While I didn’t want Ben to be overwhelmed with grief and unable to function, I didn’t want him to act as if nothing had happened. I wanted him to be part of our family’s grief journey. I’ve had to learn to accept that his way of grieving is different than mine and a common response for young people after suicide loss, especially young men. I’m just afraid one day grief will hit him full force and we won’t be there to help him.
It grieves me that Ben has trouble remembering the good times growing up with his brother. Noah adored Ben as a child, following his lead in making forts and dams and odd constructions, dressing up the dog, and playing video games. He and Noah moved in totally different worlds as teenagers and weren’t close as young adults, though they were starting to spend more time together. Ben later said he wished he’d reached out more to Noah. He and I share regret about things not said and done and the forever lost chance at reconciliation.