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Imp

Losing my little brother

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Imp   

I apologise in advance for this post. It will sound like a rant. It is a rant. I'm so angry and upset and I've got no way to express it, other then words. Here. Where it can hurt nobody.
 
 
 
 
 
On the 9th of April at just after 10pm, I got a call from my mum about my brother. He was not answering his phone and she was worried. So I sent him a text, telling him to stop being an ass, that mum was worried and bloody pick up his phone. Then I went to bed, but I had this sick feeling. That something was wrong.
 
1am and the phone rang again. My little brother was dead. He'd been found earlier that day. He'd taken something and it had reacted badly. He'd died. Alone. Only 32 years old. Gone.
 
In one second, my whole world changed. I'd gone from being the big sister, to an only child. Everything that had been a certainty, had been ripped away.
 
You see, my little brother was sort of a wally really. A big kid. I knew that I'd be looking after him, even when we were old farts. It didn't bother me, I'd been doing it all my life. It was what big sisters did. I knew that if I ever really needed him, he'd be there. Well after a dozen calls or so, but that was what he was like. I was used to it.
 
So with one phone call. Everything I'd known. Changed.
 
So I'm angry. That he took a risk and it killed him. That it has destroyed our family. That I have to see my mum cry every day. That I can't do anything to help her. That I feel so damned selfish that I want to escape the dark cloud that hangs over our house.
 
Everybody tells me I have to be strong. For mum and dad. I think they don't understand. That I've lost somebody too. That I can't remember a time without him.
 
They say stuff like "At least you have the good memories." I feel like screaming at them. Its the memories that hurt the most. They rush up without warning. Like you've been sucker punched. They creep in at night, to leave me crying in my pillow.
 
I torment myself with a million 'What ifs' and 'If I'd only' till my head hurts. I replay the last time I saw him and wish I'd hugged him. Told him I loved him. Even tho, I know we'd have never done that anyway.
 
I'm angry at him for leaving me here to deal with all of this.
 
And I miss him so much...

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Oh dear Imp, I'm sorry :(

 

I completely understand your anger.  I understand the feeling of selfishness.  I just finished writing in another thread how difficult it was for me to be around my family when my sister died because I knew that everyone was experiencing their own loss but I needed someone to understand MY loss.

 

When my sister died, I searched and searched the internet and there is very little that talks about the uniqueness of losing a sibling.  Finally I found a woman psychologist who wrote that sibling loss is thought of as less than parental, child, spousal loss but what has to be realized is that we expect our siblings to be with us into old age and never, ever consider their possible loss.  Ever.  They just seem to be a part of us that is truly taken for granted (in the best possible way, of course).

 

My first memory of life is my sister singing to me.  I spent the next 40 years with the entirety of my existance on this planet, from my baby years to growing up and becoming me, with her intwined in my soul.  Tell me how that is not as impactful as all those other losses, right?  <sad smile>

 

So yes, rant here.  Not only will you not hurt anyone but we welcome your rant, we know it's important.  I can imagine how deeply you need to be heard because I was once there.

 

I hear you and it's ok.  It's the worst time ever.  Allow yourself to express here as much as you need to.  And be gentle with yourself for all that you're feeling.  Being gentle with yourself, more than anything, will help you be able to be gentle with them, outside of yourself, too.

 

<3

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Imp   
Its very hard. I don't want to burden them with my loss, they are suffering enough. It's like, when my brother died. Something in my parents died. They are shades of their former selves. I hate seeing them cry and know I can't do anything about it.

 

I feel like I've become a ice statue. Holding it all together. For them. For my own children. I don't want them to see me cry and feel as bad as I do, when I see my mum crying.

 

I did as you did. I searched online. Trying to find something that would help, but it looked like brothers and sisters were forgotten. That our loss was not as bad as the parents. I do sort of understand. I can't imagine how it would feel if I lost one of mine.

 

Then I found this site. I didn't feel quite as alone, as I did before. Not that I'd wish this suffering on anybody else, but it was a odd comfort, knowing that other people understood what it was like to lose a sibling.

 

It sounds like you were very close to your sister. I was the same with my little brother. I spent the first couple of years of his life, sleeping in his cot because he didn't like to be alone. He'd hold a strand of my hair all night, twisted in his little fingers.

 

I remember those nights and it feels like the air gets thin and I can't breath. 

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Hi again, Imp.

 

What a beautiful, precious memory you have.  When I was writing in another thread, I had tried to put myself in my sister's position if it had've been me.  I can only imagine the added pain of having such innocent memories tearing at your broken heart. 

 

But truly, the only way I have found to get through grief is to honor it.  Even if it's a delayed honoring.  The first Christmas after my sister died, I went home for Christmas.  I didn't want to be there, I was still suffering terribly, as I'm sure was everyone.  I didn't let anyone see my difficulty but every moment that I was alone, the tears burst from me within seconds.  That was three months later, about how long it is for you, now.

 

I did a lot of crying.  I still do.  Now, I can think about my memories and not necessarily have that overwhelming, instant wave of pain.  Sometimes they still come, but much of the time the memories are accompanied with feelings of love and gratitude.

 

And it feels good now to talk about the good times we had with my mom and other sisters, about my dad and sister.  I remember the first time that that happened.  I was surprised and so very relieved that we were able to laugh about something that we had laughed about with them and would have continued laughing about, if they were here.

 

There really is no help for us, you know.  There is only compassion for ourselves and as much as we can muster for others.  After my dad died, just a few years after my sister, my mother disconnected from the world.  She sunk into a depression that we were unable to do anything about.  Her doctor finally hospitalized her.  I completely understand but it is terrible and horrible that we have to watch their pain, plus have our own pain.

 

My mom lost her brother when I was young and I didn't see any grief from her after.  I saw fear and anxiety before because she got a call that he was across the country in hospital and with no brain function; the doctors were calling everyone to come and say goodbye.  I saw her pain before but she didn't share it with me after.  She shared some of her understandings... like, years later she told me that one day, about a year after her brother died, she didn't think of him and when she realized that, she felt horrendously guilty.  I was very grateful for that knowledge later, after my sister died.  Because it was part of preparing myself for the understanding I was going to be required to give to myself - if it every happened, I didn't have to be guilty.  Mom talks now about what she's going through with grief for my dad, how things she learned years ago were helping her to not be feel guilty now, like her continued anger at him for leaving her.

 

I mention all that because as much as you don't want your children to experience your pain like you're experiencing your parents' pain, there may be a time when you might want to gently include them in your honoring or your learning just to prepare them for what they will, eventually and gods willing, have to go through someday.

 

Just a perspective point which, like anything I say, anyone is free to ignore.

 

Another thing that was helpful to me was the four counselling sessions that I had.  I had 4 sessions over the first 2 years.  Besides the fact that I went because there was something I couldn't move through (for example, once was severe panic/anxiety attacks), there was also true relief in it to be able to express the depth of my pain with another human being, one where I didn't have to hold back anything.  Of course, they didn't hold me and comfort me like a friend would but I knew that they weren't going to judge me and I wasn't going to cause them pain so I could really, truly allow my confused, messed up and broken soul to show through.  They were there just for me and that was so important.

 

If you have anyone in your life where you can do that, I highly recommend it.  Mourning, or the expression of our grief or the sharing of our relationship, is so important.  The best way I can describe it is that it validates our loss which, really, validates our soul.

 

Highfalutin words, I'm sorry.  I just remember that terrible terrible time for me and want to give you as much as I can.  I know it doesn't take anything away, I just always just hope that there might be little things in what I say that might help someone help themselves in those crazy, unbearable moments to allow them to survive to the next crazy, unbearable moment.

 

<3

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Imp   
Hi Heartlight.

 

As bad as it sounds, I can't wait for that moment. When I can laugh about things my brother did, at the moment. Every time I laugh about anything, I feel guilt seconds after. Like I shouldn't be smiling or enjoying things. Because he has gone.

 

I am not looking forward to Christmas, we are a very close family and always made sure to spend holidays with each other and this year its going to be two empty spaces around the table. Before that we'll have to have his birthday without him.

 

I'm glad that you found help, not sure I could talk to a stranger face to face. I find it hard to talk about how I feel, but writing it. That is a great deal more easy and thanks to this site and friendly, understanding people. Such as you. I feel like I can just let some of that trapped emotion out. In a safe environment.

 

Plus, maybe being here for others and letting them know, that they are not alone. Will help me. Karmic circle.

 

I'd like to thank you for your kindness. You've made a dark time, less so.  

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sneha451   

Hi, 

 

My brother was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 6. 11 years later, he passed away. His brain tumor was an aggressive type, with recurrences happening every year. With every recurrence, he would go through 8-9 hours of invasive brain surgeries, radiation therapy and rounds of chemotherapy. Based on my story so far, you can see that he didn't really have much of a life. He suffered till the very end. But never did he ever complain once. He stayed strong and smiled for me and my parents. We were really close. When I moved away from home for university, his condition got worse and he had to drop out of highschool because he lost many functions. I came home every weekend after my classes to spend time with him. I looked forward to every weekend with my brother. Just recently, I had to stay a weekend in another city for a conference and this was the weekend everything went downhill. He was admitted to the hospital. My parents called me in rush and panic, but this had happened before so I did not take it seriously. I did not return home. My brother called me at 10pm on saturday night, and he said to me "dont cry" and I replied to him saying, "are you okay neil", and he replied to me saying "no i don't feel too good". We both cried on opposite ends of the phone. That was my last time talking to him and that was his last time talking to anybody. As I write this post, tears roll down my cheeks. I don't think I can ever recover from this incident. My chest will always feel heavy with regret and pain. Because no body understands how it feels to lose a sibling who didn't even have the chance to see life. I wish I had done more for him. But it's too late. 

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Sneha,

I am so very sorry for the loss of your brother. I don't know how it is to lose a brother who didn't have a change at life, but I have lost a brother due to a car wreck. It was a terrible experience--one that traumatized me forever, I guess.

 

Just know that there are many people here who are suffering from losing dear, precious loved ones. We will be here with you,

 

ModKonnie

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sneha451   

Hi ModKonnie, 

 

Thank you for your reply. It's hard to lose a sibling and I am really sorry for the loss of your brother as well.  I am glad I found this thread. It's hard for me to talk to people (friends and family) who don't understand how it feels to lose someone so precious. Never do I wish this feeling or loss on anyone. 

 

 

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This is all new to me but I need somewhere to turn as I feel like I am losing it. I lost my brother only 2 weeks ago from a suspected accidental overdose but are awaiting autopsy results. My brother struggled with abusing prescription pain medications and Xanax. I am experiencing so many emotions...hurt, anger guilt and really can't talk about it with my family because they are so fragile right now..I was his older sister and I should have saved him like I always did in the past. How do l begin to move on when all I do is see his lifeless body lying there??

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December   

Absolutely heartbreaking. I don't think it's fair people say things like imagine what your mom feels like ...or stay strong for your mom. I lost my sister too, still cannot imagine a future without because I don't know life without her. She was an addict and overdosed. I'm not mad her I feel sorry she couldn't get clean and sorry she started it on the first place. I feel responsible as her big sister I was supposed to watch her. I failed the first job I ever had in this world. I miss her dearly. The memories hit me without warning and at the strangest times. It's ok though. I have to carry on in this new horrible life without her. I hope you find peace soon.

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December   

Did you find him?

This is all new to me but I need somewhere to turn as I feel like I am losing it. I lost my brother only 2 weeks ago from a suspected accidental overdose but are awaiting autopsy results. My brother struggled with abusing prescription pain medications and Xanax. I am experiencing so many emotions...hurt, anger guilt and really can't talk about it with my family because they are so fragile right now..I was his older sister and I should have saved him like I always did in the past. How do l begin to move on when all I do is see his lifeless body lying there??

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Imp   

Hi Solost,

 

I didn't find my brother, however I had to go the next morning to the morgue to identify him.

There is no words to describe it. It is like a part of you has suddenly been torn out and your whole body aches from the loss. For weeks it felt like my fingers and toes were curled up, I was so tense.
I felt angry, sad and guilty. I couldn't believe he'd been so stupid, that he would leave me and that I failed to save him.
I'd feel bad that everybody asked about my parents, but didn't seem to think that it effected me. That I had to be strong for them.
 
So I understand how you feel. Its a incredibly lonely, painful place to be. You can't unload to mum and dad because they are already suffering and you don't want to add to it. So you'll say nothing.
 
I still feel angry, guilty and sad. I don't know if it ever really leaves you, only you learn to deal with it as time passes.
 
But you are not alone. Even if it doesn't feel like it helps at all, you are not the only one that has lost their sibling. There are others that understand the pain you are feeling and while it will not take any of that pain away, it perhaps gives a tiny bit of hope that others survived these horrendous losses.
 
Take care and feel free to rant here. As a ogre in one of my brothers favourite films said. Its better out, then in. 

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