Just like a lot of brothers and sisters, Elyse and her brother didn't always get along. But, also like most brothers and sisters, they loved each other and they both knew that, and they were pretty close. But, over time, as they got older, her brother developed severe depression - and there wasn't much Elyse could do, though it was hard, and sad for her and her whole family. He wasn't always depressed, but when he was it was really terrible.
One day Elyse went on a class trip - a full weekend out and lots of fun. On their first night away they were all out for dinner together at a restaurant, when their teacher got a phone call. Elyse watched as she answered the phone and then suddenly a look of anguish and terror came over her. The teacher pulled Elyse aside and, with tears in her eyes, she told her that her brother had just been found, in the bathroom, no longer alive.
Elyse left the trip early and went home. The police were there, and though she wanted to see her brother one last time, to say goodbye - even though he was already gone - her parents wouldn't let her, they didn't want her to see, or remember him that way.
The funeral was so awful and painful and depressing. Everyone was still in shock, crying. They opened his casket so people could see, and say goodbye, but Elyse couldn't bring herself to go over to it - it was too overwhelming and she broke down, right then and there at his funeral. She couldn't take it - just wanted to leave, to be home, to close herself in and away from it all. She didn't stay to see him being buried. She couldn't.
Elyse was so sad, and scared, and lonely-feeling. She stayed in her room for days, unable to stop crying, and her Mom would bring her food and check on her, but she wasn't hungry, couldn't eat. She lost almost 30 lbs, was sleepless and unhealthy - but eventually she began to venture out of her room, and, allowed herself to know, and to feel, and maybe to accept that her brother was gone, that she had lost him forever.
Everyone had their own way of coping with the pain. Her parents essentially boarded up his room and they never went in there. After nearly three months Elyse finally got her strength up to go back to school, and it was hard when she did. She felt everyone staring at her, whispering to each other, like they couldn't believe she was back at school and trying to act normal.
She started talking to a therapist, which slowly helped, and her Mom did everything she could to help Elyse and her sister get through the pain.
One day Elyse came home from school and saw her mom talking to a carpenter. They were making plans to put a permanent wall over her brother's door, to block it off forever. Elyse didn't want that to happen, and she tried to convince her parents that it wasn't right, but they were set on it - they were going to do it anyway.
Before they put up the wall, Elyse snuck into his room one last time, and she took everything out of the room that she wanted to save to remember him by. The main thing she took though was his hockey trophy - he had loved playing hockey and had always been so proud of their championship trophy. But the trophy taunted her, reminded her that her brother was lost and gone - but that was okay - she didn't ever want to forget about him.
She visits the cemetery a lot, and sits by his gravestone and talks to him. She misses him so much, all the time, and every day, still, she wonders to herself "what could I have done?"
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