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Trying to heal after my 33 yr old brother died


lucybean

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I have been looking online to find some support because I am really struggling to understand how I am feeling since my eldest brother died on 11th Oct. He was 33 and in amazing health, he did alot of things to keep himself fit and strong which is why it was such a shock when we heard he was on life support then died with in a matter of hours.

He had gone on a working holiday with two friends and was due to come home the day he died, he had told us he had hurt a muscle a few days before but he didn't sound worried, then as he was getting on the plane he decided to get help and was rushed to hospital.

He died in America, after the doctors worked to save him for over an hour, but there was nothing they could do. We had to wait for an autopsy report , because even the doctors couldn't understand what really happened.

We found out he had an infection that attacted the surrounding muscles of his heart that stopped making his heart pump and it filled with blood , they couldn't get his heart to start again. He would have needed a heart transplant and because he was not a US citizen and it was such an emergency anyway it was unlikely he would have been given a new heart.

It has been nearly 2 months since he died, and I can't understand what happened, it still feels like nothing has changed. Although my mind knows what has happened ( I even went to see his body, I couldn't stand the thought of him being in my life one minute then gone the next and not having that final goodbye) . My mind and heart are just not connecting with the reality of what has happened and I feel like I'm going to burst if I don't get help, I want to grieve I want to cry for my brother but I can't and it really cuts me up inside.

I don't understand why I am reacting like this, I used to be very in touch with my emothions, but now I just feel like that part of my life has been wiped out of my mind, some times I worry that I am forgetting what having my brother here was like.

I can't picture him in my mind, we were very close and I love him not only as my big brother but he was my best friend, I knew I could trust him with anything even my life and I would have done any thing for him.

I just feel so alone with out him, and I don't want to imagine living the rest of my life and him not being there.

I wish I could understand why I can't grieve how I need to grieve, or expected to. I feel my mind is cutting out the pain but I want to cry, I want to feel what's happened has happened and that it's not just a bad dream I will wake up from.

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Hi,

I suspect you are reacting the way you are because it is just too painful to let the grief and tears come.  By shutting that down, maybe you are able to deny the reality of what has happened a little bit.  My youngest brother died at age 29 in an Air Force plane crash.  When death is so sudden and unexpected, especially when it is someone young, our mind just cannot grasp what has happened.  My head knew he was gone, but my heart couldn't accept it for some time.  Actually, I don't think I really fully accepted it for a year or so.  I think it was probably about a year after his death that I was driving to work and there was a car ahead of me that was exactly the same kind of car and color my brother drove.  The man driving it even looked like my brother from behind.  My head KNEW it was not him, but I couldn't help myself.  I followed that car for a few blocks until I got a good look at his face.   I think it was at that point thatI had to finally really accept that he was not coming back.  When he first died I cried buckets of tears and thought there would never be a day without them.  Other times I did not cry and I think it was because I was so afraid that if I let myself go I would never be able to stop.  Our mind works in strange ways when it comes to grief.  There is no right or wrong way to deal with the death of someone we love.  Two months is very early in the grief journey.  At that point the reality has not quite set in, I think.  There is still shock associated with it all and that shock acts as a buffer.  We can only deal with so much at a time.  Just take it a day at a time.  My brother has been gone for nearly 20 years now, which seems impossible.  I still think of him several times a day and still miss him dearly.  The saddest thing for me at this point in the journey though is that I'll find myself glancing at a photo of him and I'll get this thought that sometimes it's hard to remember that he was even here.  I know he was and I still have so many memories of him, but time has moved on and things have changed so much. 

Hang in there and take care of yourself.  One day at a time.

DianeS

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Hi There,

I hope you have some support to help you get through the next few months. their is no right way to grieve. My life has changed so much since my brothers death almost 6 months ago,  a way that helped me was to speak to his close friends and talk about him,  as much as I could but the pain is always their. Not saying goodbye is what hurts and sharing the same thoughts and humour. you only  can share with your sibling  remember the happy times in all the darkness take care . Mazza.  

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Hi there

I lost my brother last year in quite a similar story in that my brother was 33, extremely healthy.

Jimi was my older brother, I was 31 when he died (he was 33) so we were very close, friends rather than family members I would say.  I've learned that when someone so close dies, it is such a big deal you find yourself gliding along on the shock wave for a long time and your heart and head are not able to fully communicate.  The fact of what happened is there but because there is so much shock, and it is just such a  crazy situation, it is virtually impossible to react the way you would expect to. Yes I cried a lot when Jimi died, he suffered a massive stroke, and was on life support for four days. It doesnt work in a particular order.  You arn't told he has died, you cry, you scream, you feel terrible and then it starts to get better - it takes on many different forms. Shock has carried me through so far, it protects you from completely exploding I feel. Looking back now, eveything is a blur, like looking through glass so its not fully clear in your thoughts. Even a year on, like today, I think 'my God its really true, he is really gone, and that shock again lasts for a few seconds and then I distract myself with something else. Its a very strange situation when you lose someone, but slowly I am starting to turn the sadness and sometimes physical sickness i feel into positive thoughts and positive feeling.  It is important to do that eventually - later on. I dont think time heals, because I think the pain of the situation will never heal but time does change how you feel and how you learn to live with it and cope to some extent.  It makes you stronger to deal with the pain and the fog begins to lift .. very slowly but it will. Two months on is still so soon - I remember I was in the thick of the fog and confusion then .. you will have dark moments but when those moments are not so heavy, remember to practise positive thoughts and positive feeling - its very important to help you to get you through.

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