Lisa Smith

The Death of My Beautiful Brother

15 posts in this topic

Dear All,

 

My brother died last Sunday. The police came to our home at 9p.m. and said my brother was deceased. I couldn't argue with them, I couldn't save him, he had already died. That moment was the worst moment of my life. The 5 days after his death, we had to do all this planning for the funeral, arrange for family to come, all while I was in so much pain and shock. There was no moment to stop. I don't understand why I couldn't have stopped my brothers death. Why wasn't I given a sign to call him or to drive to his home and help him? I also am confused because he wanted to live and we wanted him to live, so why did he have to die? He was only 29. As his younger sister I'm just so confused, saddened and angry. I don't understand why he couldn't have just been sick and gone to the hospital. 

During adulthood, my brother pushed me away so we weren't in regular contact. Although I was frustrated, because I didn't know what I did wrong and I reached out numerous times, I accepted it because I assumed we would always be by each other. I just assumed he would always be alive with me. He's someone that I always assumed would take care of himself and be alright. He had that self-assuredness about him that he was always in control all the time. I don't understand. He was only 29, he wasn't suppose to die. Now, I'm just so overwhelmed and sad. I just want to lay in bed all day. The other half of my heart is gone and there's nothing I can do to bring him back. It all happened so quickly. He was alive and then he wasn't. That's not right. That's not fair. 

Now i'm so anxious because anyone can die at anytime. And my 4 person immediate family is suddenly 3 person. And we weren't prepared for this. I'm just so sad. I hope my beautiful brother was happy, and that he knows he was so loved. I miss his energy on this earth. 

At his wake, his friends wanted to speak with me. And I just couldn't. I just sat on the ground in another room most of the time and tried to drink water. One of them wanted my number so we could share stories of my brother,  but my stories are from our childhood and teenage years. I didn't hang out with him a lot as an adult. Did I do something wrong? Should I have been closer with him as adults? My goodness, if I knew he was going to die I would have driven down to his apartment and forced him to sit and eat lunch with me and to become my best friend. I just don't understand why it was so sudden and why we couldn't say good bye to him. 

I'm just really sad and unsure what to do or think. I didn't expect this. My whole life is changed forever. I always protect my family and I couldn't protect him. 

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Lisa,

I am truly sorry that your brother died.  My brother died suddenly and it was such a shock to everyone.  You are in shock and the unimaginable has occurred.  All of these feelings you are experiencing is a natural part of grief. You are not alone! Help is here.  This place is safe haven to express all of the feelings, emotions, and questions you have.  MartyT, has some great resources available here specific to your loss.  I had the same feelings when my wife passed away that anyone could die suddenly and it rocked my stable ground.

The shock of death is a part of grief and is normal.  My heart aches as you have to go through this.  Please come back when you can. This place has helped me tremendously in dealing with the grief of death.  There will be more to respond and help.  My prayers and thoughts are with you, - Shalom, George  

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My dear Lisa, I am so very sorry to learn of the untimely death of your brother. You don't say how old you are, but since your older brother was only 29 I imagine you're fairly young, and this may be your first experience with losing a loved one who is so close to you. You haven't shared the cause of your brother's death, which clearly came as a terrible shock to you, and I can only imagine the depth of your pain. You're right: your life is forever changed by this loss, but with support and understanding, you will find your way through this horrific loss, one step at a time. Please know that you are not alone. We are here for you, thinking of you and holding you close, as we welcome you to this warm and caring place. 

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Thank you both for responding. Because of his sudden death, I'm trying to reach out to different outlets to try and gain some understanding. The earliest appointment for grief counseling was this upcoming Monday. So I at least have an appointment. 

To answer some questions, I'm 27 and my brother died in his sleep. This is my first up close experience with death. Now I'm just scared and confused. I'm not sure what I should do or think each day. I want to start writing again, but it brings me too much anxiety.

I'm so so so upset that I didn't get more time with him. That he left me so abruptly. I'm so angry at this because it makes no sense. As I stated we weren't as close as I wanted to be, so I just feel so horrible that he's now gone. It's just so unreal. 

Thank you both again for your posts. 

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It's good to know that you'll be seeing a grief counselor, Lisa ~ and good for you for making that appointment. The more you learn about what is normal in grief, the better you will understand your own reactions, and the less "crazy" and alone you will feel. You'll also learn what you can do to manage your own reactions. A grief counselor acts as a guide ~ a companion who will walk with you as you find your way through this new world of yours ~ the world that turned upside down the moment you learned of your brother's death. We'll be here for you, too, offering you a safe place to land, whenever you feel the need. 

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2 hours ago, Lisa Smith said:

To answer some questions, I'm 27 and my brother died in his sleep. This is my first up close experience with death. Now I'm just scared and confused. I'm not sure what I should do or think each day. I want to start writing again, but it brings me too much anxiety.

I'm so so so upset that I didn't get more time with him. That he left me so abruptly. I'm so angry at this because it makes no sense. As I stated we weren't as close as I wanted to be, so I just feel so horrible that he's now gone. It's just so unreal.

My brother died in his sleep as well. It was so shocking and totally unexpected.  You are right that death does not make sense.  Grief takes a lot of energy so try to get good quality sleep and eat as healthy as you can.  Grief is another expression of the love you have for your brother that is difficult to express. Initially I was just hanging on and holding on each moment as I learned how to cope with this world now.  I was changed and most people don't understand this type of grief because the relationship with your brother is special and unique. "One step and one moment at a time".  - Shalom, George

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Lisa,

I'm so sorry!  The last thing you'd expect is for your brother, so young, to die in his sleep.  There is no way you could have known anything was wrong or prevented it.  I don't know if it was caused by an aneurysm or what,but that does happen in young people sometimes, usually with no warning.

There may be a day you want to talk with his friends.  For now it's okay to tell them it's just too soon for you.  

As George said, grief changes us and how we look at things.  You may find you don't take life for granted anymore.  For me, I felt I lost an innocence.  Pretty much anything you feel and experience is pretty normal with grief.

I'm glad you found this site and hope you come back and post any time you feel the need.  It does help to feel heard and understood and there's a good group of people here.

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Thank you, Kayc and everyone who has posted. 

I'm recently learning more about his death and life. Yesterday I was cleaning out his apartment with my parents and I found a mix of drugs. I had to google one of them since I had never seen it before. Now, I'm mad. I'm very mad. I'm mad that my family is grieving because of his stupid choices. He recently started gaining weight too. He had a steady great job. Why wasn't he taking care of himself? Was he searching for something by doing drugs?

Everyday I feel like I go through every stage of grief, so I'm always exhausted. One minute I'm sad, the next I wish I could punch him and the next I'm begging for him to come back. 

I'm just frustrated because I had no idea that he was doing drugs (I don't think he was an addict, and we aren't sure if it actually contributed to his death because he had sleep apnea and wasn't on his breathing machine when he died), but I had no idea this was all a part of his current life. Like, when the heck did this all start? Who was he doing drugs with? 

I have a lot of anxiety since he died. I start grief counseling tomorrow.

I just don't know what "moving on" looks like. I can't believe someone you love can just leave like that so suddenly. 

Thank you all for helping me through this difficult time. 

Lisa

 

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Lisa, my dear, this is way too fresh and way too soon for you to be thinking about "moving on". Your journey has only just begun. Better to think of it as "moving through" ~ and yes, grief is exhausting. Some of the hardest work you will ever do. Please be patient with yourself 

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Lisa,

Grief often presents us with an overload of feelings, some of them at odds with each other, all at once, and all of them valid!  Anger can be a part of our grief...it doesn't mean we don't love them, we still miss them and wish they were back, but it's because we're missing them and feeling like this needn't have been that we feel angry.  All of these feelings can be quite draining and exhaust us.

Throw "moving on" out of your vocabulary, it's not realistic in grief.  Anyone who would tell you that is not experienced in grief.  It's more like we learn to live with the changes this has meant for our lives, it's touch, there's 1,000 losses with every death...loss of dreams, loss of routines, loss of traditions, loss of relationship, loss upon loss.  They come to you when you do something that involved him, they come to you with a memory you had with him, they can come to you at the most unexpected time and places and catch you off guard.  I've learned to let the grief flow...I've learned to coexist with it.  It's part of me now.  That doesn't mean I'm unhappy every minute of every day, but I carry my grief inside of me like an added dimension.  I can still feel happy to be with my dog or see my granddaughter, but I carry the grief inside at the same time.

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You are all correct. I do not know what I was thinking about "moving on." This is so incredibly painful and so sad. I do not know how people cope with death. I will try to let it flow Kayc as you stated, but it overwhelms me and I sometimes I can't do anything. I can't believe that my older brother is gone. I will try to be patient Mary T. That's what one of my counselor's suggested. I hope my brother knows how much I love him. I feel silly because I never thought he could die, I never had to confront death like this and I really hope I'm strong enough. I just want to sleep all day. Thank you all for your advice and support. 

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In the early days/months it IS overwhelming, it takes much time to process our grief.  Eventually we do adjust and we no longer expect them on the other end of the phone or at the door, but it takes a while for this to sink in.  It is important to be very kind, very understanding, very patient with yourself.  Be your own best friend.  Self care is very important.  Grief is exhausting and part of your sleeping so much may be from that, part may be from wanting to escape.  

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On 3/13/2017 at 8:33 AM, kayc said:

Throw "moving on" out of your vocabulary, it's not realistic in grief.

I have had people making comments about how I should be moving on for some time, and I find it really annoying that someone would presume to tell another how they should grieve, how long, or any other "should" stuff about grief. I think I have moved along too quickly - just because I had to. Or it seemed like I had to. I have had more than I could handle just about every day since I lost my dad. Being in a car accident and having all that drama with my sisters really was too much. Right now, I am trying to cope with my current load and not stress about his house. The mortgage bank is incredibly lackadaisical about proceeding with the short sale of his house, so I am trying to use the break to breathe and get through the semester. 

I just started working at a new reservation school (Junior/Senior) and have been SO grateful for the kindness people showed me. One special ed teacher, when I was introduced to her as a social worker, she jumped out to hug me as if I were her long lost sister. We've eaten lunch together both of the Thursdays I have been out there. This past Thursday, I met another SpEd teacher, who had two little elephants carved from stone in her room and was telling me about who had left these precious carvings to her. I showed her my little wood elephant I carved and was telling her about my dad and carrying on his legacy with wood. When I told her it had been a little more than a year since he died she said, "Oh! You're still really grieving" with compassion and understanding. It was really a comfort.

But you, Lisa, are so new to this path. Kay's last post...it couldn't be said any better. It couldn't be said enough - it's so important and so true. I have so often felt pushed past my capacity, and often the biggest pressure was actually from myself. Just take it one day at a time. And read what Kay wrote. It's a print-it-out-and-stick-it-to-the-fridge kind of thing. Maybe I should stick it to my own fridge...

Laura

On 3/23/2017 at 6:02 AM, kayc said:

It is important to be very kind, very understanding, very patient with yourself.  Be your own best friend.  Self care is very important.  Grief is exhausting and part of your sleeping so much may be from that, part may be from wanting to escape.

 

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So I haven't written in awhile... everyday I go through many emotions and right now I'm very sad. I'm just sad that my brother is dead. I'm not gonna write too much because I just don't have the energy. But I have a question: my brother died of drug toxicity and I asked one of his "friends" if he knew anything about my brothers drug use or who he used with. This "friend" hasn't responded to me despite my numerous emails, and I'm pretty sure he was using with my brother. I want to send an email out to my brother's whole sports team, who a non-using friend told me that he he got mixed up with bad people from that group, saying "hey, I know something was up- I want some answers." But I also am dealing with so much anxiety. Is it worth it? These people weren't his real friends. I want them to suffer like I am right now. 

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Lisa,

You can't make them accept responsibility or suffer or even respond to you.  If they used with him, are they any better or worse than him?  People make choices and suffer consequences and if they aren't today they will likely tomorrow but it won't make you feel any better, it won't bring your brother back.  The only thing that can help is forgiveness and we do that not so much for the other people as ourselves, we do it because we don't want to grant them the additional power of destroying who we are as people.  We don't want to give them any more of us.  We leave them to God to deal with and we focus on giving our own selves the self care and love we need.  

I'm sorry you are suffering so.  I know you miss him, just as I miss my husband each and every day.  It's hard to live with grief but we do, on a daily basis.  I've learned to embrace rather than fight it.  When I was a kid there was a "toy" a kind of woven straw-like tube that we put our finger into and a friend would put their finger in the other end and we'd pull back.  The more we pulled, the tighter it's grasp.  That's kind of how grief is...the harder we fight it, the harder it seems for us.  I've learned to relax with it a bit, this is my life now, after all.

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