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JSK5351

Struggling with grief and anger & missing my brother

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Hi - I'm new here. My therapist recommended that I start blogging on a grief site, like this one, because I strangely refuse to talk to anyone else about my situation, besides her. On November 24th, 2016 (Thanksgiving Day), I lost my older brother due to cardiac arrest from a cocaine overdose. It was the most traumatic experience of my life. He was 24, and I was 21 at the time. Long story short: my mom received a call from his cell phone at 3:30 am, it was actually the nurse telling my mom that they found him on the side of the street. She said the doctors were working on him. I woke up to the sound of her screaming. My parents and I drove to the hospital. We were put in a little room. We were told he had passed away. My dad started vomiting immediately, and my mom started screaming. I literally felt my entire body go limp, and it felt like the life inside of me was sucked out. It's weird how we separate our lives into "before this happened," and "after this happened." Afterward, my dad could barely keep it together. The funeral was terrible. Everyone kept coming up to me telling me to "take care of my parents" and to "stay strong." As if I didn't lose someone. I feel a huge responsibility to take care of my parents, so I feel like I can't talk to them when I'm feeling down. Most days I am able to push my grief aside to study and accomplish my goals, but there are many days, like today, where I wish I could talk to someone who knows exactly how I feel. Like the people on this site. You guys understand the pain, the anger, the confusion, the sadness, the irrational hatred towards everyone who is living a perfect life who have no idea what this pain feels like. I wish I had someone to talk to. I feel like I can't even talk to my parents anymore, even when they're asking me how I am genuinely doing. I tell them, "I am fine. Don't worry about me. I'm perfectly fine and I'm getting through it." This is definitely a lie, but I just can't bring myself to tell them that I'm not doing so well. I just don't want to bring them any more unhappiness that they are already dealing with. It's weird. At first, whenever I would hear my mom crying, I would come in to her room and hold her. Now, when I hear her cry, I can't even bring myself to go in and help her. I hear her cry, but I ignore it. I just can't do it. It is exhausting. I don't know if it makes me a bad person, but it's emotionally exhausting. I have not really talked to anyone about my loss, not even my parents, or my closest friends. I just feel like no one gets it and explaining grief to someone who hasn't lost anyone is like explaining a foreign concept. I don't need anyones "sorry for your loss," I just want someone to get how I feel and to know that I'm not alone with my irrational anger and complex grief.

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2 hours ago, JSK5351 said:

I just want someone to get how I feel and to know that I'm not alone with my irrational anger and complex grief.

My dear one, my heart just hurts for you as I read your tragic story. You are mourning the death of your brother, whose death was tragic and traumatic. You are feeling isolated and all alone in your pain. Please don't judge yourself for feeling exhausted from and inadequate in the face of your mother's grief. You are a bereaved sibling in this family and you have a legitimate right to your own grief and pain ~and you cannot expect to be the designated grief counselor or sole source of support for your mother or any other family member when you yourself are drowning too!

I invite you to read this article, in hopes that it will speak to you in a special way: Sibling Loss: When Grief Goes Unacknowledged

I also hope you will pay a visit to the Open to Hope website. One of its founders, Dr. Heidi Horsley, is herself a bereaved sibling, as her brother was killed in an auto accident when she was about your age. She later wrote her doctoral dissertation on the sudden death of a sibling, and from her writing and her work, I know that she most certainly understands much of what you are experiencing now. The Open to Hope website offers many resources that you may find helpful, including articles, podcasts and videos related to sibling loss. and I hope you will take advantage of them. 

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That is a very hard situation to be in, taking care of your self is very important.Please don't feel bad when you have to walk away, if you don't put up walls a little bit, you will be drained and then your health may not stay strong. It is not easy to have to go through a loss of a loved one, but then having to be there to be strong for the parents as well.  Wanted to let you know that Focus on the Family if you google them they have a 1 800 number you can call these folks will to give you love and support. Also, they have many links to help you to cope with this sad loss many articles that are short reads but very helpful.   

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JSK,

What you are going through is very hard and we ARE sorry you are going through this...trying to be there for your parents yet taking the time to acknowledge your own loss can be a balancing act.  I'm glad you're seeing a grief specialist, but it would help if you had some familial support too.  You might try a grief support group as well.

http://www.griefhealingblog.com/2010/04/finding-grief-support-that-is-right-for.html 

https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2014/08/grief-understanding-process.html 

https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2011/10/helping-grieving-parent.html

I hope you will be able to talk with your parents about the loss you feel in time, it might not only help you, but them.  When my father passed away, my mom went on to live another 32 years, and she appreciated that I would bring up my dad to her...she said others avoided talking about him as if he didn't exist.  It enabled us to share in our loss and remember and talk about the things we missed and appreciated about him.

There are tons of helps on this site, so I hope you will take the time to explore it and find what is there...countless articles and posts. Lists of books to read.  So much available!   It's important to realize what you are experiencing is normal and you are not alone in your feelings.

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Oh hun, I completely understand what you are experiencing, and going through. I'm new here, and just registered. I'm not exactly sure where my story fits in on the forums here, but your story has given me a huge push to get on here and share. In a nutshell, I too have lost my brother. He passed a year and a half ago, after being in a coma for 18 years. We were best friends, basically all we had growing up in a "divorcing, combative" childhood. My parents gave up, and I always had to be the strong one. My mother fell deep into her alcoholic tendencies, and my father just gave up on himself and let his medical issues become his solace. Unfortunately, I also lost my father. On Halloween of this year, he decided he had had enough, and I had to let him go. When my mother found out, she laughed jokingly "What's wrong, you're acting like your father finally died or something?" And when I told her that that was a terrible thing to say to her, she laughed hysterically, and hung up the phone. I haven't heard from her since. I feel like I've now lost my whole entire family. I never got to grieve for my brother because I had to be strong, and I also had to help take care of him full time. Once he was put into a nursing care facility, I then had to take care of my father who was completely bedridden for the last 10+ years of his life. I feel like I was always looked at as the only healthy family member, like I was expected to live and do with my life by what they expected. I am now realizing that I have spent my life trying so hard to live up to their expectations, and I have gotten nowhere. To this day even, and the saddest part is that when I need someone the most, they are all gone. I know it's not my fault, and I know I don't deserve that. So, I'm here. I have a very hard time talking about my situation, but I want to. I don't have a lot of support outside of my fiance and two small boys, so I was hoping that some sort of online support group/forum would help fill the emptiness that I'm seeking to fill. My story is very complicated and long, and I will be sharing this soon. It may take a bit of time for me to complete and get it pushed out, but I hope that you seek out my story and find some peace in knowing that someone out "here" totally gets it. Even in the big world of this online community, just one person validating your thoughts, emotions and situation can help ease the mind. At least, this is my hope. In reading around the different boards, I'm seeing a lot of support, and I hope that this becomes a nice comfortable spot for me to land when I need it. And I need it now. Thank you for sharing your story, and thank you for giving me the courage to reach out. I too hope that you continue to reach out, and never give up.

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@Trippinbugs

I am so glad you did share.  Many things came to my mind as I was reading your story.  First I want to tell you how sorry I am for all of your losses, your brother, your dad, even your mom in a way. Sometimes there's more than one way for someone to be removed from us, it isn't only death that robs us.  You were robbed in a very real way of a loving supportive family, from the get go.  I'm sorry.  But I am so glad that you realize you deserve more.  That it's not your fault.  

I am glad you have a fiance and two little boys, and my hope is you can build the family you didn't have, the family you always wanted.  It may not be perfect, it never is, but hopefully it will be "perfect for you"...that's how my relationship was with my late husband.  We are neither ones perfect people, but our relationship with each other was.  We had mutual respect, caring, love, understanding, it was the best relationship one could ever hope for.  I only had him in my life 6 1/2 years, but how enriched those years were!

I'm sorry your brother was in a coma for so long, I can't imagine 18 years...my oldest sister was in a horrid car accident when she was 25, it killed her three year old, but left her four month old unscathed, but it damaged her brain, leaving her quadriplegic.  The worst damage however was done when they did the emergency tracheotomy, it damaged her vocal cords so that she can't communicate effectively.  She also has a hard time swallowing, she chokes easily and gets pneumonia easily.  It also did damage to my other sister, leaving her without her equilibrium so that she falls easily.  This all happened 50 years ago and we're still living with the aftermath.  The four month old was kidnapped when he was four years old by his father who had never laid eyes on him, and taken to a foreign country where he didn't know the language and had to live with a wicked stepmother...seriously.  A year later we got him back and my parents adopted him so it could never happen again.

I don't know why some families seem singled out for hardship and others get Beaver Cleaver families.  My guess is that Beaver Cleaver is merely fictitious and most families do have things they deal with that the rest of us don't see.  But it sure seems like some get more than their fair share, and I think your family and mine fell into that category.  My dad was alcoholic and my mom was mental and abusive, emotionally, verbally, physically.   The good news is, for all we went through, us kids turned out pretty normal.  I wouldn't say it didn't affect us, you can't go through all of that without being affected, but for the most part, it enriched who we are.  We are better able to understand a lot of people and situations, having been through so much ourselves.  I've been referred to as a "wounded healer", and I guess that describes me pretty accurately.  Instead of being ashamed of that, however, I wear it as a badge, and I think you should too.  It's not easy to come through so much intact, but I do think we have risen to the occasion and become strong people for it.

You're right, this is a very supportive place, we're there for each other.  

 

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