This is the last year I'll ever be younger than you. That fact has been sitting in my head these past few weeks. I was on edge the whole year D was your age but of course he's not you, he's not chased by the same demons you were and neither am I.
I was twenty when you shot yourself. "Died" doesn't cut it there because you'd been busy dying for years before you made that decision. The first five years after were the worst. What remained of the family was so decimated that we couldn't really lean on each other but I had some loving friends who put me back together as best they could. I went through days when I couldn't speak and when I did I had to tell everyone that I loved them no matter how inappropriate it was. I finally had a wise roommate who suggested that I was trying to save you.
In some ways you are more of a mystery than mom. She can never really be flesh and bone to me; I don't have the memory of what she felt like or sounded like or smelled like. You were all too human and all too broken. I could never fathom your woundedness or the rage that was so thick it rolled around you like a cloud. I don't know what hole you tried to fill with your addictions and I don't understand the way you acted out when you were dry. Not sober, just not drinking.
"Terminal mental illness" is a term that's been used in the Suicide Survivor community for years with some hesitation; it sounds like a euphemism and it takes choice out of the equation. You made choices, though, you committed acts that couldn't be undone. I can't not blame you for the destruction you left behind for the rest of us to deal with. There was a lot of blame put on the wrong people but ultimately it was you who had to shoulder it and you just weren't there.