When my brother was born, I was a teenager. He was the cutest thing I had ever seen. One week ago, when my brother passed away into thin air, he was only 21. I hadn’t seen him in 10 years. It was never meant to be like this. It never really is, I would imagine. At 19, I got a full scholarship to study overseas. I told him in advance, but didn’t wake him up in the middle of the night when I left. I spent time watching him sleeping, and then left. I called him from the airport while in transit. He didn’t talk to me. He was 3, and it was the first time he would be quiet on the phone. Time went by, and I spent it doing things. I cannot even recall what things. Getting a degree, another one, looking for jobs, not getting one, getting one, doing the job etc. None of these was easy, but none of them was that essential either. He simply waited for me to come back. He went to school, got bullied. Made no friends. No extracurricular activities. No joy. Tortured by society, and abandoned by his father, he hid inside his disappointment. I visited when I could. It wasn’t enough though. Children need continuous love and support, right there in their proximity. Long-distance doesn’t do them well. Every time he saw me off, at the bus stop, airport, wherever. Cried his eyes out. Screamed. Convulsed. I kept returning to my duties. My life. I kept leaving him behind. He stayed behind and travelled with me in his imagination, with the help of Google Street. Wherever I went, he followed me. “I wanted to see what you see”, he told me once. 10 years ago he took me to the airport. I was leaving again. Not because I wanted to leave him. After years spent abroad, there was no career path for me back home. I went where the opportunity to grow professionally, existed. That was the last time I saw him. He was 11. I look now at the pictures and can see the pain in his eyes. That pain is visible. I didn’t see it then. I see it now. He was already very affected by the social environment, the bullying, affected by abandonment, and very sad. But he had a huge warm heart and never asked for anything. He never tried to stop me from going. He just hugged me and waved goodbye. What came next I only know from others. Anger, despair, negativity. He stopped talking to me. I had a new family and became unable to travel back to him. I hoped he’d come to see us. He never did. He turned his frustration towards his mother. He has been diagnosed with Schizophrenia and Borderline Personality Disorder at 19. He was violent. I was afraid. From a distance, I was afraid. I didn’t know what to do. I tried calling, writing. He would pick up the phone and not say anything. He rejected me. I gave up. He then started writing himself, attacking me verbally, I got even more scared. I kindly replied and invited him to come see me. He warmly refused. Then changed his tone and threatened me. I didn’t know how to cope with his mood swings. What was real and what wasn’t. I stopped replying so that I don’t fuel his anger no more. I blocked him so that I don’t shake every time I checked my email. I stopped checking my email. Till yesterday. I checked my email yesterday, only to find out he was gone. One week ago. Gone into thin air. Beyond the clouds. Beyond sanity and insanity. He deserved a better life. I loved him beyond words. But failed him miserably. I should have just dropped everything I was doing, got on the plane, and hugged him. Being far away from a child (turned adult) just doesn’t work. I couldn’t give him the immediate attention he craved for. His mind went wild, his emotions all over the place, no control. He couldn’t stop the chaos inside his head. Saw no point in trying. Asked to be set free. Not to be stopped. And flew. Fly high with the angels, my beloved little brother. I am torn apart but love you. Forever. I am so sorry.