Tragically Lost My Oldest Brother.
My oldest brother was 13 years older than me, and I always did look up to him.
In March of 1987, I received a phone call from a friend, telling me that my oldest brother was dead. I presumed that he had been killed in a motorcycle accident, since on weekends he and a group of fellow riders would go to the desert, east of San Diego, California and ride.
The shock came when this friend told me that my brother had taken his own life. The story that I was given, was that he had not been feeling well and had gone to see a doctor for some tests. It turned out that he had been diagnosed with cancer. Because our mother had died from cancer, he had always said that if he were to come down with that disease, he would not suffer the way our mother had. I had just seen him three months earlier and he seemed to be in perfect health, although he was withdrawn, more so than I'd ever seen him.
The tragedy in this, was that because of the nature of his death, an autopsy had to be performed and the pathological findings indicated no evidence of cancer in any form. It turned out that the original diagnosis had been a gross error, made by two separate doctors. I filed a malpractice law suit against both doctors, but it amounted to nothing. Both doctors were exonerated.
This is by far the worst way that anyone can lose a family member.