(Background) Back in 2006, I was 16, my brother (let’s call him Bob) who was 18 at the time, wrote suicide notes and disappeared one night. One of his friends rang our doorbell late that night and showed us the letters. We filed a police report with all of the documents including his pictures, letters, ect. They checked the body of water under the bridge which he said he would jump from, they were unable to find anything. 10 years went by until 2016 where a detective rang our doorbell and thought he had found a shoe with some bone remains of my brother. He took our DNA swabs and said he would get back to us in 6-12 months.
The experience with the detective really traumatized my mom because she held on to so much hope that my brother is alive even though he said he was going to commit suicide in the letters, the police never found any evidence. At that point my eldest brother (let’s call him Tom) and I decided that this would be too much for our parents to bear. We decided that only we would deal with the police regarding this and we would hide the outcome from our parents because it would break their hearts. I believe that the fact that they had no police evidence regarding my brother Bob was dead gave my parents that hope and this let them carry on with their life and the rest of us resumed our lives as well.
Fast forward to 2017, I kept trying to follow up with the police station to see if it was a positive DNA match or not and I discovered that the detective investigating my brother’s case had retired. After I pushed a few times, it seems that they re-opened the file and found the conclusion. The problem is that they did not alert me first, they alerted my eldest brother Tom, who is about 6 years older than me. He was always a 3rd parent in my eyes and has a lot of authority in my family.
Tom told me a few days ago that he got a call from the detectives and it is confirmed that my brother Bob is dead and the DNA sample matched. Tom lives in another state and does not have to see my parents that often. I live with them on the other hand. Tom wants to tell my parents in a couple weeks, I oppose telling them. My parents have had 10 years since my brother Bob disappeared and have finally moved on with their lives. This year we bought a new house, I am getting married this year, and so many other great things are happening. I’m afraid if Tom tells my parents the truth, they will never recover and be back at the level of life that they are at now.
Maybe I am being selfish but I only want to protect my parents. What they don’t know won’t hurt them. It seems to me that they are holding onto a little bit of hope that my brother Bob might return and he just faked a suicide so everyone in the family would get off his back and leave him alone.
What do you guys think? Should I convince my brother Tom to take this secret to our own graves and let our parents hold onto that hope? Or let him tell my parents and it could break them so badly that they might not recover?