My response to an email I received from a woman who lost her brother last spring to a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It was a little painful to go back there, but very helpful, too.
Thank you for writing me. The death of my brother has been very difficult, but it would have been so much more difficult had I not had the Lord's protection over me. My mother passed away in September 2009, and just 6 weeks before my brother died, my dad moved to Granbury after selling his house that he and my mother lived in for over 30 years. You could have knocked me over with a feather the day he called and said he was planning to sell his house and move into an apartment in my town. A strained relationship with an acquaintance was restored and that person was a source of encouragement and great comfort when many of my friends deserted me. Our Sunday school class paid for a babysitter to come and watch my children for the weekend and provided meals as well so that I would have one less thing to worry about. This kind of death will always have questions and mystery surrounding it. Reading police and autopsy reports was like a punch to the gut for me, and yet, I couldn't stop reading it. Just this weekend, I went to the cemetery and saw my brother's gravestone. Because I never saw his body, I don't know if I'll ever come to terms with it.
On Christmas morning, I got a poignant reminder of him as I was making blueberry muffins for my family. He and I used to watch the movie Casino with Robert DeNiro, Sharon Stone and Joe Pesci. In one scene, Robert DeNiro's character is having a meeting with someone and he is having coffee and a blueberry muffin. So is the other man. The muffins are cut open and Robert DeNiro's muffin has about 3 blueberries and the other muffin has about 25. He gets upset and goes into the kitchen where he tells the man making the muffins that he wants, "an equal number of blueberries in each muffin."
"Do you know how long that's going to take?"
"I don't care how long it takes. I want an equal number of blueberries in each muffin." And he leaves.
It would have been funny to us that I was making muffins and they weren't going to have an equal number of blueberries. He would have probably used another quote from that movie said by Joe Pesci, in response to my muffins, "I'll leave you wherever I find you."
I hope you have people you can talk to and can pray for you. I went to a counselor for a while until I could process things. I will be thinking of you as you heal from this tragedy. Please feel free to write me again. I'm so sorry for your loss.