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I lost my older brother on Easter morning 17 years ago. He was 21, driving home with two friends when he fell asleep at the wheel. He had been up all night supporting his friends at a late night event and was sleeping in his hotel room, when his girlfriend and friends urged him to wake up because they "wanted to go home". He agreed to drive if his friends kept him awake (they later told us this). He died at the scene. I was 17, and he was my best friend, my protector, and such a hilarious, kind, generous, creative person. I was with my mom when we found out, and still have traumatic memories from that, 17 years later. I was laying in bed Easter morning when I heard her upset talking to my father on the phone saying " I just called Chris's apartment and one of his friends said that he's passed away? Why would he say that? What is he trying to do to our family?" (His roommate just casually told her this on the phone. That still makes me so upset and sad for her.) Finally my dad was on the phone and I saw her crying, upset, asking him "Tell me...tell me Arthur" and when he told her she dropped the phone and lost it. She was sobbing loudly near the refrigerator. She had filled up two huge bags of plastic eggs for our whole extended family to come over. To this day Easter is a hard time of year. It feels like the reason he was rushing home to begin with. I can't even explain how devastating it was to lose Chris. Our younger brother was 10 at the time and he doesn't remember him. I am the one person my mom can count on to understand even a portion of her pain. Chris was such a wonderful person. He taught me how to give better hugs. He was interested in my art, he was excited about the world and doing things and urged me to get out there and not be shy. He is still my older brother even though I am 14 years older than he was when he passed. I have not let his life be in vain. I have tried to infuse the beauty of his personality into my own. there's so much more to say, we all have so much to say about our lost sibling. It's so hard, there's no way around that. I don't really share the story but I wanted to let anyone know who has recently lost a sibling that there is some hope of not feeling utterly hopeless and lost. No one will understand when people say stupid things. Even people who mean well and who love you will say dumb things. Try to forgive them somehow, they just don't understand. Try to find some joy in this life, do what you love. It will take time. Grief is an evolving process... Although I didn't have a mother for years after that, she found folk dancing...something she always was passionate about. She teaches classes, and helps other people through her beautiful dancing. She said Chris told her "Mom, you need to dance."
I recently lost my oldest brother, 33 to a severe car accident he and his wife of 11 and a half years were in. I received the call that she was in the hospital and that he did not make it. My whole world came crashing down. In an instant everything I loved and held dear to my heart was taken from me. It's been 3 months going on four months and I still wait up for him to come home, I'm still having neightmares of it happening to us again. This pain will never go away, I still hear all these voices in my head "he didn't make it" I had to call my mom and tell her that her baby was gone all I hear everyday "I have to go my son died". There is no reason this accident should have happened there was no traffic, it wasn't raining. The only cause is reckless driving. The man who hit them was late to work, he was speeding. He put his life before my brothers life. He took him away from me, my family, his wife, my 5 year old niece. He was her god father , he was suppose to take care of her. How is any of this fair? What did we do to deserve this? He was as close as it comes to being perfect. He always put others before himself, always so kind, giving, thoughtful and always laughing, smiling and jokeing around. He always did everything for us, he was the older brother aka the other dad, there were four of us kids, he always took care of us even when he didn't have to. His response was always the same when he did something for us "it's because I want to" I'll never get over all the hurt, sadness, anger, anxiety. Everything was so traumatic, it still is to this day. My life has forever been ruined. This man who hit him is out there, he's on the road who's to say he won't do this again? Why is he allowed to live, come home to his family? His complete family. I never got to say good bye, hug him, or tell him how much I love him and how much he means to me. The day he ended my brothers life he ended mine.
My brother was a lot older than me and lived 1000+ miles away for his job. He was in his 40s, I'm in college. A handful of years ago he had a heart attack. He called to tell me, and said the doctors said he had congestive heart failure but the doctors caught it early. He said he'd be fine and not to tell our parents yet until the doctors did more tests. He didn't want them to worry needlessly. He was out of the hospital in a few days and went back to work. We lost touch-- his job took him to remote places where it's hard to keep in touch. I've known other people with congestive heart failure that lived decades-- I just wasn't expecting him to die so young and so soon. I hadn't seen him in years. Hadn't talked to him in recent years because it's so hard to get in touch where he lived. He lived with us/me growing up even though he was older. I wish I had more memories of him, especially in recent years. We used to write letters back and forth regularly when I was a kid/teen. Earlier this year I had a bad feeling like I would never see my brothers again. I was worried, but figured it was just the reality of the situation-- they live so far away, and neither of us could afford to travel to visit. I don't know why I didn't try to get in touch. Somehow we lost each other's contact info. My brothers never were good about keeping in touch with my family. Where they lived and their financial situation precluded some of it, plus it was so far away where they lived, and they didn't have internet/etc. in their village. Sometimes contact was every year, sometimes less. He live with us/me growing up but his job was in a remote village and pre-internet it was harder to stay in touch. There weren't mobile phones back then, and he traveled/moved a lot for work. A lot of the time they asked for money when they called. In fact, the most recent time I talked to my late brother, he asked for $50...and I said sorry I can't. I guess I felt used since he was asking for money after not calling us in so long. Now I wish I would have given him money anyway. Plus, being in college, I was pretty broke. Still, I feel bad. A few months ago, I found on through Facebook that my brother died. There was no funeral really. A few of his friend's got together so far away apparently. We didn't have a service for our family or anything. We've hardly talked about it. Nothing. His niece posted a photo of him saying she missed him. I googled his name and found his obituary. I sent a Facebook message to someone who signed the obituary and she told me that she had seen my brother last Fall and talked a little to him, and she said that he had needed a heart transplant. He needed a heart transplant. He didn't tell us his heart failure got worse, or that he needed a heart transplant. I'm just shocked. I told our parents, who incidentally had a "feeling" to Google his name and found out not too long after I found out. I'm just sick. I didn't get to tell him goodbye or anything. I had a feeling like I should try to contact them earlier this year and I didn't do anything about it. My other brother at least got to visit my late brother in the hospital. The living brother lived only 10 hours away. The living brother is an alcoholic and not mentally healthy. I'm not sure why he didn't call to tell us, but maybe he couldn't find our number. At some point, I think last year, the living brother tried to call my parents by contacting an older relative who had had the same phone number for decades. We never got in touch. I wonder if the living brother called to tell us that my late brother was near his end. Why didn't he call again or leave his phone number with the relative he had called... or tell the other relative he called what was going on? How could I not have known he needed a heart transplant?!?!? Why wouldn't either of them have found some way to contact us? Was the late brother alone during most of this time? What on earth did he think of us... did he think we knew and were ignoring him? That we didn't care? I only told 2 friends about it. One assumed it was suicide and made nasty assumptions about his child's death (from heart birth defects) because he was young and was a huge jerk about it. The other friend just replied with a text " ". That's it. Haven't talked about it since, and she didn't ask what happened or ask how I'm doing or whatever. Nothing. I don't have many friends, and the acquiantances I have hardly know me and don't even know I had brothers to begin with. And, it's not like any are supportive or would know what to say anyway. There's no one to talk about it with. I'm so alone. I burst into tears every day for 2 months after I found out. If I cared so much, why didn't I ***** call him when he was alive? Sure I didn't have his number, but why didn't I find some way to get in touch with him? WTH was wrong with me? I also found my my late brother's little child died. Heart birth defects, apparently. Lived long enough to name her after me and he was so excited to have a baby girl. I had no idea my young little niece A had died. My brother named her after me. I guess he couldn't bring himself to tell us that she died. He and his wife were divorced, and lived so far away it's not like we ever got to see them/her. We had no way of knowing. I found out about my little niece A in my brother's obituary. Then I started googling my brother. I found out that he fathered another child. She's now almost my age-- in her 20s. I saw her photo on Facebook and she looks JUST like my late brother. We don't think my brother ever knew about her--- the mother of this child admitedly slept around, so when she was pregnant, it could have been anybody's. This woman broke up with him and it was nasty. I would be afraid to contact this "new niece" with how her mother was-- she was kind of drunk and crazy back then. Still, it's so weird that this child looks JUST like my late brother. I'm kind of glad that his genes live in somehow through her, even though I will never know this girl. Earlier this year my ex- sister in law died (my other brother's wife, seperated) and left my teen niece B basically parentless. We hadn't been in touch with her in years-- we tried to but she didn't want to talk to her ex/my brother. Who wants to talk to their ex, right? I found out my ex-sister-in-law died on facebook too. She was only 42. I found my long-lost niece on Facebook, but really know nothing about her. I'm not sure she even has any idea who I am, and I'm afraid to say who I am-- just in case she would want to block all contact if she did. I'm not sure what to say to her. Do I introduce myself? I commented on a photo of them complimenting her and saying I was so sorry to hear about her mom. She's 18. I don't know what to say to her. Last year I saw my ex sister-in-law on Facebook and had been meaning to get in touch with her to see how they were. Then she died. I'm not sure if my niece would want contact or not. It sucks to find all of that out and once, and it sucks that I can't have relationships with my nieces other. Divorces suck and can ruin the male parent's family ability to have a relationship with their nieces. Sucks that I hadn't been in touch with my late brother in recent years. Hadn't seen him in years. Sucks that there's no relationship in recent years to grieve. And it sucks that my living brother is a depressed alcoholic who isn't all that stable and is unlikely to be able to have a relationship with me.