You were 20 years old. I was still a young teenager. Your younger sibling, up until that point, was my friend. Three months prior, your even younger sibling had died.
Everyone processes grief and tragedy differently. Most might lean more toward the belief that one might go out of their way to help prevent another death from occurring during such dark times, rather than encourage it. You apparently had other ideas.
Looking back, I would like to believe that your cruelty was your own way of trying to heal. Perhaps your cold words were your attempt at trying to protect your only other sibling who was still with you, in ways that you were unable to protect the one whom you had lost. At the time, you saw me as an unworthy friend. So, you told me to get lost, and suggested I kill myself. I’d like to believe that if you were given the opportunity to go back, you would have handled things differently.
What you don’t know, is the profound impact that your words had on me. What you failed to realize, was that I was grieving your youngest sibling’s death, too. What you didn’t care to see at that time, was how hard I was already fighting the voice in my head that was continuously encouraging me to do the same thing. You never knew how tempted I was to follow your cruel suggestion.
If there is one thing that I have learned, it is that grief makes us think, say, and do incredibly harmful things, both to ourselves and other people.
Now, several years later, I hope you are doing better. I hope you have found a healthier way of dealing with your trauma than lashing out on the people around you. I hope you are a better person now, and you have grown to understand the weight and the damage that come with those words. I hope you haven’t said them to anyone since. I hope you have grown to realize that you are not the only one hurting when terrible things happen.
I hope you have allowed yourself to heal. I’m writing this as an attempt to do the same. I hope you are happy, and you choose your words more carefully. I hope of all the combinations of words that are available in the English language, no one ever chooses those three to say to you.
If I ever saw you again, and I could only choose three, I would say
I forgive you.