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erinlore

losing my 22 year old big brother

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My 22 year old brother was coming home from work on December 5th when he got into a car accident. The other driver clipped his back tire and my brothers car flipped and hit a street light. We were told he died instantly which is a small comfort, but the other driver walked away uninjured. My parents are divorced and he was my only sibling. We were pretty close but ever since this happened I feel I should have been nicer to him, more understanding, less of an annoying little sister. Just an overall better sibling. I feel awful. I feel that he deserves to be here more than I do and that I would trade places with him in an instant. I feel so terrible for my parents and I feel sad that they can't really grieve together. I mean they're amicable, but they're still divorced and obviously don't live together. 

For the past few months I have been struggling to find someone who understands what I'm going through. I have tried to find grief groups in my area for people who have lost a sibling with no luck. I understand why siblings are often referred to as the "forgotten mourners". I feel so alone. And I do talk to a therapist once a week and have my friends and family who all say "you aren't alone" but none of them understand. My brother and I were two years apart. I always looked up to him and tried to copy what he did. As we got older we would laugh together (sometimes at the expense of our parents) or send funny memes or videos to each other. He made me laugh more than anyone else. I just feel so so alone. I miss him more than words can ever explain. I hate that the guy who killed him is just living his life. 

I googled grief forums tonight because I just can't handle this anymore. I try not to bring things up to my parents because I don't want to make them sad or make them comfort me. I just feel so empty and guilty that I get to live and my brother is in the ground. I hate this so much I can't even express. I guess I just wanted to get some of my thoughts out there. 

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Erin,

I am so sorry for your loss, to lose your brother, that is one of our closest relationships and that is so hard, all the more so suddenly and unexpectedly while still so young.  It is okay to talk with your parents about him, to bring it up, trust me, he's already on their mind and it will help them to have you to talk to also.  My mom appreciated my bringing up my dad from time to time (she was widowed 33 years).  

It is very hard going through social isolation while grieving.  You might look for grief support groups and talk to the leader to see if it's a right fit for you.  It helps to be able to express yourself and know you are heard and understood.  People can't get what this is like unless they've been through it so that can be helpful.  There may be some starting back up right now, minus the hugs and sitting six feet apart, of course.  

I'm sure you and your brother were no different than any other siblings, my sisters and I are close (I lost one a couple of years ago) but me being much younger I was the bratty little sister more than once.  They've forgotten that or laugh about it.  I loved teasing them when they had dates over!  I remember getting into my sister's lipstick and then smashing it back into the lid when I heard her coming.  I'm sure I annoyed them to no end.

But none of that detracts from the love the two of you shared.  Your brother has forgiven you and loves you too!  Maybe you can think of a way to honor him through memorializing him.  Give it some thought...

 

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Dear Erin, I'm so sorry to learn of the tragic accident that took the life of your beloved brother. So unfair. So hard to understand. 

I want you to know that much has been written about the death of a sibling, and you'll find links to dozens of resources on this page: Death of A Sibling or Twin. I'm a firm believer in learning all we can about what is normal in grief, which helps us better understand and manage our reactions, so I'm hoping you'll find something here that speaks to you in a helpful way.

Are you familiar with Open to Hope? It's a non-profit organization founded by Dr. Gloria Horsley and her daughter Dr. Heidi Horsley, following the death of Heidi's brother Scott. Their website offers all sorts of resources, including podcasts, articles, videos, and books ~ and Dr. Heidi Horsley has first-hand experience with and understanding of the grief that comes with the death of a brother. I encourage you to explore what they have to offer ~ and of course you are most welcome to share more of your story here with us. ❤️

 

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