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Diamond In The Rough.

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My name's Chris and I am 25 years old. On October 15th, 2007, my big brother Brian (35) was killed in a car crash. He was the passenger. The driver is still under suspicion for drunk driving, but we don't have all the info just yet.

It has been just under 4 months and I still am numb. I had just gotten into a big argument with my oldest sister about Brian's drinking being a little out of control, but she said there was nothing we could do so just enjoy your time with him. I couldn't, though. I knew he would destroy himself somehow. I guess he didn't destroy himself, technically, but if he had just not gone to see the game at the pub, he would be here today.

My big brother was a lifetime hero. I looked up to him. When my father was not around, he was there. He taught me the framework of what it is to be a man. Since his death, I have cried under a dozen times. I can't bear to think honestly about the tragedy I feel inside. I remember at the viewing having not seen him in 2 years since I moved to California (we grew up in DC) and thinking, "Oh my god, this is not how we were supposed to meet again." I would walk up to the casket and just shake my head and try my hardest to stifle my tears. I cannot fathom this. I can't accept him not being here.

My sorrow had to be put on hold, in my eyes, to care for my very loudly grieving sisters (I have 3) who, unintentionally, made me feel 2nd string. I set my own emotions aside to care for his fiance, my parents, anyone who needed a shoulder. If I was someone's shoulder, I would have no time to ask for my own. It was safe. Ignorance is bliss.

I refused a portion of the ashes as I did not want to associate the two (my brother -> his remains). As it was, I could not look at his corpse in the coffin and admit it was really, truly him because, well, "He didn't look like the last time I saw him. He looks cold and empty." My brother was never anything but full of life. A superstar who made YOU feel like the only person in the room when he had your attention. I couldn't (can't) accept that he was somehow just a vessel anymore.

I have tried so infinitely hard to get past this but I can't. I cannot escape it. If I could just get out from under its thumb, none of this would exist to me and I would be ok. However, a big part of me realizes that no amount of avoidance will bring him back, no amount of ignorance is enough to soothe this hurt. I have nobody to talk to. Friends don't know what to say. Family grieves themselves so how could I burden them. I feel like I am 5 years old and I am looking for him in a huge mall and I'm seeing the backs of people's heads and cannot find him or any sense of familiarity.

My brother and I had unfinished business. We talked about sitting on a porch, smokin our morning cigs, and looking out into the fields. Talking about eulogizing our dad (he is 60) and how we'd be the men of the family like our father and uncle are now. My shoulders are too sunken in with suffering for me to hold this responsibility on my own. I feel broken on the inside and am forced to smile for fear of intruding on others. I do not want to be their dark cloud. Sometimes, though, it is so difficult to forge through this - or attempt to, rather.

I went to visit his house when I was in Maryland for his viewing and memorial. I had not been to his house since he bought it. Everyone would say how they feel his presence, but I didn't. I felt like I was inside a husk. Something was there at one point, but it had been drained out. His fiance, Tisa, and I had been friends for 10 years. I introduced them to each other 5 years ago. I can only hope that if I were to have given him anything in life, I could have given him that happiness he had with her. He gave me so much in life that the 5 hats of his I took from his room as mementos seem trivial. I could never see or hug him again.

Our family's been shattered. Two of my sisters are still good friends and supporters of the driver. My parents and I cannot abide that. It is to the length that my 2nd oldest sister, Laurie, is now in some sort of romantic relationship of sorts with the driver. They apparently have bonded in the sadness, I suppose. It has made such a devastating crater in the center of what was a shaky circumstance anyway. My youngest sister Melissa and I barely talked before this and now I find it too awkward to speak to her. Her and I had our own relationships with Brian that differed from everyone else's. Hard to explain coherently with the sobbing at the moment, haha. :)

Sorry for this first post being so long. I just have never been able to say these things to anyone who would get it. People ask me to share; my best friend begged me to share the load, but I just broke down in tears and told him that this is nothing I would ever wish on anyone else. The pain is just unending.

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Chris I am so sorry for the loss of your older brother, this must be very hard for you. I don't usually post here as I have not lost a sibling but lost my dear husband almost a year ago and now my mother is fighting cancer so it has been a rough road for me too so please know you are not along in your journey.My husband also was very unexpected as he had a blot clot that went to his heart that we did not know he had. You mentioned in your post about yourself and your brother sitting on the porch and that is what Steve and I always talked about was sitting on the porch when we got old ( I am 49 now) and talking with our children and watching our grandchildren play. Well I not only will be sitting there alone but my Steve will never have known the joy of having Grandchildre. Please know that you are not alone here and again I am so sorry for the loss of your brother.



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I am so so sorry for the loss of your brother. Alcoholism is definitely a sickness. I lost my fiance, the father of my two daughters, to it. He went out drinking all day and decided to walk home in 17 degree temperatures with no jacket through the woods. He did not make it and it took two months to find him. It has been almost a year since I last saw him and it is very hard. Please come here and post your feelings. You can say anything here without being judged or worrying about putting a burden on anyone here, we all understand what you are going through. Please take care of yourself.

Hugs & prayers,


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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Chris,

I am new to this site and I read what you had wrote and something about your story just spoke to me! I can relate to your story in some ways! Or atleast to me I can! I am 24 years old and I just lost my brother 7 months ago yesterday! It has been a roller coaster of emotions, mainly numb ones and denial! But I am sorry for your loss and if you ever need to talk I am here! Please dont hesitate!


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