About the Brimhall Family
Cade Brimhall's sister
Senior at Provo High School
Interviewer : Cami, I’d like you to just tell us just a little bit about Cade from your perspective. What was he like?
Cami : Cade was very popular, very outgoing, average teenage boy. He’s all boy. He was into football and sports and rap music but my parents didn’t like that part. (laughs). Um, he was very welcoming. He was very, like, if you wanted a best friend, Cade would be, like, the ideal best friend to have. Like, I don’t know, he was very, like, very loving, he put his friends, like, on a very high priority along with his family. And he’s a very fun, outgoing boy. I have a story can I tell you?
Once my brothers and Cade were camping, or Cade is my brother, but anyways, um, and they dared him to eat a fish, like raw, so they caught a fish and they told him they’d give him five dollars if he ate it. So he swallowed the fish whole, like didn’t chew or didn’t do anything and it was just like, I swear I could probably feel it in his stomach, but he got his five dollars and that was the kind of attitude, like just happy go-lucky and just have fun in life. So anyway.
Sounds like they were pranksters too. Well, um, based on what your family’s gone through losing Cade, it sounds like an absolutely wonderful kid, um, what’s the main message that you would like to get out in this, this in video piece?
The main thing I would like to say is that suicide isn’t an option but there’s so many other resources available and people that are willing to help and like, parents, family, teachers. I know we hear that everyday when we talk about suicide but it’s so true and I think that we need to realize that they really are there, they’re really willing to help and they will, like, use all their efforts and all their resources to help you get better and, and that it’s not like a life long thing. It’s not something that you’d have to deal with your whole life so why make it a life long decis….life decision. And why make it something’s that’s going, obviously ruin your life and it’s not, I just think people need to realize that it’s not a decision, it’s not an option. It shouldn’t be something on your list of choices.
We talked about the stigma and how, you know, your family went through people, sometimes make (unintelligible) unkind remarks about your family, um, because of what happened to your family. Can you talk a little bit about that, about the stigma and the, and the myths and misconceptions?
I think that the stigma and like, conceptions about suicide, I think it’s just ignorance and that people just don’t know. Which, I guess you should tolerate that and understand that not everyone has been through this but at the same time, without realizing it, it’s really hurtful to the family and really hurtful to like, just, just sly little comments that, and I understand that people don’t, people don’t know like what to say and it’s awkward when you have to go to a funeral and you have to be like, uh, sorry for your loss, I don’t know what to say. But at the same time like, I think people need to realize that, like, family’s need their love and they need their support but they don’t need their like, prying and they don’t need asking questions and, you know, that’s up to the family and um. With the stigma with it, I think that’s kind of offensive because I remember people constantly, like, implying well what’s wrong with your family? Well, is like, I don’t know, what like, what’s going on in your family? Are you having some tragedy going on? Like, why would this happen? And I think that was offensive to me because I think, like, I consider my family just an average, like, I don’t know, nice, perfect little family and so when people say that, like, we worked so hard to, to love each other and to do what we need to do and to have those family relationships that when people, like, without knowing criticize that I think that’s more hurtful then what would be expected from it I guess.
And then also we talked about the fact that Cade was just a wonderful person and he was just a regular kid in so many ways but the kids in the pieces that we told you about, often times they feel really stigmatized because they have a mental illness or because they have depression or whatever they’re dealing with, they, people seem to think, like Liz said, that they’re not the kid who wears all black and has fifty piercings and you know, takes drugs and stuff. Do you want to talk to kids about that, about how um, anybody can have problems.
Yeah, I think that’s so true, anyone can have problems. Anyone can be dealing with depression and so much so that you’re walking down the halls at school and I guarantee lots of people walking down that hall with you are struggling with things that you’ll never know and things that are harder then your struggles or not as hard but it’s everyone’s different things. And I think that, like, by stigmatizing depression and suicide that, I don’t know, so many have depression and I bet, like, I don’t statistic wise but so many people are on anti-depressants and there’s no shame in that. Like, there’s no shame in like, getting help or I think there’s more shame in not doing anything and just, like, ruining your life because of it and instead of realizing that it’s a problem and wanting to be like, productive and self-motivated to get help and to do something about it and, um, I’m trying to remember your question. (Laughs)
Talking about, talking about the, how these kids stigmatize but they shouldn’t because exactly what you said…
There’s, well there’s so many people, like, I don’t know, and I think with movies and like t.v. shows and everything, it’s always like, if there’s, if someone’s on anti-depressants it’s like, they’re looked down on or I, it, it seems like lately I’ve noticed that, like, t.v. really emphasizes that. Like there’s the problem, they have a problem, there’s something wrong with them. And it’s not that they have a problem, it’s that there’s a hard time or something going on, you know, and you can fix it but it’s not anything to be ashamed of, like, t.v. or anyone else would make it, I don’t know, would make it seem like. And I think that’s unfortunate that there is an emphasis on the fact that you should be ashamed, that you should hide stuff like that when really like, talk about it, make it better and do something about it instead of feeling like ashamed for how you feel or I don’t know.
That’s good. Um, we also talked about, and you alluded to this in your, in one of your questions but, there’s really more help then you realize out there and when we’re talking in the other room, you um, really emphasized how sometimes kids don’t realize, I mean, it’s hard to, it’s really hard to talk to your parents and you don’t want to go talk to your parents often times but kids don’t realize how unconditional their parents love them and how parents would do anything to help them. And you said well it’s not really fun to go talk to your parents sometimes but um, there’s a wealth of help out there if they would. Would you tell us a little bit about that and how you feel about that?
I think it’s just important to realize that when you do need help and when there, like, although we keep not necessarily secrets but there’s, you just don’t want to tell your parents everything and there’s things you’d rather tell your best friend then tell your parents, but when there really is a problem and there really is something that needs to be done, your parents or whoever you decide to tell, like, they will be there and they will help you and it’s not, like I know my parents would use every resource they have if I had a problem and I needed help. And all, I mean, although that initial talking to them I’m sure is scary and not something anyone wants to do but like that split second after you’re done talking with them, you know they’re going to do everything they can to help you. And you know that they love you unconditionally. They don’t, hopefully no ones parents are going to stigmatize there child and I know that wouldn’t happen and that your parents are going to do anything and there’s nothing they, like, you could do anything wrong and you know your parents are still going to love you. That’s something that, fortunately, comes with parent-child relationships.
Your parents told us that Cade had talked to some of his friends. What would you say to a teenager whose friend comes and tells them that they’re thinking about taking their life?
If someone comes to you says they’re having a problem with suicide, whether it’s in like a joking way or they sit you down and they’re serious, to take everything someone says about suicide seriously. Like nothing should be taken in a joking manner or, and not to be like a stick in the mud or to be anything, I don’t know, but those threats, whether they’re in a joking way or anything, it’s not going to hurt you to go into the school counselor and to talk to him or to mentioned it to someone’s parents. It’s not going to do anything besides the fact of saves someone’s life. Like, you’re not, and maybe losing a best friend for a couple weeks might hurt or something if you, if they’re upset you told or what not but in the long run is it better to have your best friend still live and like have a best friend in the long run or have a friend instead of like lose your pride for a couple days or something. I think that everything that anyone says about suicide should always be told and then it shouldn’t be, I don’t, I regret that my brothers friends didn’t tell. Like, I don’t blame them but uh, I did at one point and I think that it’s silly not to tell. It’s silly to think that your better then something like that or that you, you can deal with something like that on your own cause you can’t.
Talk a little bit about the void that it leaves when someone commits suicide like Cade did, because often times teenagers say and we’ve heard them all when we’ve been doing this project, they’ll say oh, I would be better off, my family would be better off, the community, my friends would be better off because I feel like a failure and if I just weren’t here everybody would be better off. Talk about the ripples that it sent through your family and how you feel about that kind of a statement.
No ones family would be better off without them. Like, although it might seem like something at the time when you’re in that deep depression. No ones, like I can guarantee you my family’s not better off without Cade. We have had, like, many struggles just trying to deal with the fact that he’s not here and I know that like, the whole void with him not being here and coming home after school and like, with my parents working or what not, and coming home, walking in the door and thinking I’m going to see Cade or thinking I’m going to see all his friends that practically lived at our house also and it’s like, almost, for a while it’s almost like that realization everyday. You walk into the house and everyday it’s like you hope you’re, please, just please let someone be there.
You know, just let, like, Cade be there or something but really like, I don’t know. So that void and the fact that your family thinks about it everyday, it’s not something that’s going to go away. It’s not something that your family’s ever going to get over. Like time will help deal with it but it’s not like, it’s not an option cause you, I don’t think we realize how many people we’re hurting. It doesn’t hurt only our family and only our friends. It hurts the community as a whole. It hurts and whether that sounds like cheesy or not, that’s so true. Like, cause I work on like the committee with Greg and everyone and like when I hear about other suicides and I want to just like run over to their family and do anything I can to help but you can’t, you can’t bring someone back from the dead. You can’t and it’s not worth it. Like there’s, really like the next day, you’ll feel better, a little bit better, maybe better enough that you can talk to your parents, that you can do something. But in that split second and that split decision is not going to make it better. It’s not going to change that sadness it’s like, it’s just running from your fears which isn’t going to help anything.
What I’d like you to do is talk from your point of view, as a teenager that’s lost a brother and gone through with your family, what you would say to parents that may have children that are struggling with depression or suicide or other mental health issues?
Best thing for parents would be just to love your children. Like, don’t judge them if they’re having problems and don’t, like, don’t blame yourself that you did something wrong, just do something about it. Just get help and call your resources and like get counseling for your child or whatever but I think that by like, you have to love them though. Like if you, if you for a split second show any sign that you’re disappointed or that like they’re not going to trust you to come again. And that next time they need to come to you might just be that time that you need to save their life or that you need to do something. So I think that by just showing like unconditional love to your child that, and doing all that you can do to get resources and I know there’s financial help. I know there’s, there’s so many people that are willing to help, it’s, like it might take that extra effort to find everyone but your child’s worth that extra effort and I don’t know, just love them.
If you were to address a kid or even a group of kids that were struggling with issues of feeling depressed or feeling suicidal, what would the strongest message that you could give them be?
The strongest message would be to take that initial step. To tell someone and although it’s going to be hard at first, like everything will fall into place after that. And the help you need will come into place and recovery and then eventually like your life will be fine and it will be, if not better then it was before. And also just the message to keep in mind that suicide’s not an option. That it’s not something that should even be considered. Like it’s not, like it makes me sad that it’s even something that people consider because there’s so much, life has so much to offer us and although sometimes the stuff it offers us isn’t something we want to deal with, it might not be there tomorrow or it might not be there, you know, and our families always going to be there. Our friends are going to be there, the people we associate are going to be there and by leaving and losing them, we lose much more then we would ever lose then in like dealing with our, the hardships life gives us or the things we have to deal with. So, probably just that suicide’s not an option and that although it might be hard, take that first step and tell someone and respect yourself enough, enough to get help and to do something about it.
Did we get too much on…..
Oh, I forgot. I didn’t even hear it.
Okay. Let’s wait for it to….
I’m going to ask it again though, just because it’s….
One more time. Okay, again, what would your, your, if you had a chance to just talk to a group of teens that were struggling, what would you, would you, um, main strong message be to them?
Um, that suicide’s not an option.
Can you start again…..
Oh yeah. Okay, I feel funny like repeating the same thing in front of you guys, like, your like you idiot, you just said that. (Laughs). Um, I would say that suicide isn’t an option and that although it might be hard just take that initial step and talk to your parents or do whatever you feel comfortable with and get some help and realize that there’s, life has so much more to offer us then the hardships that you might be going through right now. And that there’s so much more to live for and um, just in general to respect yourself enough to take the time to get better or to talk to someone and make a difference in your own life so that you’re not hurting your family and all the people you associate with.