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gallows humor, part 2

when i was younger--well, let's be more specific, somewhere between 15-20 years ago--i made a point to mention to people that my brother had committed suicide. to my confused mind, it made sense for the people in my life to know this fact. it would behoove them to be more understanding, more sensitive, more kind. i think today people may call my pre-emptive strike a way to avoid "triggering"? i don't know.

but as i get older, the less important it becomes... the key concept here is that he is dead. how he died is background noise. when i think of him, i don't give a flying fuck anymore about what he did, why he did it, how he did it. what matters is that once i had a brother, a living, breathing, wisecracking, genuinely kind being, and 20 years later, i've been an only child for 20 years.

so i don't volunteer the info. if someone asks, i answer, but i don't lead off with it like THIS IS MY REALITY AND YOU NEED TO TREAT ME ACCORDINGLY. like it was ever really all about me. i had no business making it all about me.

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