by Marshall Dunn
My name is Marshall Dunn and my elder brother Mitch ended his life on October 1st, 2002 – one month before my twenty-first birthday.
I still remember being woken up in the middle of the night by my mother. I’d slept through the Police knocking at the front door. Instead I opened my eyes to see my mother at my side, where she has always been for our entire family, a broken woman.
She wrapped me in her arms and didn’t let go. The words, “He was such a troubled soul,” echoed in my ears on that night and many more to come. I was broken and so was the life I’d come to know and love.
Mitch had suffered in deep depression for about ten years. He spent his final days at a casino blowing $17,000 he had stolen from a family account. Drinks, drugs and prostitutes – a final, calculated “hurrah” you might say. He then put himself to sleep with a combination of prescription medication and a plastic bag over his head.
In some countries they may have been quick to diagnose him as bipolar. I don’t think so. I believe Mitch was so attached to the past, so defeated and so unwilling to accept responsibility for his life and to remember the light within him. I have a feeling that if he could have his time again, he may have chosen differently. But who knows? One goes searching for answers and ends up nowhere. To be honest, that’s not important now anyway. What’s important is what we learn from our grief and this type of traumatic experience.