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QueensGal8787

Lost my brother to Fentanyl and Alcohol

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Hi All,

I lost my brother, aged 29, a little over a month ago (he passed approximately the week before Christmas), and just received the coroner's report yesterday evening. I've been having a difficult time since he passed, but managing my grief relatively well. However, the results of the report I received last night totally devastated and blindsided me. Up to this point, his death was a sudden and mysterious phenomenon. Now I am grappling with the reality that it was an "accidental drug overdose" - a combination of alcohol and fentanyl were found when they did the autopsy. My brother and I were only 18 months apart, and although we were close (my whole family is) and I knew he had some longstanding issues with alcohol, the results really caught me off guard. As to the fentanyl, I had never even heard of this substance before and am in shock as I research more into it. All of this makes me feel like he had a secret life, and I don't know (may never know) if he was addicted to this opiate, was trying it out for the first time, or if he purposefully ingested the combination to harm himself. He was found by himself in his apartment, no other substances around after a thorough search.

I would be grateful and find it helpful to hear from anyone who has or is going through a similar situation or loss. How did you manage/process the loss of a sib or loved one to drugs? Was the substance abuse/usage a struggle you knew about or was it a surprise? Any thoughts appreciated.

 

- Peace and love xx.

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Hey Queensgal8787,

Sorry for your loss! 

It's crazy people so young are dieing from these things.

My brother (37) died January 5th, due to complications with his diabetes, but he also had issues with alcohol.

We found out he was an alcoholic the summer of 2016 after several years of him hiding it. We also found out he was using some pretty hard drugs during this time. We are unsure if he had any other substances in his system at the time of his death. The coroner said the full autopsy would take up to 3 months.

Rob (my brother) went to rehab and was almost 5 months sober, and then slipped up just before Christmas. He got back on track and had a good outlook for the New year. He was happy and seemed to be ready for anything.

The strange thing with my brother was that he would talk about his drinking, but never talked about the drug problem. That I never understood.

I don't know why he couldn't just be honest and admit to it. 

To tell you the truth, I'm not sure if it has fully processed for me yet.

This is still very fresh for me. And I to, am looking for some answers. I know I didn't really answer any questions, but would also like to hear other people's input.

 

 

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Hi Mikelphone,

Thank you so much for reaching out and for your thoughtful response. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your brother as well and would of course like to extend my condolences your way.

Hearing the story you shared, it sounds like we have some things in common - as you mention, the usage and dependence on alcohol was a thing that I was aware of with my brother. I wouldn't say he reflected/talked about it in terms of acknowledging the problem, but he was openly drinking to excess in my company and others I/we knew. My brother was a very "functional" alcoholic - he had a great job and was doing well, many friends/social activities, otherwise engaged in a fairly healthy/active lifestyle. The police searched the apartment/office/gym locker and never found any other hard substances.

I can sympathize with what you must be going through waiting for the full autopsy. I could never have imagined how difficult it would be to wait on that, it's enough to drive one crazy.

I also understand what you saying about it not fully having processed yet - I definitely feel in the same boat. I haven't been able to cry for long durations/very much. Personally, I default towards anger.

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Thanks!
 

I think things seem weird right now because I was use to seeing my brother once or twice a week, but we would text all the time. So it's like right now, it's just one of those periods where he hasn't been over for a bit and he'll come walking through the door any day. 

Well being angry won't help the situation, that is for sure. You've got to put that energy into something that will help you in the future.
I will probably go and see a psychologist and see if they can steer me in some sort of direction.

I keep saying that, I have to live life for the both of us. My Brother and myself.
and I damn well better.  Everything just seems so messed up right now. 

 

Thanks for replying and keep your head up, try to harness the anger for some sort of good!

 

 


 

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I also lost my brother to fentanyl/alcohol combo. It was a complete shock because I had no idea he was wearing fentanyl patches and we went out to have some drinks. I wouldn't say that I have even come close to managing or processing it yet and it has been over 4 years. Truthfully, it still feels like yesterday. Every single day is still very hard for me. One thing that I wish I hadn't done was that I completely withdrew from people after my bro died. I would definitely recommend not doing that. Try to accept help from others and be around people as much as you can. Now I am working on going back into the world after 4 years and it's actually causing me a lot of anxiety. I'm sending you much love. My heart goes out to you. Try to take it one day at a time. Sometimes I try to even take it just 10 seconds at a time. 

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Mikelphone, I can definitely understand what you mean when in your last message you describe the feeling of thinking that your brother isn't gone, but rather "away" for a time. I keep feeling the same way - that he'll call me, or message me, or if I'm at my parent's home, he'll just walk through the door. The reality of him being really and truly gone evades me similarly. I suppose I'm just not ready mentally to handle the truth of the permanence of his situation.

Yes, as you also describe, I do see that the anger isn't productive. I (unfortunately) have anger issues in my life more generally, so on some level it's not surprising to me that they would manifest during my grieving process. I am, luckily, seeing a very good therapist that I have good rapport with - she's helping me through both the loss more generally, as well as sublimating my anger - your idea of channeling towards more productive/creative outlet is exactly the same advice she gave me :) my next appointment is this Thursday, and I can't wait to have the session. I'd be lost without that space/guidance.

Anyway, been thinking about you and your situation - as I reflect more on my brother and the loss. Same to you, keep your head up and I hope things get more manageable for you over time. I keep thinking/hoping for the good memories to replace the pain. Keeping you in my thoughts and sending good vibes your way.

Ninjamonkey1014, Thank you so much for reaching out and adding to this message thread. I'm so very sorry to hear about the loss of your brother, reading what you wrote pained me deeply because it hurts me so much to hear that another person would be in such a similar situation. At the risk of sounding redundant, I extend to you all of the love and thoughtfulness that you sent in your above reply. For what it's worth, I happened across your message during a particularly dark and despairing moment this afternoon, and I just wanted to let you know that the last few sentences you wrote really touched me and helped me feel a bit better when I honestly thought that nothing or no one could. <3 

I also wanted to wish you luck on getting back into the world/every day flow of things - I will keep you in my thoughts because even though I've only been dealing with this for a bit over a month now, I can on some small level, understand and appreciate how difficult a process that must be - even after 4 years as you describe. Please know that I'll be rooting for you and sending you positive thoughts. I am trying to carry on and move forward because as Mikelphone mentioned, to live life; I have to imagine it's what my brother would have wanted.

Fentanyl really and truly is the worst. I hate it so much. I can't believe how many people it hurts and destroys. I wish so badly that I could prevent anyone else from ever being hurt by it the way our loved ones, and we, have been. Thinking of all of you and sending positive/supportive vibes in these rough times.

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QueensGal8787,

First, I am heartbroken for you over your loss. Although all grief is different, I’m currently sharing a very similar experience. After a week of not being able to reach my brother through calls and txts and him not showing up to Thanksgiving, I was worried, anxiety ridden, having the worst feeling that he was dead. Because we were so close I could just feel it. Everyone ignored my plea’s to call police, go to his apartment etc. I finally did and I found him. It was too late. I had no idea my brother was shooting heroin. I knew he struggled for years with Xanax, percoset, other opioids, but never saw that coming. In and out of rehab several times, but wouldn’t stay after day 7 ever. He didn’t look like what you think someone would look like. He looked happy, healthy, worked for my Dad and would have days every once in a while where my Dad would say he sounded a little off so he knew he was going to go to work. I pushed for years to get him more help with no one listening or covering his tracks.

He had been doing really well. He was staying with my parents for a few weeks, working. I talked to him on his birthday and said, I fly in to town in a couple of days, I can’t wait to see you! He said he loved me and looked forward to it. And then...the calls and txts went unanswered. Then a week later when I  couldn’t get help from anyone, me and another family member when to his apartment with a key...we opened the door and my worst nightmare was real. He was dead, I saw the horrific scene. The first responders, forensics and coroner removed the packets and his body, but left everything else for me to clean up. It was mentally a complete mind **ck, 

I too had questions....Who was he with?The last person he spoke with?  Alone.? But wait...those are his shoes and jackets...the passenger side car door was unlocked (not normal). The cops kept asking if someone lived with him. They kept his phone and I still don’t have toxicology report, but I am wondering about all the people he must have been around that I don’t know. It makes me sick to think they contributed to his disease of addiction. I found naloxone unopened. If someone else was there they didn’t use it on him. 

I’m devastated, sick to my stomach, hurt, scared, angry, and just so heartbroken. We were each other’s everything and to think I wasn’t there to help him or save him. That I didn’t get there sooner. All of it...the questions are normal in grieving. But none of it will bring them back. I’m just trying to get up and get dressed everyday and stay alive. Feeling my pain until it morphs in to some further type of functioning. I hope you will too. Hang in there and I’m here if I can help you with anything. Hugs

 

 

 

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QueensGal8787, 

It feels SO good to know that my message was helpful in any way. To be honest, I deleted my post and backed out of the thread like 3 times. I almost even deactivated my account because I got really discouraged, thinking that nothing would be able to help you or me or anyone else going through this. And I was a therapist before my brother died, believe it or not, lol. There was a time when I knew and believed that people could work through this sort of trauma.  Right when I was about to deactivate, something told me to just write a short post and be honest and maybe it would be helpful. I'm so glad that you could find some relief, even if for just a fraction of a moment. Thank you for your thoughtful response.  <3

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I want to thank both of you, QueensGal8787 and ninjamonkey1014, for replying and keeping me in your thoughts.
I will keep you in my thoughts as well.

ninjamonkey1014, I did the same thing before replying to QueensGal8787. wrote, erased, rewrote, didn't know if I would reply.
It's crazy that so many people are going through the same type of thing with Alcohol and drug issues.
Especially with fentanyl. and it just seems things are not getting better.

I wish you both of you and everyone else going through things like this the best of luck and hope you can one day find peace.

 

 

 

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Dear Quensgal, Mikelphone and ninjamonkey..

I am extremely sorry for your loss. May you find peace soon.

I too lost my 39 yr old brother on 28 Jan who happened to be my identical twin. I am so devastated that I can't put it in words.

Reason for his death is still not certain. He was perfectly healthy..used to gym 5 days a week..no previous health condition..used to drink socially and smoke a bit.

He was playing cricket on the field and suddenly complained of breathlessness. He came out to rest for a while and suddenly collapsed holding his chest. The other players put him in a car and took him to the hospital only 12 min away. But the doctors couldn't revive him.

I was so close to him and being twins we spent the maximum time in last 39 yrs with each other. I didn't have to speak to him to know how he felt anytime.i just had that connection with him. I just can't accept that he's gone.

I'm in a mess right now..don't know if I even want to come out of it.

I see his car, his kids ,his other stuff everyday and I can't take it. I loved him so much.

May God give him peace and please keep him in your prayers.

Hope you guys soon find a.way to cope with your loss.

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Hey Kapilchugh,

So sorry to hear!
I didn't want to leave your message unanswered. As others were nice enough to reply to mine.
Things won't be easy, but as they say, time heals all (Probably won't be anytime soon) My brother has only been gone 5 weeks, I have good days and not so good days.
Earlier, I was looking at pictures of him and broke down. But it was good to remember the good times we shared together.

I just wanted to share my condolences and thoughts.

 

Try not to withdraw from your friends and family, having them around will help tremendously!

Remember your Brother, live for your brother and tell your family you love them often.

My sincere sympathy to you and your family,

 

Mikelphone


 

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Thanks for your message and condolences Mikelphone..I really appreciate it..

I too breakdown everyday coz I have no memory where he's not present. 

I am trying extremely hard not to withdraw but it's too painful to even look at someone who seems happy..my family is trying their best I know..

How do you convert the memories into something that gives you happiness instead of pain? I think of him and cry as he's not there..we too met  twice a week and drank together with friends every weekend..I don't have that now.. who can I lean on? Who can I trust so much?

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It is just going to take time.

Maybe consider seeing a professional to talk over these things with.
I am probably going to go see one, to address some of my issues.

I'm sorry I don't have the answer you are looking for. I don't have a lot of the answers to my own questions.
You just have to be strong buddy, open up with a family member or a good friend.
don't keep everything bottled up. It helps letting stuff out.

-Mikelphone

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