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My Brother

February 2006

This happened very recently, so I am still very emotional about it. On January 20, 2006 my beloved big brother took his life. He'd been depressed recently but none of us had any idea how sick he really was. He left behind a wife, 3 kids, me, our parents, and dozens of friends and family heartbroken.

We were so close that it feels like someone crushed half of my soul. This is something I will never, not in a million years, get over.

My sister in law and I discussed the fact that after the funeral, we were going to go to the house. We strongly felt his spirit was still there, wandering about. My nephew and his friend stopped by to feed the dog, and his friend saw my brother cross the hallway into the bedroom. He later described in perfect detail what he was wearing. No one, except his wife who found him, knew that information.

About 2 days later, my husband saw him as well. It was a Saturday night, we had just went to bed. Our 10 month old son began getting fussy, so I got him up to make him a bottle. This was when my husband's experience happened. It's important to note, however, he did NOT tell me until the next day, for fear of upsetting me.

So the next day, we had to go make arrangements for his memorial. My sister in law needed to go to the house to get clothes for her son. We all followed her there, it was me, her, her sister and brother in law, her mom and step dad, my aunt, and my nephew.

The only way I can describe it is when we walked in that house, his presence was THERE. It was just something in the atmosphere - restless, cold, and creepy. It literally knocked the breath right out of me. I began feeling very uneasy and told my sister in law, "If I don't do this now, I won't so let's do this and go."

We all went downstairs. We made a circle around where he had hung himself. His wife and I told him, "Pat, you can't come back. You need to go home. We forgive you, and we love you."

The atmosphere changed almost immediately. It was a very cloudy, dreary day out, and all of a sudden, a patch of sunlight came through the basement window, and shone between us all. You could FEEL him leave. There's no other way to describe it, except that everyone in that room felt the same thing. He was in that house, lost, and we helped him go home.

Here comes the really odd part. I came home, and I was visibly moved and emotional over this experience. Now, my husband is a very logical, sensible guy who doesn't believe in this sort of thing. I nonetheless relayed my story to him, ending it with "You probably don't believe me, do you?" To which he answered, "You know what? I do, you want to know why?"

He proceeded to tell me that the night before, while I was tending to our son in the other room, that he saw my brother's spirit standing next to my dresser. He also described perfectly what he was wearing, which he had no way of knowing. My brother communicated to him that he needed Joel to be his messenger, to tell everyone for him we had to forgive him, so he could move on. We did this for him BEFORE my husband said a word. So he knew we meant it.

I sincerely hope my brother is at peace and I am waiting for a sign from him letting me know he made it ok.

I had to tell this story for you, Pat Alan. You will always be my big brother. I'll love you forever and miss you all the days of my life. Go in Peace.


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