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Hi all my name is Jayde and I am new to this group. In August of 2015 I lost my only sibling, my brother. The circumstances were unforeseen and tragic. Two days after his 18th birthday he was in a car accident which left 4 teenage boys gone and a 5th boy physically disabled. The shock and the trauma of the circumstances were immense. Due to so many young lives lost the whole community was affected. There were hundreds of people at all the boy's funerals (around 300-500). Now two years on I grieve with my mum, dad and two lifelong friends. I feel very isolated in my journey and sometimes I really just want to go back to a counsellor or reach out to someone.

The last year I had improved so much in my grief journey. I have been over coming my anxiety and I stopped crying every day. But since my brothers birthday and death date last week the gates of my grief have come flooding open. I feel out of control with my emotions and I am really scared I am going backwards. Can anyone tell me if this has happened to them? Has the anniversary caused the grief to become intense again? Is this going to last long? Any advice or encouragement would be really appreciated. 

God bless you all x 

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Welcome, I'm glad you made your way here.  Yes, it is VERY normal and common to feel set back when encountering their death date or birthday.  Any number of things can be a trigger, but those are probably a top two.  Just because you feel you're going backwards doesn't necessarily mean you've lost ground though.  It won't stay in this level of intensity.  The grief journey, although it has a beginning, knows no ending as such, but it does not stay the same, it evolves.  Gradually we get used to our altered lives but sometimes it seems imperceptible to us.  You will always miss your brother but your pain will not always continue as it is right now.

If you feel the need for a grief counselor, I hope you will find one that is a good fit for you.  It might also help to try a grief support group.  If one does not work for you, try another.

I don't know what kinds of things you've done to aid you in your grief, but I want to share with you what I've learned in my grief journey.


There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this.  I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey.

  • Take one day at a time.  The Bible says each day has enough trouble of it's own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew.  It can be challenging enough just to tackle today.  I tell myself, I only have to get through today.  Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety.
  • Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves.  The intensity lessens eventually.
  • Visit your doctor.  Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks.  They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief.
  • Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief.  If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline.  I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived.  Back to taking a day at a time.
  • Try not to isolate too much.  
  • There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself.  We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it!  Some people set aside time every day to grieve.  I didn't have to, it searched and found me!
  • Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever.  That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care.  You'll need it more than ever.
  • Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is.  We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc.  They have not only the knowledge, but the resources.]
  • In time, consider a grief support group.  If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". 
  • Be patient, give yourself time.  There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc.  They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it.  It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters.  
  • Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time.  That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse.  Finally, they were up to stay.
  • Consider a pet.  Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely.  It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him.  Besides, they're known to relieve stress.  Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage.
  • Make yourself get out now and then.  You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now.  That's normal.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then.  Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first.  You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it.  If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot.
  • Keep coming here.  We've been through it and we're all going through this together.
  • Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.
  • Eventually consider volunteering.  It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win.

(((hugs))) Praying for you today.


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My heart goes out to you and your family, Jayde. There is little I can add to what Kay has already shared with you ~ except to say how sorry I am to learn of the tragic death of your brother two years ago.

You might appreciate these articles as well ~ including the additional ones listed at the base of each:

Traumatic Loss: Surviving A Sibling's Fatal Accident

Tips for Coping with Anniversary Reactions in Grief

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