I don’t remember exactly when or how I made the decision to write this book, only that the idea came upon me very soon after my only brother, Steve, took his life in May of 2004.
It seemed like an obvious thing to do. Having earned my living as a writer and/or editor for hire for most of my adult life, I had plenty of experience. I had written dozens of guides, handbooks, and scripts on difficult subjects – bullying and harassment, gang involvement, prostitution, methamphetamine addiction, living and dying… I had even written on the subject of suicide. Let’s Live, a school-based suicide prevention resource aimed at teens, written for the BC Council for Families, is still being used in schools throughout the world.
But the impetus to write this book didn’t arise from my professional background. It was a calling, which is a rare grace in a lifetime. With a calling, there is no fear, no doubt, no double-guessing.
It was a calling that would soon become a lifeline. Losing Steve to suicide was profoundly unsettling for me. I had lost one of the few people I’d known since infancy. I had lost a part of myself linked to a childhood that only he shared. I had struggled with depression at times and knew something of what he must have gone through. By writing my story with the intention of helping other suicide survivors torn to shreds by grief, I was able to bring meaning to my suffering.
“Stephen’s death has deepened my belief that a person’s journey does not end with the death of his or her physical body. I trust that the soul endures and makes its peace with all that has occurred in his or her earthly passage. I have no doubt that my brother is a soul on a continuing journey. I can’t prove it and I have no idea what his experience is – but as a person with more faith in the invisible than in the visible, I don’t need to know.”
Writing Did You Know I Would Miss You? brought mercy to pain and turmoil. In times of despair, it kept me alive. It took me into regions of the heart that I had longed to access, without my conscious knowing.
Writing Did You Know I Would Miss You? has expanded my world and has been one of the greatest blessings of my life.