Jump to content
Grief Healing Discussion Groups

My Brother Tom

Recommended Posts

So many sad stories on this site. Its very touching. I'd like to share mine with you all if you'd take the time to read this :)

Its been 6 months without my brother, Tom. He was my younger brother and only 26 years old when he passed away. He was forever fighting illnesses throughout his life. Mainly his precious heart and problems surrounding that. Not only did he suffer from heart disease but he was also Autistic and a stroke victim. He underwent 6 heart ops in his life-time and the final one he never recovered from. I sometimes feel so sad that I can't articulate through words. Not just because he's gone but I just can't accept how someone so innocent can be put through so much pain?

Because of his health problems, I devoted my life to helping him. I maybe played big brother too much. Sometimes he'd get cross with me, other times he'd hold me tight. Sometimes I'd lay with him and we'd listen to his heart and talk about his future. When the odds are constantly against you, all you can do is hope and I always said 'when there is hope then anything was possible'.

But sadly, that day finally came. He'd been in 'independent living' for only 10 days when he was suddenly rushed to hospital. I thought to myself, 'surely he can't have any more bad luck?'. When a scan revealed an aneurysm on his aortic valve. The doctors told us he'd need emergency surgery immediately. That feeling that your sending him into the unknown, I can't really put into words. Perhaps a deep, deep emptiness coupled with utter helplessness and fear. He battled through the operation but his organs never recovered. I don't know many people who could share the same experience and say their brother died in their arms. I do know I can share with you all the fact of losing a sibling or loved one is absolutely heart breaking but we can take comfort that we were blessed with their lives in the time we shared with them.

People often say to me 'it gets easier'. Yes and I'm sure the pain eases over time. That empty void however, will always remain in my heart forever. I consider myself a strong character. I think I get my strength from how close we were and I still believe he gives me that mental compassionate love.

I remember one of the last few words he said to me was 'Joe, why do I have a bad heart and you don't?'. It upsets me every time I think of that moment. I couldn't answer him. I know I would have given him my heart if I could.

Finally, I like to share a poem with you that I wrote on his behalf.

Thank you for reading

What is a Brother?

I know you're very special, son, you loved me from day one.

Always searching for the answer & acting like big brother.

You had dreams for me, that I would be like you, go to college, get a girlfriend and find my happiness.

It turned out different didn't it? God had other plans for me, son.

I struggled in the end, I'd been through a lot. I found it hard to articulate, to make any sense. I was scared.

But I could communicate and understand affection, warmth and love.

There were special people in my life.

Sometimes I'd sit and smile and sometimes I'd cry and wonder, why?

I was happy and loved by special people. What more could I have asked for?

My life was my gift to you all.

Yes, it didn't turn out how we wanted but don't be sad,

I was the special one

Do you remember when you used to hold me, Joe?

You stroked my head and we'd listen to my heart...

I know you were tender and warm, son. You gave me your love.

I saw that look, that feel and that love from others too.

No, I will never be there when you smile, fall or cry but I made it, son.

We won't grow old together but now I'm free and no longer waiting on answers

Since all I know was love, goodness and innocence,

eternity will be ours to share, my brother.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Nicholas

You sound like you were a truly wonderful brother to have had and I am sure many of the kind people on here will echo my sentiments, you will find many wise words from those on here and I am sure your articulate and moving story will get many deserved replies.

I wish I could answer the question "why?" - it depends on your religious or philosophical viewpoint. The answers can vary from it being fate, God's decision or, as my late son and I were Buddhist, the belief that all life is suffering and impermanent, that everything is in a state of flux and that this life is just one of many journeys we undertake until we eventually are released from all the suffering. My son died in December from liver disease due to alcohol, I too have asked why could his liver only last for 43 years when I see other heavy drinkers still alive way older?

Others here will give you more practical advice, all I can say is that you should be proud of what you did, hang on to the memories and remember the good times, however fleeting they may have been.

Take care


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Dear JoeHunt,

I am so sorry for the loss of your dear brother Tom. Thank you for sharing him with us. I am the only one left out of 6 children so I know the pain of loosing a sibling. I am very tired tonight as have had to give testimony in court today but saw your post and wanted you to know I see and heard your pain.

Welcome here, sorry why you came here, but welcome.

Blessings and Courage, Carol Ann

ps: a beautiful poem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you so much for your kind words. I'm terribly sorry to hear the loss of your son. It's far better talking to someone who has shared a similar experience so thank you again for your reply.

Interestingly, since Tom's passing, I've read several books on Buddhism and Near Death Experiences. I agree that there lies another existence in the after life. Its been quite positive for me to embrace this thought and Buddhism in general has been good therapy.

On one occasion after an earlier operation, I remember once Tom said to me after heart surgery he saw the light whilst asleep on the operating table. He said that children were calling him to the light and that he was drawn towards it. But he made the decision not to go and heard my elder brother calling him back. He was so adamant this occurred, he cried each time he described this experience.

I'll continue to read these posts and reply where I can.

Thank you and take care, Nicholas


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...