My little brother, Chris Archer, took his life July 6, 2017; he turned 44 just two days earlier.
One year later it is still unbelievable to me, with many unanswered questions.
Why? How could I, his only sibling, know so little about his struggles, his pain, the helplessness he must have felt on that day? Didn’t he have a good life? He had a happy childhood, a good job for over 20 years, friends, family, a dog, interests, worked out and ate healthy. Just your average good guy!
But maybe the signs were there, some uncharacteristic actions and decisions made in the previous year or so, but SUICIDE? That never crossed my mind. I jokingly called it a “man mid-life crisis” and when I questioned his actions he would brush it off, have an excuse ready or lie (as I found out too late). I should not have accepted this so easily. I should have pushed harder for the truth. But most of all, I should have let him know that he could trust me and confide in me, without judgement.
Guilt, sadness, anger and disbelief are still my daily emotions, so I am sharing my story to encourage open and honest discussion about mental health, increase and bring awareness to resources of support and remove associated stigma of suicide.