Even before Monday’s heart-wrenching news, depression’s been much on my mind of late for a few reasons.

I’ve been thinking and writing about the tendency creative people have to self destruct. I had recently learned that my favorite childhood author, LM Montgomery, died in a manner that some members of her family believe was a hushed-up suicide. As a writer, the suicide rate among writers is upsetting.

Also, I watched as the 3rd of my brother’s post-suicide birthdays slipped past in the beginning of this month. He would have been 46.

Monday’s news made me grieve for my brother all over again.

My brother was an astonishingly intelligent person. He was generous, hilariously funny, and musically gifted. I cannot hear Pink Floyd or see macaroni and cheese without thinking of him.

Sometimes the guilt that we could not keep him here, is overwhelming.

When I look back at the last time I saw him, so many red flags appear in hindsight. He made gifts to my children of things that were precious to him. He stayed the night, sleeping on the living room couch and staying up late to talk with me about politics and life. We had very opposite  political viewpoints, but he listened to me that night and shared his thoughts. A final act of  love from someone on his way out the door. I’m not a touchy-feely person. I don’t remember whether or not I hugged him goodbye the next morning as I headed to work, but I hope I did.

So I am grieving again for my brother. I don’t know if this hole can ever heal. Just when I think it’s starting to, it opens again.

Since his death, I hug everyone goodbye, every time, no matter what. Some people think it’s silly, but I don’t ever again want to let death make me wonder if someone knew that I loved them.

So I  hug goodbye now. I let go last. Sometimes I hug them twice.

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