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Lost brother


Jytterbug

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I'm 19 years old, my brother was 25 and had a son. I am struggling with speaking of him in past tense, it has only been 12 days since he passed of acute liver failure. I stopped by on Friday, Dec. 9 and he was fine, Saturday at 4am he had extreme abdominal pain, Sunday at 6:30am he was moved to the ICU and put on life support. His liver was failing and they don't know why. Our family faced the decision of pulling the plug on day 5 when we were told there was no hope for recovery. He would bleed to death internally if we didn't do so. I am struggling with whether we made the right decision. I have been keeping my mom close but trying not to lean on her, but rather provide her support. I have three other siblings dealing with the same loss. Two were not on speaking terms with him. Those same two have been drinking themselves into oblivion every single night and that is what contributed to my brother's death. His liver was SO damaged from alcohol and drugs after years of abuse. My sister seems like she's mad at me, and I don't know why. She has been ignoring me when she can and otherwise has been trying to start fights with me. She is out of control. The sibling not drinking is older and has a family, but we have been trying to stay close.

I punched the screen out on my laptop the other day and I feel sick about it. I have never done anything like that. I think my boyfriend is scared that I will lose my temper on him or our pets. I don't know what to do about it.

I feel like drinking until I can't see anything and can't remember that he's gone, but I haven't drank in two years and don't know if it's okay to drink now.

My boyfriend is sleeping on the couch to be with me while I'm on the computer since I can't sleep. And when I'm alone, I just get so terrified. I don't know why, of what, or for who, I just get so scared I can't stand it.

I'm worried about my mom. She's worried about us all getting hurt or dying.

I want to spend more time with my siblings since they know what I'm going through. But they don't even try to include me in their plans to get together. And they just get wasted.

I feel like my brother wasn't supposed to go. It wasn't his time and he was FINALLY trying to get better. He was on a waiting list at a 6 month long rehab and he was calling twice a day to see if any beds opened up for him. There was so much ahead for him, he was supposed to watch his son grow up. We were supposed to have SOBER times together.

Like he told me a month before he passed, "my mind is everywhere".

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I'm 19 years old, my brother was 25 and had a son. I am struggling with speaking of him in past tense, it has only been 12 days since he passed of acute liver failure. I stopped by on Friday, Dec. 9 and he was fine, Saturday at 4am he had extreme abdominal pain, Sunday at 6:30am he was moved to the ICU and put on life support. His liver was failing and they don't know why. Our family faced the decision of pulling the plug on day 5 when we were told there was no hope for recovery. He would bleed to death internally if we didn't do so. I am struggling with whether we made the right decision. I have been keeping my mom close but trying not to lean on her, but rather provide her support. I have three other siblings dealing with the same loss. Two were not on speaking terms with him. Those same two have been drinking themselves into oblivion every single night and that is what contributed to my brother's death. His liver was SO damaged from alcohol and drugs after years of abuse. My sister seems like she's mad at me, and I don't know why. She has been ignoring me when she can and otherwise has been trying to start fights with me. She is out of control. The sibling not drinking is older and has a family, but we have been trying to stay close.

I punched the screen out on my laptop the other day and I feel sick about it. I have never done anything like that. I think my boyfriend is scared that I will lose my temper on him or our pets. I don't know what to do about it.

I feel like drinking until I can't see anything and can't remember that he's gone, but I haven't drank in two years and don't know if it's okay to drink now.

My boyfriend is sleeping on the couch to be with me while I'm on the computer since I can't sleep. And when I'm alone, I just get so terrified. I don't know why, of what, or for who, I just get so scared I can't stand it.

I'm worried about my mom. She's worried about us all getting hurt or dying.

I want to spend more time with my siblings since they know what I'm going through. But they don't even try to include me in their plans to get together. And they just get wasted.

I feel like my brother wasn't supposed to go. It wasn't his time and he was FINALLY trying to get better. He was on a waiting list at a 6 month long rehab and he was calling twice a day to see if any beds opened up for him. There was so much ahead for him, he was supposed to watch his son grow up. We were supposed to have SOBER times together.

Like he told me a month before he passed, "my mind is everywhere".

Jytterbug,

I am sorry for your loss of your brother. It is NOT okay for you to drink even after two years. This is the worst time ever for you to consider having anything. Please don't have one; it won't help in the long run, and you will have to deal with your grieving and emotions eventually. I am so sorry he was on that waiting list for so long. I run an addictions recovery program at a prison, and we have a HUGE waiting list; we want to get everyone in right away, but we just don't have the beds.

I know you want to spend time with your other siblings, but if they are using and you aren't, please don't go around them. There are grief and loss groups in many areas and online communities that can offer you support and encouragement. I know it's not the same, but old people, places and things, including family can trigger a relapse, which you may or may not know will be very difficult to fight back from. The fear will eventually go away and you will be able to sleep again. Currently, you may be experiencing fear, anger, denial, bargaining, loneliness over and over in a cycle. That's perfectly normal. There are some things you can do to help, like jot down your feelings on paper, write them in messages on a forum such as this, create a Youtube or Facebook memorial with songs, etc... These are just a few ways to help you get through this. Keep talking about your feelings and keep yourself very busy. Exercise is the only way to truly fight depression, so consider getting up and going for a walk or buying a workout video to do. Just keep yourself occupied so you don't give in to the temptation to drink. You just simply don't need alcohol to get through this; you can do this. Call the sibling who is sober and continue to develop a good relationshipl. The sister who is angry, well let her be angry and if she is using, stay away from her. She may be mad that you have chosen to deal with this in a good way and a clean way.

Your family made the right decision in pulling the plug; I know many recovering addicts who have suffered irreversible liver damage and there is nothing they can do.

You can get through this and begin to inch forward. It is going to take some time, but you can do this. We will help you.

ModKonnie

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Hi Jytterbug,

I'm so sorry for the tragic loss of your brother, there is no worse pain to a human than that of death. It sounds like he really was trying to turn things around for himself and maybe because he had a family now, that says a lot about the person he was. Please remember him for that. Dealing with this pain on top of the fact that you and some of your other siblings are estranged makes things even more difficult, I agree.

My younger brother and I are also estranged, he blames me for the way things are turning out for him and there is nothing I can do or say to change his mind on that. I have come to the realization that he is going to have to deal with things on his own. In very much the same way, I agree with ModKonnie, going back to drinking is not going to change anything but make things worse. I found a few articles from a magazine that I really enjoyed on this topic and it gave me some questions that I would like to share with you. It was titled Making Wise Decisions About Alcohol and it said, before drinking alcohol, consider:

  • Is it advisable for me to drink alcohol, or should I abstain? Recommendation: One who cannot limit his drinks should abstain.
  • How much should I drink? Recommendation: Determine your limit before alcohol distorts your judgement.
  • When will I drink? Recommendation: Not before driving or engaging in activities that require alertness; not before engaging in religious activities; not during pregnancy; not with certain medications.
  • Where will I drink? Recommendation: In a wholesome setting; not in secret to hide the drinking; not in front of people who are offended by alcohol.
  • With whom will I drink? Recommendations: With wholesome friends or family; not with problem drinkers.

Jytterbug, the grieving process is the hardest thing for anyone to endure and this is still very fresh. The grieving calendar is not like the regular one, there is no set time and grief last longer than people in general realize. Any relief offered by drugs or alcohol is temporary at best. They may even delay the grieving process or distort it. Try to live your life day by day. Matthew 6:25-35 says "Never be anxious about the next day, for the next day will have its own anxieties".

Please come back here, we are all eager to help each other.

Kindest Regards,

Ada

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