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A Year Later I Feel Overwhelmed....

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and a bit scared about the future.

I spent the holidays with mom and my brothers and well, for the most part everyone is doing sort of OK, in their own way. My mom misses my father so much and she still cries frequently. She says she still remembers the sadness my father experienced when he was diagnosed with cancer, his fears, and how life was leaving his body little by little. I too remember those times, and I wished I could make my mother feel better but it is something that she needs to deal with as well.

My younger brother is apparently doing OK, but when dad passed on, he got into the habit of drinking a beer, two or three almost daily. He said it was to numb the pain, and mask the sadness. A year later, the habit continues and we ( mom, myself and my other brother) sat him down and expressed our concerns. He acknowledged the fact that he drinks on a regular basis and he knows he doesnt want to do things that will ruin his life.He doesn't get drunk, but he drinks enough to feel relaxed and expresses his emotions a lot more. He wants to break the habit and thinks he can do it himself, as per his own words...he now drinks when he feels happy and when he feels sad, otherwise he does not touch alcohol.

He sounded reassuring about being able to quit the habit and he even saw it as a challenge. We all are hopeful he breaks it. I worry so much because I don't want him to do stupid things and I want the best for him. My father drank very little alcohol through out his life by choice, and we his children need to follow his example.

My little brother is doing OK, he is the quiet one in the family. He helps my mom out so much, he is still young and he needs to learn a lot about life.

Spending time with my family was the highlight of the holidays. I wouldn't trade that for anything in the world. As being the oldest in the family, I feel the need to care and provide for my family, mom and my brothers. I don't want my family to be shattered or troubled as a result of trying to deal with my father's passing. I am sure Dad wouldn't like that. Mom is being strong and keeps going, and my brothers are doing the same even though there are bumps along the road.

These times are though on us because of grief, finances and trying to find ourselves and knowing what we want to make of our lives. I want to know as much as possible about my brother's habit and be prepared in case he does want to be helped. If he can't break the alcohol habit on his own, I want to be ready to provide help.

Sometimes I think if Dad were here, things would be different, and we would feel complete again. Seeing my mom in pain breaks my heart and i miss my father so much that at times I wonder if it is worth having kids knowing that they too could grieve my death in the future? Why do we have to go through this pain?

I am feeling a bit lost, and trying to find my way forward. I have a job I take care of , and my family..it is just that inside I feel so much uncertainty, I am a bit fearful. I don't know when mom's time to leave earth will be but it makes me anxious. She is apparently in good health..but I still worry.

This year I want to do so much so I can spend more time with my family. What is the meaning of life if you can't spend it close to those you love?

Thanks for listening,


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you sound like a wonderful daughter and sister. Maybe the problems you mentioned are a little too much for just you to handle. About your brother and his way of dealing with your dad's death; some people turn to alcohol to escape the pain. I think it brings another set of problems that become habit. you are right to encourage him to stop, watch see if it escalates and if it does maybe some type of professional help for him. Also if you are overwhelmed try a support group for people who have lost a loved one. Start with hospice in your area and see if they have one that might fit your needs. It is just a suggestion, but talking to others does seem to help. I will keep you in my prayers.

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Guest Nicholas

Turning to alcohol is a frequent occurrence for those who have suffered a bereavement, but it only serves to numb the pain and delays the grieving process. It is no long term solution, in fact the very opposite. I would urge you to get your brother to see an addiction counsellor, or whatever is available in your area. Tragically my son only had one session with a counsellor before his liver packed up, but he had been a regular drinker for many years.


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I think the addiction community people would say that when people start using substances to deal with emotions there is a problem. An additional problem is that, because of using alcohol or whatever, the person stop emotionally maturing right at the point they use substances to soothe their pain. Using alcohol, or any other drug, specifically to "numb pain" is a way to make the grief last forever. It solves nothing. I think this is going past a glass of wine. I also would not take your brother's word for how much he drinks. People who are using alcohol in this way can be less than truthful about how much they drink, if not downright sneaky. I hope you can find a balance, in addition to everything else going on, and set some boundaries about what you are and are not going to say or do about his drinking. This just sounds like too much to deal with. I hope you and/or your brother can get some help from some professionals and/or support groups.

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Thanks for all of your responses. I needed to vent, and it helped me a lot. I'm getting informed and keep an eye (if not both) on my brother. We are both adults, mature people. He's 29, I'm 30. The little one is 22, so we all are grown ups. Still, with me being the oldest I want to make sure I can help them and guide them whenever they need it.

Like a friend of mine said..life is tough but you can be tougher.

I will keep you posted on this.

Thank you all,


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