In Memory of My Brother

On November 13, 2006 at the age of 24 my younger brother, Noah Zachary Bates, chose to commit suicide. So I write this in hopes that other people will read it, pass it on, and maybe prevent someone else from making this awful decision.

Suicide is not a solution. It is the first domino in a series to fall, creating more problems and chaos. It will not punish people, nor teach them lessons. Anything you hoped others would learn from your death will be completely obscured by the grief they will experience. Any solution you sought by killing yourself will not be reached, rather, those problems will be transfered to those closest to you who, in addition to grieving the loss of you will have to deal with your problems.

Please do not look upon suicide as a romantic act. Death will not come to you quietly or gently, there will be no romantic last breath nor gentle heartbeat stopping. You will not become a floating specter looking down upon your own funeral. You will cease to exist. There will be nothing, no thoughts, no sight, no sounds, no feeling. You cannot fathom a lack of existence even as you sit here breathing. After you are gone others will have to go through all your belongings. Anything you did not want people to find will be found. All the memories you have associated with your possessions will be lost. Others will not appreciate your things the way you do now. Everything you own will be given away, sold, or thrown away. It will not be yours anymore.

Your death will not affect only the people you think about now. Those closest to you will be mortally wounded by your actions. Your death will be like a hole cut out of them, but others too will be affected. The distant relatives you don’t think of often will recall you as you were years ago and wonder if there was some sort of sign. Friends will carry guilt in their conscience, wondering why their friendship wasn’t enough to prevent your action. Classmates and coworkers you hardly notice will think about the last time they saw you and if there was something they could have said or done that could have changed your course and prevented your death.

Please, think about what I have said. My life has been irrecovably altered by my brother’s death. My family has been torn apart by it. As each year passes, I will remember less of my little brother, I have fewer memories of the time we spent together and the sound of his voice.

If you are considering suicide, please, call someone. It can be a friend or a family member or someone you don’t even know. You may be in pain, full of sorrow or lonliness, but please consider what I have written here and consider the full consequences of your actions. You belong here with us, your life will change as time goes on and this moment shall pass.

If you need someone to talk to, please call, do it now. There is always someone to talk to.

National Suicide Prevention Hotlines (Toll Free)

1-800-suicide 1-800-273-talk 1-800-799-4tty (deaf hotline)

Autumn R. Bates


One thought on “In Memory of My Brother

  1. Hi Autumn:

    Our newspaper would like to re-publisher your article on your brother’s suicide. Is that OK? Please email me if it’s OK.

    Thank you.

    Peter Day
    Hesperia Star Newspaper

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