Friday, March 19, 2010

So many lost

Remembering Alfred

I want to talk about my brother-in-law Alfred. No one loved a good laugh more than Alfred and no one could develop a practical joke quite like him. Al was always laughing and always playful. This is a stark contrast to his very reserved and serious older brother who is bothered and humored by very little. Most would describe him as solid - very solid.

There are three brothers, and to have them all in the same room was quite amusing. The oldest brother (my husband) is very serious, the middle brother is best described as nice or perhaps sensitive (relatively speaking), and little brother Alfred a playful joker who brightened any room he entered. They were complete opposites, bickering and debating all the time. Yet much like my three boys, they were always gravitating to each other, always together.

-From left to right; big brother, little brother, middle brother-

The truth is I have no story. I just wanted to talk about Alfred. Our family lost him to suicide nine years ago today and I want to remember him. I have nothing profound to share. It's profound enough to live through the horror of suicide as a family. I’ll admit I do wish I could remember past the way he died, to how he lived. Sometimes I can remember past it, sometimes I can't. It’s unfair that suicide seems to quiet the celebration of a loved one’s life.

Every sixteen minutes someone is lost to suicide, every seventeen minutes someone is left behind.


  1. Dear Anna....

    I would respectfully disagree that this reflection is not profound. I love hearing about Alfred's playful side, his laughter, and the solid bond of the brothers. This honors his life and his family.

    My son, Danny has a great smile and sense of humor, too. He makes us belly laugh at times, even though he suffers greatly with mental health issues. Your story reminds me to appreciate his smile and celebrate his life every day.

    Thank you and thanks to your family for supporting your work. Alfred and Danny's smiles will brighten our community's conscience and help save lives...Teresa

  2. Yes they will.

    Thank you Teresa for your comments and your tireless efforts to promote health for all.