I really, really feel you! It's been 15 years since my older brother who was 11 back then died of cancer and there's still not a day (or even an hour) when I don't think about him. It's like a quiet background to every moment of life which may get stronger or weaker but never quite disappears. I never really spoke about my feelings with family because I didn't want to upset them even more, to make them worry about me, to selfishly be the center of attention or, God forbid, pity or some special ~gentle~ treatment, to which they probably reacted by thinking that a 9-year-old won't comprehend, remember and miss much. Which, of course, isn't true because sufferings of someone with terminal stage of cancer, many chemo therapies etc, someone whose life technically stops long before he is buried, someone you used to spend 99% percent of your time with - this never fades away from your head. Most of the time I stay emotionally isolated from these sharp and painful memories but once a year or so they return in a very ugly manner. For example, once on the phone with me my mom mentioned how brother lost ability to walk after a mistake of one doctor (who made him, in unconscious state, straighten the body for CAT scan which was unbearably painful in normal condition). I resisted until the end of the call, but then burst out into the biggest hysterical cry that lasted for 40 minutes, I think. 1,5 years later I watched Home Alone with my boyfriend (which happened to be brother's favorite movie that we watched 100 times together) and the soundtrack alone brought childhood memories back, leaving me in exact the same condition as one described earlier. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a weak or fragile person: I never suffered from a divorce of parents (dad left family 2 years after brother's death), I went to live in the U.S. for a year at the age of 15 (i'm originally from Russia), I got scholarship in the best Russian university, lived away from home for 5 years without any financial support, studying and working at the same time, I jumped with a parachute alone 3 times and donated blood 34 times. But every once in a while I feel completely helpless, pointless, miserable and lonely, just making it worse by fantasizing about how life would have been with him near. And because SO many years have passed I feel like everyone forgot about his existence and feel even less right to talk about this issue with anyone, which is why I ended up writing so much text here. Above everything, my habit of not sharing feelings (which back then was almost instinctual but kinda well-intended) spreaded on other aspects of life too. Which left me emotionally distant from everyone, often putting up with inconvenience rather than channeling my displeasure and protecting my right for comfort and relying just on myself to resolve even simply daily problems (where asking others for help wouldn't burden them) to say nothing about complex, emotional ones. I never purposefully "close" myself, but every time I end up with someone (friends, colleagues, roommates, boyfriend or family members) saying "I literally never know what is on your mind". Maybe it's not normal to be so influenced by the loss of sibling, but something tell me I'm not alone.