A Brother's Hidden Life Piled Up Inside 4 Walls

Mar 4, 2017

Former 88.5 KNKX Jazz Sunday Side Up host Ruby Brown had known for a long time that her brother Andy had battled mental health issues. But it wasn’t until last summer when he took his own life that she and her family were able to understand the extent of it.

“I knew that he suffered from depression. I knew that he had mood swings that were pretty severe. They said that he [had] bipolar disorder when he was 17. He had been diagnosed with that. So I knew that he was suffering from that. I knew that it was really hard for him to focus on things. And I knew at times that he had suicidal ideations, but he didn’t really share those very deeply,” Ruby said.

That wasn’t all that Ruby was surprised to find out. When she was tasked with the responsibility of cleaning out her late brother’s apartment, which she had never been to, she was shocked to find out that he was a hoarder. The apartment was filled with everything from boxes of papers, to food, to clothing and gifts that had never been opened. Things were stacked so high that you wouldn’t have even known the apartment had windows, and there was only one lone chair at a computer where you could sit.

There were also years and years of journal entries. And it was in these journals that Ruby was able to get a better insight into who her brother was and what he was dealing with.