Barely a year had passed and still the memory remained. Every time I looked at someone or I heard a song on the radio brought the pain and anguish flooding back. I still refused to believe that Sean had gone. I hated the fact that I was alone for the first time in my life.
For months after the funeral I had immersed myself totally with work, alienating those closest to me. I was turning into a bitter person yet could not pull myself out of the hole I was slowly falling into.
I made a decision to move away to try and regain some sense of purpose. How wrong could I have been?
I accepted a job in Blackpool as a chef and left Nottingham in the summer of 2008. I had looked at it as a new start and a way to clear the cobwebs. Maybe it would help me to grieve properly by being back on the coast.
Every night after work I would sit on the beach staring across the Irish Sea just thinking of Sean. If he was still alive we would have shared a drink or two and just talk. That was something I missed. Having someone to talk to openly and freely.
Weeks passed and I settled into a daily routine. I would walk along the beach front on the way to work and say good morning to the ocean. I didn't know it at the time but those walks would shape the events to come.
I slowly withdrew into myself over time and became a virtual recluse. My only escape would be the internet and talking to people I would never meet. I became a prisoner in my own mind.
The first time it happened was after a particularly stressful day at work. Deliveries turned up late and customers were being somewhat awkward. I finished my shift feeling angry and depressed. Something had snapped inside me.
I bought a large bottle of liquor and headed to my favorite place to sit. It was secluded and I knew that no-one would be able to see me.
As I sat there drinking from the bottle, all I could think about was joining my brother in death. I felt suicidal as all the pent up emotion came flooding out of my system. If I jumped into the sea that would be the end of my story.
The tide had started to lap around my feet but still I sat there. I couldn't move. I didn't want to move.
In a brief moment of clarity through the haze of alcohol, I had an image appear in my head that Sean would not want this. He wouldn't want me to end it and leave everyone behind. It was that one thought which stopped me from going through with it.
I knew deep down that I needed professional help but was to stubborn to accept the help. I felt that I could deal with the situation in my head without their help.
I stood up and turned to head home but the rocks were slick with foam from the swelling ocean. I lost my footing and hit my head on the black rocks. The last thing I remember is thinking that this was it. The end of an era.
I have a vague recollection of being hauled up and having air forced into my lungs.
In the days and months that passed after that incident, I ended up doing a lot of thinking. Not just about the loss of a brother or being away from everyone, but a lot of thinking about myself as a person.
I guess that sometimes, grief can take over your life and consume your every thought. Some people may pretend that everything is normal after a while, but deep down the pain still remains within.
Since that day I nearly took my own life, I had to make a change. Not just for me, but for those that cared about me.
Losing someone close is hard and it has taken me a long time to stop blaming myself for events which I could not change.
Eight years have passed and still the pain is there. Maybe not as sharp as it once was, but still there regardless.
I know that this whole story has been riddled with grammatical errors, punctuation mistakes etc (sorry about that) but when putting thoughts down on paper (or in this case, on a site for all to see) you don't think about how it looks to others. Its the underlying...emotions that count. Writing this has helped me to come to terms with the loss. I still miss the big bear and that will never fade as long as I live.