Soooo, 3 left a video, found when the glacially-paced county coroner’s office finally returned 3’s phone to the family. Not a video of his actual suicide, like RJ’s dream, thank God, but a brief video shot on his phone an hour or so before he died. It’s not quite a note; I don’t even know that he had made the decision to kill himself at that point. It is, however, a brief glimpse into his mindset – 2 minutes and 31 seconds of monologue, interspersed with lots of sighs and head shakes.
One of my immediate reactions to hearing about 3’s suicide was to think that he did it because he was mad. 3 had quite a temper, and it wasn’t a stretch to picture him saying “Fuck it” and grabbing a gun in light of his recent traffic stop. In the video, 3 isn’t mad; he’s sad. With the air of a tired, middle-aged man, 3 briefly talks about how he’s so tired of fucking up. He also mentions how he feels he was “born in the wrong time,” that he doesn’t like how the world is now. I really wish he’d explained that more, because that’s the part that I don’t understand.
In the middle of the video, 3 acknowledges that things aren’t all bad, that he’s had fun. A lot of fun, “maybe not in the right ways.” He says that he loves all his friends, and even throws in an “I love my family” before endings with “It’s just getting to be too much.”
It’s a sad video, though not entirely surprising. 3 had always been more self-aware than people gave him credit for. Even the exhausted mentality makes sense. As my sister SL said in the days after 3’s death, he lived more in his 21 years than most people do in a lifetime. SL was referring to 3’s many adventures, but it’s not unrealistic that, in his mind, he’d had enough troubles to last a lifetime as well.
Really, I understood 3’s feelings in the video: the idea that things are getting too bad, that the good times or fun times aren’t enough to make up for it. I’ve been there. I imagine many people have been there, have wallowed in the thought that things are getting worse, getting to be too much. The difference, of course, is that, for most people, that feeling doesn’t quite overwhelm the desire to live.
Like much of what I’ve learned about 3’s death, this idea makes me mad. It makes me resent the genetic propensity for depression we inherited from our father, and it makes me mad that 3 flat-out refused to consider consequences of his actions. He talked about how much he “fucked up” in the video, most likely referring to losing his driver’s license earlier that night. Instead of acknowledging his poor decisions and moving on, or, you know, not making poor decisions in the first place, 3 would knowingly choose the fastest, cheapest, and easiest way out, then become genuinely upset at the (in my mind) inevitable failure of his plan.
Again, there was nothing too shocking in the video. I still choose to believe that he hadn’t yet made the decision to kill himself. It just reaffirms the sadness and frustration of having a brother who chose to end his life, even 4 months later.