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My Brother- A Backburner Loss

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Hello All,

Although I lost my brother 1.5 years ago now, I've not had the chance to really deal with his death....and I'm almost afraid to even go there, even now. Our Mother died first, in Jan./04. Three weeks later, I was 'allowed' to fly back home and go through what was left of her clothes. Our father had had bad dementia for a long while and made this whole process almost impossible. My oldest brother ( of 2, with me the only daughter ), met me at our parents' house, to support me and guard me, should our father get violent or abusive. This was the brother I'd reconnected with, after many years of silence, when our Mother was hospitalized with a stroke. So for the previous 6 months, we'd been talking fairly regularly again, long distance, trying to get our Mother's need taken care of - a long story. Ultimately, her care suffered and she had a final, massive stroke. I still had many unresolved issues with this brother ( and don't even get me started on my other brother! ), but at least he was helping me out somewhat with our father.

About 3.5 wks. later, just as I was about to reply to my brother's last email to me ( cryptically, and ironically titled "last email"! ), I got a call from his partner, who told me she'd had to take him to the hospital, with......a sudden stroke!, and that he was on full life-support and it didn't look good. He'd picked her up from work, then couldn't zipper up his coat and told her she'd better take him to the hospital.......anyone who knew my brother would know this was dead serious because he hated doctors and especially hospitals and avoided both as much as possible. However, this woman ( I'd never actually met her in person, though she'd been with him about 14 years; his 3rd 'wife' ), told me herself that she FIRST went somewhere to get some food to take with them before getting him to Emergency!!!!! By the time they arrived, he couldn't move at all and was rushed to ICU. He never regained consciousness, as far as she claimed, and she had them take him off life-support only 5 days later. He died Feb.29/04, about 2 months after our Mother. I never got to see him again, in hospital, as we had no income and had already scraped to get me back home those 3 weeks ago. So I also missed his funeral. Our Mother had never gotten a funeral or memorial, thanks to our dad. My brother's partner had already told me 6 months prior to this that she really wanted to leave my brother. After he died, among other horrible comments, she actually told me that God had answered her prayers, with getting him out of her life! I hate her instantly and only stayed in contact with her long enough to get some pictures from the funeral from her and their young son. It has been a nightmare, and this is only a tiny fraction of the whole story. Our remaining brother is a control freak and greedy, just like our father, so he's been not only no help, but is the largest part of the current problems now. The only thing he said to me about our brother's death was, " If he hadn't gone and died, at least I'd have some HELP now." He wasn't sorry to see either him nor our Mother go. I hate him, too, now. Our father is now in a home, and has had to be put under the Province's 'care', as this last brother never paid for his housing or needs, though he had Power Of Attorney for our father.

It has been such a mess, I've still been trying to process just my Mom's death, and have had no outlet for my brother's death. The rest of my extended family has bailed on me, one of them even supporting this last brother, despite his lies, cheating and power-hungry ways....and I've been left out in the cold, with not even my Mother's sisters to talk to. I've been betrayed by them all, and don't even know where to begin with my brother's passing, there's so much past history and now this horrifying present. He was only 58 when he died and I've just turned 48. Although we had some big problems in the distant past, I was always closer to him as a sibling ( and really, only close to my Mom in the family in later years ), and we looked alike, had many of the same talents and interests, and I'd looked forward to trying to reestablish an improved relationship with him, to share memories of our Mom with.........now I have no one left. With their passings, I lost my entire family-of-origin and all but 1 or 2 ( the jury's still out on one of them ) relatives. My world has gotten so much smaller.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, so now I'm rather angry on top of everything. I would have expected at least ONE response to my first posting about my brother's death, after having given this a few days. I know this site is somewhat quiet yet, being newer ( don't know HOW new), but this feels just like the lack of response I got from my family, with his death. I guess sibling loss ISN'T that important. mad.gif

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Oh my dear Maylissa, of course your loss is “that important!” The most important loss in the world is the loss that you are experiencing right now, and for that you have our heartfelt sympathy as well as our prayers.

I understand that it may seem that when posted messages go unanswered here, it follows that no one is concerned enough to respond, no one notices, and no one really cares. One may then conclude that those unfortunate souls are left to deal with their grief all by themselves – but I can assure you that is not the case. As I have stated elsewhere, I feel a deep personal and professional responsibility to monitor this board in such a way that encourages understanding, growth and healing. I visit this site several times throughout the day, every single day, and I read every single posting in each of the forums here.

One of the benefits of our Grief Healing Discussion Groups site is that it offers visitors like yourself a safe place to put your feelings. Like a journal, it's always there, 24 hours a day, free of charge and ready to "listen" without judgment or reproach. Unfortunately, however, the forums are set up in such a way that whenever a new topic is started by someone, the other messages already posted get pushed down the list and can get “lost,” unless our visitors are savvy enough to go deeper into a given forum to find them.

If you look on the page that lists the titles of all topics in the Loss of a Sibling Forum, you will see that your topic has been viewed by others at least 20 times. If you scroll down any of these lists, you will also see that several messages have been left unanswered – but that does not mean that no one cares enough to post a response to every single message. Sometimes people send private messages to one another that are not meant for everyone else’s eyes. Sometimes I receive and respond to such private messages too. Sometimes just reading through all the other postings is enough to provide the emotional support and inspiration someone may need. Not everyone coming here feels the need to respond to a given message – and some simply may not have the energy to do so. When I respond to a posting myself, it's usually because I see an opportunity to inform all our readers of something about grief that's not been addressed elsewhere on the board or on the pages of my Grief Healing Web site, or it’s because I want to refer them to some other resources – but even then, there is no guarantee that every visitor will find and read what I have written. I also think it’s important that my colleague Steve and I not be viewed as the ones who have all the answers. Most of the time, we want to leave the floor open to let our visitors share their own experiences with one another, because they are truly the experts here.

I would hope that most visitors are finding this site helpful in their time of need, and that they are finding some comfort in offering support to others. I know from reading what you’ve posted in other forums here that you are doing just that, and I hope you will continue to do so by returning on a regular basis to post your own responses here. In so doing, you are helping to model for all our other members and visitors how to post with courtesy, respect, dignity and caring. That is the real beauty and healing power of this medium.

Wishing you peace and healing,

Marty T

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Dear Marty,

Well, I DO have to thank you for replying...of course I knew that you monitor these forums, but wasn't looking necessarily for your personal response, although I always find yours to be so understanding and helpful for more than just the person you're responding to!

Yes, I know that sometimes others either can't relate to one's particular posting, or that they may not have the energy at that time....I was just hoping nonetheless, also knowing that they can get buried under newer posts. I guess I'm just feeling rather desperate about my losses - there's so much ground to yet cover it seems, and because I've postponed this one so long, I'm worried that I'll bury it myself, and it will come up much later when life may have thrown me yet another curveball. I felt this might have been my chance to finally start the ball rolling with this one.

I also realize that sometimes PM's occur, and actually have been taking part in that method with one of my other losses ( for which I'm VERY grateful! ), but of course one can't do that as effectively unless a dialogue is first started on the boards somehow.

It just felt, as I said, like another dose of what I've already received from my non-supportive family, and I had to vent THAT as well! I have noticed before that sometimes such a plea elicits help, support or sharing ( all forms of support, to my mind ) when none has presented itself previously. I just didn't know what else to add to my own topic, without some kind of feedback first....strange for me, as I'm not usually at a loss for words or feelings, which tells me something's going on inside that I'm not aware of yet. Maybe I've simply been overloaded with griefs.....I really don't know anymore.

As for all the 'hits' on my topic, that could have simply been me , checking several times/day if anyone had replied, since the tracking feature doesn't seem to be working properly! Anyway, it's still good to know at least someone's 'out there' reading and understanding what I've written.

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  • 2 years later...

Dear Maylissa~

I am well past a day late an plenty more than a dollar short, but all the same I found your post when I was looking for something else. Help for myself I suppose you could call it. It must have been extremely difficult to lose your mother and brother so close together and under such unhappy circumstances.

My own family suffers from strife and deeply rooted personalities that refuse to change. My stepfather :( Yikes, I will always suffer the emotional wounds he inflicted upon me and my own biological father denied my existence (and his marriage to my mother) to a woman and her daughter (my age mind you) whom he claimed to love, right up until his own untimely death. And I wisely or not have left both the woman and her daughter free from learning of me. So here I sit a legitimate daughter with no name. Perhaps there should be a club. Instead of Daughter's of the American Revolution, we shall be oh "Daughters of the World, Standing Alone".

I know that time has past since you posted this, years even, and truly I hesitated to post a reply for fear of hurting you in some way. But even though I have not walked in your shoes I empathize.

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Why thank-you, Elizabeth, for giving this a go, despite all the time that's passed! No matter how long it's been, it's always good to find out there are other people who have also had to contend with less than ideal family dynamics and very troubled relationships within their own circle...not that I wish this pain on anyone! It just makes one feel a little less alone and singled out. But I'm so sorry your family life has also been so crappy. The upsides (personal growth) most often don't seem worth it, it's such a hard cross to bear, as I'm sure you can also empathize about.

And no, your replying didn't bring on extra pain. I'd just passed my brother's 4th year mark, this year being a more ON THE MARK date, as he'd passed in a Leap Year...right on Feb. 29, so this year I didn't have to substitute a different date. I did notice the date approaching, and noted it in my head ON that day, but actually didn't dwell on it this year. But that was mainly because I simply couldn't, because I've been 'busy' still hurting so badly over my gal's absence and can't take on any more pain than that all-consuming one.

Your idea for a different 'club' that addresses and legitimizes our 'standing' sounds good, frankly! I'd join! ^_^ But then, too, all of this almost feels like another life in another time, as does much of my life (such that it is) now.

There is even more to this story since I wrote this, even uglier than before, but I've done what little I could about it and left it to gather dust again, until or unless something new transpires. I've come to accept that I'll likely be the ONLY family member who ever knows about most of these hideous things, and that no one else will ever even care about them, nor about how they've impacted me. I'm still angry about what my remaining brother has done, and seems to still be doing and planning for in the future. It's so horrifying that I actually hope he'll just keel over one day soon, before he has the chance to complete his twisted plans. But unless some authority steps in with more solid evidence, it's in the hands of the Universe. And all I can say is thank God I'm not HIM, and won't have to face the same life review HE will! Someday, if fate decrees, he'll get caught and justice will be served.....but given the world as it is, I'm not banking on it. It would take ME having to step up and put MYSELF at risk again in order to see more action taken, and I'm not willing to do that at present, so I've told my Mum's spirit that if it's to be, SHE'LL have to be the one to pull some strings from the Other Side. It's more properly her job anyway, since some of this resulted more directly from her doing as well.

As for my sister-in-law, I still haven't spoken to her since. Even though she ought to listen to my warnings about my brother, because his twisted ways could severely ruin her and her son's life (esp. her son's; my nephew's), I also know she's too dense to heed what I'd tell her. So, as they say, let them all sleep in the beds they've made, and good LUCK to them cuz they're going to need it! I really only worry about that nephew, but my hands are rather tied, so someone else will have to protect him from further harm. I've given up control in this, for my own sake.

Many times I didn't feel like I belonged with my family and that's even truer today than in the past. It's lonely, but it's still better than being immersed in their crazy-making behaviours. I don't even know if my father is still alive. If he is, he's now 90. And my last brother would have just passed the same age that our elder brother died at. Hope he suffered a goodly amount of angst about his birthday! :glare: He deserves nothing less.

I also hope my deceased brother has received much loving help on the Other Side, both for what he suffered himself, and the pain he inflicted upon others (including me), and now has a broader understanding of his whole lifetime, shortened as it was. I believe he must have, because I did receive a number of very supportive spiritual visits from him after he passed, which I carry with me now. They really helped me out, and I felt like he'd finally acted more like a big brother is supposed to, and I finally felt like a real SISTER to someone(!), for which I was very grateful. It was a long time in coming, but at least I can claim that feeling now. But man.....it'll be nice to FINALLY know just what the heck was REALLY going on behind each scene with my family members, once I return to spirit, too! I'm not a fan of mysteries and that's what shrouds BOTH my Mum's and brother's deaths, despite surface appearances. There are big questions that THIS soul wants answers to! :ph34r:

Edited by Maylissa
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You're completely right about the rewards of living in a gunked up family being very little. Both my husband and I have crazy yuckie families. Currently his sister is buried up to her neck in plans to marry a man who literally hit on me and tried to kiss me on the mouth (let alone cop a feel) right after the birth of my daughter. I will never be happy with her choice. I love her and it pains me that she is making what I see as a very poor choice. I just can't help that I feel he will hurt her. From where I sit I have no desire at all to attend the wedding and infact we have stopped inviting her to our house since the arrival of this man because I do not feel at all safe around him and I fear the fear I would have to live with day after day if he knew were my house was.

My mother-in-law's husband, Frank, is such a sicko too. But now that my step father has relocted to Florida (and every few months moves a little closer to my home!!!!) I just want to laugh in Frank's face. He thinks he has power and loves to feel as though he has all the cards. But for me (mostly I'm sure I feel this way because I wasn't the little girl he was hurting years ago, it was my husband's sisters) he's a joke, simply a little fish in a big pond and one that I have no patience with or for. I think a Disney movie villian put it best when they said "I have bigger fish to fry".

None of this stops me from asking my husband to buy me on of those pepper sray cans that hang on a lanyard. Yes, I would wear it ALL the time. Never ever is someone going to lay their hands on me again. Revolting Trash.

So let's raise our glasses to our new little club. May they marinate in their own garbage. Gee, that was really harsh of me. I can't even tell you how hard I have worked to feel my own to feet standing under me and to be able to express my emotions without feeling that fear.

Truly it pains me that any death especially those of your mother and brother, would be so unresolved. I suffer from this as well, as my friends passed away in December, died in very violent crimes. It it very difficult for me to come to terms with their passing when I don't even understand how it happened. Why it happened. :( Everytime I turn it over in my mind it's like I'm the fly on the wall watching their murders being commited and all I can do is banish it from my mind. I don't find peace, only more questions and more horror. The police call it a closed case, they know who did it and that's it. But it doesn't explain the motive. The HOW and WHY! It is all such a waste, and such a painful loss. It's like the world has opened up and there is a huge hole, much like a Grand Canyon, left from the loss of my friends.

These are my own demons I suppose. And the most painful part of all is that I am here, holding nothing and wondering about the magnitute of my loss, and how with all of this. Even with the missplaced trust I felt... Why does it have to be so hard?

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