This post is part of a Suicide Prevention Month blog series. Read the other blogs here.
I wasn’t close to my uncle when we lost him to suicide in 2003. In fact, I hardly knew him at all.
When I was much younger we’d visited a few times, but I don’t remember those visits. I don’t remember ever talking to him on the phone while growing up, and I don’t remember my father talking much about him as an adult. Uncle Kent was, to me, the boy in my dad’s stories of growing up: the smarter, less athletic, more sensitive twin.
To me, he was the 12-year-old who was suspended after freeing animals from the school science lab; the co-conspirator 18-year-old with whom my dad moved out of the house as high school seniors and worked nights to pay rent after too many fights with their step-dad and the brilliant guy who want to Michigan Law and had a photographic memory. My dad always spoke fondly, but distantly, of him even when he was alive.
I found out he had died by suicide when I was 12 and on vacation with my grandparents and sister.