Letters to my brother – from Tyler Clementi’s older brother

Letters to my brother – from Tyler Clementi’s older brother
Tyler (left) and James Clementi / Photo courtesy James Clementi

James Clementi – Tyler Clementi’s older brother – has shared with OUT.com a series of letters he wrote after Tyler committed suicide last year. The letters are touching and heartfelt and beautiful. They are James’ attempt to reclaims his memory from the headlines and pays tribute to his abbreviated life.

Here’s just an excerpt:

Pipsqueak – You were one noisy kid. I remember walking inside and the most beautiful sounds of Tchaikovsky and Mozart would waft through every room. And I hated it.

Remember how I used to bang on your door and scream at you to stop being so loud? It was so unfair that I had to listen to your noise all the time — why couldn’t you just pick up a quieter hobby!? I would refuse to attend your recitals and concerts because I had to listen to you play all the damn time at home. Wow, do I regret that.

It is so quiet now. You were really talented; it was a gift. I’m not sure I ever told you that… maybe you didn’t care. It’s not like you needed my validation; I know nothing about classical music and you knew you were the shit when it came to that damn violin. I just feel really bad for not telling you how awesome you are, how much I respect your skills and dedication. I regret not listening to every note with open ears, not going to more concerts. Fuck you for making me feel bad; it’s not fair that you did that to me. But I would tell you now if I could, I really miss the noise!

I really recommend you read them. Tyler’s early death became a catalyst for today’s anti-bullying campaigns. The letters remind us Tyler was real, human and most importantly – gone too soon.