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Just want to talk to him again....


Butler

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On Saturday, November 5, 2011, at roughly 4:30 AM, my big brother, Zachary Scott Harding, was killed in a car-train collision. We don't know what happened for sure, be the police report said that he and someone else basically tried to outrun a train from short distance, and they didn't make it. My brother was ejected from the vehicle, which had gone airborne and flipped 3 times, and the other person stayed in it. My brother was killed at some point during all of this, and the other person lived with severe head trauma.

The last years of my brothers life were very hard, he had become an accidental father, gotten addicted to methamphetamine, and dropped out of his completely scholorship-payed college. My mom was always worrying about what Zach was doing, and there were times when I felt like I was forgotten, but I know that that is not the case now (just for the record, I am 14 and he was 21).

Anyways, prior to his death, I had always told myself that I didn't love him anymore, as a form of protecting myself, so that way, the next time that he screwed something big up, which he did quite frequently, it wouldn't hurt quite as bad. I know now that I love him, but I just wish that I could tell him that. And he also told me that someday, he wanted to have a conversation with me to warn me what I should stay away from in life, and what I shouldn't do, and now I'll never have that chance.

Lately, the pain has been getting me worse than ever before, and there have even been times that I have considered cutting to distract me from my mental pain. I haven't done it, and I have pushed the thought out of my mind, but the pain is still taking its toll. I can tell that I am gaining weight, even though my appitite is almost gone. I hardly ever want to eat, but when I do, I eat way too much at once. I cry very often at home, and my mom and I tell stories about him to eachother to try and comfort one another. My grades have significantly dropped from before his death to after, and school is hard even without the events in my life.

I've been spending time with my closest friends a lot, but it seems like I have subconsciously been pushing others away, and I haven't let anybody new into my life since he died.

I'm not really sure what I should be doing to make things better, but any advice would be charished, and if anybody knows anything that can dull this god awful pain, that would be the greatest gift that I could ever recieve.

-Alex

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Hi Alex,

I'm so sorry for what happened to your brother. My little sister past away less than 2 weeks ago in a senseless accident. I'm still in shock and very much in pain. So, I have not a slightest idea on how to make you feel better. But, I know writing about it should help, at least it did for me. This is a lonely message board, not much traffic. But, there are few people reading your post and know what you're going through. I hope a few words from a total stranger can offer you some form of comfort. We are all seeking answers, but there really isn't one out there. But, hurting yourself is definitely NOT the answer to ease the pain. What happened to your brother was a tragedy, don't add another to your parents' life. Please take care of yourself. PLEASE.....

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On Saturday, November 5, 2011, at roughly 4:30 AM, my big brother, Zachary Scott Harding, was killed in a car-train collision. We don't know what happened for sure, be the police report said that he and someone else basically tried to outrun a train from short distance, and they didn't make it. My brother was ejected from the vehicle, which had gone airborne and flipped 3 times, and the other person stayed in it. My brother was killed at some point during all of this, and the other person lived with severe head trauma.

The last years of my brothers life were very hard, he had become an accidental father, gotten addicted to methamphetamine, and dropped out of his completely scholorship-payed college. My mom was always worrying about what Zach was doing, and there were times when I felt like I was forgotten, but I know that that is not the case now (just for the record, I am 14 and he was 21).

Anyways, prior to his death, I had always told myself that I didn't love him anymore, as a form of protecting myself, so that way, the next time that he screwed something big up, which he did quite frequently, it wouldn't hurt quite as bad. I know now that I love him, but I just wish that I could tell him that. And he also told me that someday, he wanted to have a conversation with me to warn me what I should stay away from in life, and what I shouldn't do, and now I'll never have that chance.

Lately, the pain has been getting me worse than ever before, and there have even been times that I have considered cutting to distract me from my mental pain. I haven't done it, and I have pushed the thought out of my mind, but the pain is still taking its toll. I can tell that I am gaining weight, even though my appitite is almost gone. I hardly ever want to eat, but when I do, I eat way too much at once. I cry very often at home, and my mom and I tell stories about him to eachother to try and comfort one another. My grades have significantly dropped from before his death to after, and school is hard even without the events in my life.

I've been spending time with my closest friends a lot, but it seems like I have subconsciously been pushing others away, and I haven't let anybody new into my life since he died.

I'm not really sure what I should be doing to make things better, but any advice would be charished, and if anybody knows anything that can dull this god awful pain, that would be the greatest gift that I could ever recieve.

-Alex

ALEX,

You have taken a big step and a major step in helping yourself deal with your obvious pain. Talking about it openly, sharing with others your pain does help. Have you told any of your friends about your anguish? Have you talked to a school counselor?

While your brother didn't get the chance to tell you what you shouldn't do, I am sure he would tell you not to cut yourself and not to get involved with drugs no matter what. I am an addictions counselor at a prison during the day. I see what drugs does to people, and unfortunately, they get started doing drugs to hide or escape from pain but it never works that way.

So what is going on with your grades? Are you having trouble concentrating? You just don't feel like doing anything? Are you angry? What's going on with your mom? How is she doing, and how are you both doing together? Do you talk about Zach at all?

Have you tried writing Zach a letter to tell him everything you wanted to say to him? I know it sounds silly or crazy, but it helps. Or, if you don't want to try that, are you up to creating a youtube memorial for him or a facebook memorial? Sometimes that helps, too.

While this forum is not as busy as other forums, lots and lots of people read these posts. Feel free to post in other forums on this site, too. People are listening to you, so I hope you don't feel so lonely.

We will be here for you,

ModKonnie

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Hi Alex,

I'm so sorry for what happened to your brother. My little sister past away less than 2 weeks ago in a senseless accident. I'm still in shock and very much in pain. So, I have not a slightest idea on how to make you feel better. But, I know writing about it should help, at least it did for me. This is a lonely message board, not much traffic. But, there are few people reading your post and know what you're going through. I hope a few words from a total stranger can offer you some form of comfort. We are all seeking answers, but there really isn't one out there. But, hurting yourself is definitely NOT the answer to ease the pain. What happened to your brother was a tragedy, don't add another to your parents' life. Please take care of yourself. PLEASE.....

Honestly, the cutting is not really a factor in any of this. When I was writing that, I was just so upset that I wasn't really even thinking about what I was saying. For instance, have you ever been in an argument with somebody and you get so frustrated that you just start yelling things and not even slightly realize what your actually saying? Same thing applies here. I know it sounds like I'm just trying to cover for what I said, but it legitimately isn't even a consideration at the moment, and it never will be. But I am truly sorry for your loss. All the time people will come up to me and say "I know how you feel." and it really makes me mad because they don't even come close to knowing the hell we are going through, but it's kind of nice to know that there are people who actually know what it's like, and that you can relate to them on that level.

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ALEX,

You have taken a big step and a major step in helping yourself deal with your obvious pain. Talking about it openly, sharing with others your pain does help. Have you told any of your friends about your anguish? Have you talked to a school counselor?

While your brother didn't get the chance to tell you what you shouldn't do, I am sure he would tell you not to cut yourself and not to get involved with drugs no matter what. I am an addictions counselor at a prison during the day. I see what drugs does to people, and unfortunately, they get started doing drugs to hide or escape from pain but it never works that way.

So what is going on with your grades? Are you having trouble concentrating? You just don't feel like doing anything? Are you angry? What's going on with your mom? How is she doing, and how are you both doing together? Do you talk about Zach at all?

Have you tried writing Zach a letter to tell him everything you wanted to say to him? I know it sounds silly or crazy, but it helps. Or, if you don't want to try that, are you up to creating a youtube memorial for him or a facebook memorial? Sometimes that helps, too.

While this forum is not as busy as other forums, lots and lots of people read these posts. Feel free to post in other forums on this site, too. People are listening to you, so I hope you don't feel so lonely.

We will be here for you,

ModKonnie

To answer all of the above, I'll go in the order that they were asked. Starting with; not really, I don't want to be that guy who brings down every conversation by nonstop talking about his dead brother. Next would be; yes, but I really, really don't like her, and I don't feel like I can really talk to her without being judged up one side and down the other, and my lack of people that I want to talk to about it would be why I am here, posting on an online forum. Next; yes, I'm sure he would tell me to stay away from the drugs, and I already explained the cutting thing in my reply to oopsydaisy. Next; as far as grades go, I was always a high B or A average student, but lately, it's just so hard for me to find the motivation and the energy to even do the work, or if I do, just not really caring enough to do it properly. Next; It's not that I am angry, but I used to be one of the most laid back people, but recently I barely have any tolerance at all for people messing with me. Next; I know that my mom has a profile on this forum as well, although I honestly don't know what it is, but we do talk about Zach with each other almost every day. Next; I am christian, and I often use God as a messenger between him and I, so I don't find it nessecery to write a letter, and we already have a memorial for him. Personally I think the best thing I can do is talk to other people who know how I feel, so that way I'm at least wandering into the abyss with someone at my side. But I really appreciate that your concern for me is enough that the administrator of the website replied to me,

-Alex

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Alex,

I am so very sorry about your brother. The pain can be pretty awful! I know that when our daughter died, many of her friends came to us with questions. Some of them had never ever been touched by death. They didn't mind at all talking about her...and still don't. If I bring her up, they will talk for hours. My youngest daughter doesn't always talk about her at school, (she is 16) but maybe one of the ways you can honor your brother is just that...talking about him. What was your very favorite memory together? If he were sitting across the table from you right now, what would you say to him? Grief is something you can't just put away for later, because it won't go away until you look at it. You have to go through it in order to start to heal. You will never be the same again...but that doesn't have to be a bad thing. This experience can make you a better person, or a bitter person. What do you think your brother would say to you if you had that conversation? You can still have it, it's just that you will be doing most of the talking, and he will be doing all the listening. Prayers and peace.

Jilly's mom.

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Alex,

I am very sorry that you have lost your brother. I recently lost my 16 year old daughter in a car accident. I have another daughter who had to try to celebrate her 19th birthday the day after we buried Shannon. Sometimes siblings get lost in the grieving process because so much attention is focused on the parents. But, losing a brother or sister is a very painful, confusing and life changing event. Am not going to ask you questions.....you seem to be a pretty smart kid. I will say that it is understandable, even expected, that you would struggle with school.....parents find if very difficult, nearly impossible, to focus on their jobs and daily tasks as well. Try not to be too hard on yourself or expect too much of yourself too soon. The act of grieving is very real, so respect it and allow yourself to experience your own grief journey. It's very individual, but their are commonalities that we share: shock, disbelief, anger, pain, sorrow, guilt, depression and anxiety.....these are all normal aspects of the process which often leaves us questioning whether or not we are crazy.....sure feels like we've lost our minds most of the time. But, we haven't. We are hurting because we don't understand "why" we've lost someone so very dear and important to us. We are hurting because we are powerless to change what's happened and we all wish for the re-do, the one more moment, the re-winding of time. Because we each grieve differently, we must try to respect the grieving process of others as well. This is often challenging for parents, because we want to "fix" what's hurting our surviving children. The surviving children often are uncomfortable expressing their emotions with their parents for many reasons, but often it is because they don't want to burden their parents any more than they are already burdened. My hope for you is that you have a strong friend base that can offer their support to you. They can be their if you want to talk, or be there to help get your mind off of the pain you are experiencing. There is also an organization called Compassionate Friends. My understanding is that they offer active monthly support group meetings for siblings....totally separate from the parents. Maybe it would help to physically meet and get to know other siblings who understand and can relate to you and your experience. Some people, even teenagers, become involved with groups to raise awareness in causes that are relevant to their lives. My daughter agreed to see a counselor for 4 sessions, and then decided that she didn't think she needed counseling. I respected her decision, but it came with her promise to go back to the counselor should she start experiencing problems. I've noticed that her memory is as shot as mine is since Shannon's death. She has bad days, and I leave her alone to have the time she needs to cry or be angry or do nothing on days she is unmotivated to face. We live in what so many refer to as the "new normal". From what I've been told and read, it can take a few years for us to find our footing in this new normal. Be kind and gentle with yourself. It's okay to not be okay. Prayers for you, Alex, as your search for your footing in this new life.

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