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Local businesswoman advocates for suicide awareness.
Holland and brother
Latasha Holland and her late brother Isaiah Wiley in happier times. - photo by Photo provided.

My name is Latasha Holland, Licensed Massage Therapist and a Realtor. I have recently started advocating for suicide awareness and mental health due to the fact I recently lost my baby brother, Sgt. Isaiah D. Wiley, to suicide. In the near future I plan to grow my massage business into a wellness center that offers alternative ways to heal naturally. Some of the services will include Reiki, massage therapy, community and sporting events. My page on Facebook is also another outlet I am using to spread hope and increase awareness to get people talking about mental health. My goals are to show people that there can be another way and they are not alone. The picture of me and my brother is the last picture we took together; it was 62 hours before he hung himself. Depression doesn’t have a look, so I plan on stopping the stigma! I will continue to share his story as often as I can, and I pray it reaches someone that maybe suffering in silence. Our page is and instagram is NotJustAnotherSuicideStory.

Dear Isaiah, my angel brother,

On Aug. 6, my whole world changed, I got the call from mom screaming hysterically, I asked her what was up? What could it be? She broke my heart when she told me you committed suicide. What was going through your mind? This couldn’t be. This can’t be real. What the hell is happening? I lost all focus. I felt so hopeless and then went numb. I prayed to God not to take you from me. I yelled your name, “Isaiah make it!” I screamed to God, “Lord don’t take my baby brother away from me.” I heard you were alive, on life support, they said. We got a heartbeat, but had already lost your brain. No one wanted to tell us you were gone. Every day, I asked you to wake up, I spoke to you. They said you might be able to hear me. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat; I just kept hope. This can’t be real, I have always been here. Every call, every day, my last dime. What happened this time? I asked myself a million times. You left and didn’t say goodbye. 

On Aug. 12, you looked so peaceful. You were breathing softly and looked like you were sleeping. I knew it wouldn’t be long and that’s what scared me the most. By your side like every day prior, I prayed to God “just a little longer.” But that was the day that your heart gave way and my heart broke, and broke, and broke some more. Got to the hospital and I found mom so desperate to wake you and hold you. All she could do was anoint you with oil. Omg, that broke me down. A mother’s not supposed to bury her child! I looked at your face your lips so blue and felt on your chest to find no pounding heart, you just laid there a little colder, and you were no longer with us. Why? I begged God, this shouldn’t have happened! My heart broke then and every day since. My life without you has left such a void. A panic attack I arise to every morning, thinking this nightmare will soon end shortly. But nah, it’s over and I can’t even move on. My life has changed and everything’s different. You broke mom’s heart and I worry about her. I worry about your daughter and the one on the way.You had a wife and a stepdaughter. Five other siblings. Why didn’t you let us fix it? Why didn’t you let us help you? What made it different? I’m not sure what hurts the most. Shopping for your services made me sick. Planning a memorial, this can’t be real. Saw you in the casket and that wasn’t you. I know you heard the way that mama cried for you. All the love that was shown, you had to know, in your life everyone was touched by you. 

Sometimes when you’re hurting it takes time to heal. I’m not sure I can understand the depth of your pain or the choice that you made. I love you and I need you. It hasn’t been a month and I still sit and cry. I look for you every day and I wish that you would call. This pain gets unbearable. It’s hard to wake up, it’s hard to get sleep, it’s hard to move on and I can’t even work. Life ain’t the same since the day that you died. I can’t even imagine how life can go on. My heart is broke, my body hurts, and it’s hard to smile. I’m looking for hope, searching for God, looking for you and you’re not even here. I couldn’t tell you what strength is because that’s not gonna change this. I gotta live life and get used to you not being here. Twenty-seven years wasn’t long enough. 

It’s my new purpose to try and reach a soul from what tormented you and eventually won. I promise that your death won’t be in vain. I will uphold and honor your name. Everybody will know that they matter and I hope that you know that you were the best. And I’m thankful to God that you chose me in this life to be your sister and guide you through life. I hope I didn’t let you down. 

Life will never be the same. Until the day I see your face, that big old smile and hear that laugh, I’ll carry you in my heart. I’ll keep your memory alive, because not a day goes by that you’re not on my mind. I know they said you hung yourself, but it was us you left hanging bro. Just so you know I’m missing you so, I really wish you didn’t do it. 

Your big sister forever, 

Latasha Holland

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