September 11, 2016  –  A letter from a sister, Terri Celentani

For my brother Gary,

FDNY Firefighter 9290 A life, a moment in time, a man that captured our hearts who we will treasure forever! My brother Gary committed suicide on 9/25/2002.

Gary had spent months down at ground zero after the tragedy of 9/11. He had a passion and love for his job like no other. He had lost so many of his best friends and brothers that day and we all knew how devastated he was by their deaths, but never did we think he was capable of taking his own life! He never talked to us about what he had experienced. I asked him once the May before his death and his reply to me was … Don’t ask cause I’ll never tell you.

My brother was a great man and fireman. He had a heart of gold and would do anything for anyone. We thought he was okay because he was in departmental counseling at the time of his death. If only we had known just what he was really going though! Nothing could have prepared me for the phone call on the night of September 25th telling me that my sweet baby brother had taken his life. He had become the 1st NYC Fireman to commit suicide post 9/11. Our world was shattered!

Please, I beg of anyone reading this who may feel hopeless and suicidal, to reach out and talk to a professional. What you don’t realize is that it is the ones you leave behind who are never whole again. Please don’t be another statistic. Your life matters to all who love you so very much. And, for those who are struggling with the death of a loved one by suicide, please seek help for yourselves. I spent years in counseling just trying to understand WHY!! Trust me it’s the kindest thing you can do for yourself.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you.

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