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My Wonderful Big Brother

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February 28, 2009 will forever be the worst day of my life. It was on this very morning that I was woken up by my dad saying, wake up and get dressed, your brother has been in a car accident. At first I thought he was kidding then I thought my brother had just gotten in a little crash. On my way to the hospital, my dad and I stopped by the accident scene. It was there that I saw the inside of the car and realized it was no little accident. When I reached the hospital, I was told by doctors that my 18 year old brother, Jimmy, had died. It felt like someone had punched me in the stomach as hard as they possibly could. I thought, What do you mean he died?! To this day I still dont think I fully understand the idea of it. I didnt understand how it was possible I would never see or speak to my wonderful big brother again. It has been almost a year and I still feel like hes at college and will come home any day now.

Jimmy was the most charismatic and outgoing person I knew. His smile could light up a room and the relationship we had was one that few people are lucky enough to ever experience. He was so special to me and I felt so lucky to be his sister. Some people dont know what they had until they have lost it, not me; I always counted my blessings for having my brother and was always afraid I would somehow lose him. He was my only sibling and we were a year and a half apart, I was 16 when he died. We would have so much fun together, driving around in his mustang or even just watching TV together. We had always been close growing up and anyone who knew us could tell. He was so handsome, by far the better looking child, and had all the girls swooning over him due to his amazing charm. There was only one woman for him though, his girlfriend of a year, Care, whom he loved with all of his heart. He lived his life to the absolute fullest, and I struggle everyday with the idea that someone so full of life could just be gone in the blink of an eye. He was cheated out of the full life he deserved.

The days that followed after his death were such a blur; so many people were creating rumors and stories about how he died. Jimmy was incredibly popular at our school so his death was a huge shock and heartbreak to many students. Almost a thousand people came to his viewing and hundreds came to his funeral. I was so overwhelmed with everything that was happening. I had never even been to a funeral before. The hardest part of all was seeing him before the funeral and knowing that it would be the last time I would ever see him and it was the last hug I would ever give him. He looked so beautiful and I just rubbed his hand with tears rolling down my face knowing this was the end of my wonderful childhood and our amazing relationship. I could have sat there all day. It was by far the hardest and most painful moment of my entire life. All I had left was a long and painful future without him in it.

Everyone at school treated my differently. I still dont know if thats a good or bad thing. Even though it has almost been a year I still feel as though I havent grasped the idea of him really being gone. I try to push away the emotions and not show or talk about them but it doesnt help because he is all I ever think about. Im so sad most of the time and beyond confused in this tangled web of grief. I go through periods of time where I feel like I can laugh and then days where I feel horrible. Anytime I see a silver mustang, I feel like Ive been punched in the stomach. I cant understand the depth of my parents grief which frustrates me. I get so annoyed when people are always asking about how my parents are doing yet never ask about how I am. Yet I know that if they did ask I would lie and say Im okay. I dont understand why I cant open up to people, but I catch myself constantly bringing up little memories of him in conversations. I have an incredibly hard time letting him go. It took me a long time to realize I can no longer carry this pain of mine without help from others. I know I can no longer handle this by myself and hold it all inside of me. I would appreciate any type of advice or help anyone has to offer. I miss my brother so much and love him dearly with all of my heart.


(I dont know if the picture got uploaded properly or not but below is a picture of my brother and I)

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My dear Caroline,

My heart goes out to you as I read your tragic story ~ I am so very sorry to learn of the death of your precious big brother Jimmy, and I simply cannot imagine the depth of your pain. Clearly Jimmy was a very special person in your life, and he's left an enormous hole in your heart ~ a hole that no one else can ever fill.

You say you've come to realize that you can no longer handle this by yourself, holding it all inside of you. Good for you! It takes real courage to recognize that you need help and to reach out and ask for it. As a first step, I'm so pleased that you found your way to our site, and I hope you will take the time to explore and read the other messages posted in this forum, and follow the links to some of the resources that are offered. See especially some of the resources listed on the Death of a Sibling or Twin page of my Grief Healing Web site. It helps so much when we've suffered a significant loss to learn what is normal in grief, to know that we're not alone, that we're not crazy for feeling as we do, and that there are things we can do to manage our own reactions. Have you considered talking with your favorite teacher or school guidance counselor? He or she may know of a support group for grieving teens, which could be a wonderful source of support for you. You might also ask this person for help in finding a grief counselor.

You say you're having "an incredibly hard time letting him go," but I want to suggest to you that, instead of trying so hard to let go of your brother, you focus instead on letting go of the pain. After all, Jimmy will always be your big brother, and you will always be his little sister. Death may have claimed his life here on earth, but your relationship with him, your love for him, will never die. Jimmy will always live in your heart, just as long as you keep his memory alive. Find ways to memorialize and pay tribute to his memory. Work to let go of the pain, Caroline, but don't ever let go of Jimmy and your love for him. He is always with you now, right there in your heart.

Please know that we're all thinking of you, sharing in your sorrow, and holding you close.

I also invite you to read the article I'm attaching to this post: When a Sibling Dies


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