgive myself, and love people easier.
If you know of someone that has lost a loved one to suicide – just listen. Sometimes they just need to be able to share their story with someone.
If you have dealt with depression or thoughts of suicide – reach out to someone you trust. If you are unable to talk about it, then write down your thoughts and give it to a person you trust.
If you have lost a loved one to suicide – there is nothing to be ashamed of. Please reach out to someone and share your heart. Feel free to share your story with me if you do not feel comfortable reaching out. I would love to hear from you.
Once again, I write this in hopes that the train will be a reminder not only to myself but to you as well to cherish the moments God gives you.