|Emotional Mastery Emotional intelligence, addiction and recovery, grieving, loss, fear, anger, guilt, resentment, frustration, anxiety, depression, happiness, joy, love, kindness, forgiveness, self-acceptance, confidence, escaping the pit of despair, EFT|
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|03-15-2008, 08:44 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Dealing with the death of my brother...how?!
Four months ago, a seemingly normal day turned out to be the worst day of my life. I got the news that my baby brother had just been found dead in his house. He was 19...I'm 31. But he was my best friend. I kept screaming over and over again, "No, no no, not Randy! Anyone but Randy!" It was surreal...almost like a scene out of a movie. To say that this has been a difficult thing to handle would be an understatement. It was ruled as a suicide, but those of us that know him believe that it wasn't intentional. He took way too many drugs to get away from his pain, but he never would have wanted to escape life like that. He'd never want to hurt people like this. I flew out to Michigan (I live in Washington now...he was supposed to be moving out here with me a week ago) for the funeral, stayed 2 days, and came home to go about my life. I have kids & responsibilities. It had to be "life as usual" or my family would suffer. I guess I went through a lot of denial at the funeral. It took me HOURS before I could even set foot inside the funeral home. I stood outside in the cold and chain smoked.
So 2 days later, I was back at work, trying to pretend like I was ok. Everyone kept telling me how strong I was and how proud they were of me. I honestly wanted to smack them all. I wanted to say, "Are you kidding me? Don't you see that life as I've always known it is over? My best friend is gone! DEAD! I AM NOT OK!!!!" Of course I just put my brave face on and smiled at them, thanking them for their sympathies and encouragement. As if that wasn't enough stress in my life, 3 weeks after Randy died, my boyfriend of 12 years (the father of my children) had a heart attack. He's only 38 years old. So here I am again, putting on the brave face for him...for my children, yet falling apart inside. He had angioplasty done and it went well...until I went to see him in recovery. Apparently he had started bleeding internally and his blood pressure dropped while I was standing right there to 38/26. I watched him almost die right in front of me. So in he went again for a 2nd surgery to stop the bleeding and spent 3 days in ICU before being released back home.
All I wanted through all of that was to be able to call my brother and talk to him...but of course I couldn't. He was gone. He was the person I'd always turned to when things went bad. Since all of this happened, I've had no choice but to be the responsible adult and take care of my family, now also playing "nurse" to my boyfriend. He's back to work, but still has occasional chest tightness because he still has 2 more clogged arteries that need to be taken care of. So I put on the brave face and do what I have to do.
Unfortunately, through all this, I turned to drinking for a while to mask my pain. One night of driving home drunk and realizing in the morning the possible consequences of that stopped it immediately, but now I'm left to deal with all of this and I don't know how. I'm such an emotional person, but I'm not very good at opening up to people because I grew up abused and was told that crying is a sign of weakness. Knowing this isn't true, it still doesn't make sharing my feelings any easier. It's what I've been conditioned to do my entire life. I've gone through so many stages of grief over and over again. I'm not really stuck on one particular thing. I just keep repeating them. I've gone through shock, disbelief, guilt, anger toward my brother, anger toward other people, depression, thought a few times that I was coming to some sort of acceptance with it, then started repeating it all over again. It's like a vicious cycle that I'm stuck in. In talking to a friend who lost a brother in high school, I said that I wished I knew when there would be some sort of normalcy back in my life. She told me that eventually things would go back to normal...it would just be a different kind of normal. What she said made sense, though I don't like the sound of it. I want NORMAL back, which I know will never happen.
I have my good days, as well as my bad ones. Sometimes I can talk about him and feel happy and wrapped up in memories. Sometimes I get so angry that he's gone. And sometimes the smallest things can make me unbearably depressed. I really haven't been able to find a good outlet for any of this. I'm a writer, yet I've only just begun journaling about it and even when I do it's very difficult. It's like my heart isn't ready to let all of this out yet. I'm searching right now for something, ANYTHING that will help me deal with this in a healthy way.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I'm open to any suggestions because right now I just feel so....LOST.
|03-16-2008, 02:46 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2008
What thanatologists (counselors with special training in grief) will tell you is that your mind will take something huge like this, and, unable to accept it all at once, will feed it to you in smaller chunks over time. So you will feel like you're getting someplace one day, then you will go all to pieces the next. It's NORMAL.
They will also tell you that the grief response is VERY individual and there is no set amount of time, no particular response ... your grief is your grief and no one else's.
It is common to have friends berate someone deep in grief for not "moving on" and then again if the griever is not particularly demonstrative (like a lot of guys can be) they will be berated for being "cold and unfeeling". Indeed, there is an initial phase of numbness right after the loss that is often mistaken for not caring. The take-away here is that you can't take everyone's well meaning (and sometimes clueless) advice or their sometimes bizarre and fearful responses such as avoiding you or avoiding the topic of your brother, very seriously. People by and large don't know in our culture how to deal with death.
So ... initially, numbness ... then (typically after a month or so) deep mourning, in a sort of spiral ... better / worse / better / worse -- eventually it slows down and you begin to rebuild your life.
What your friend says is wise and accurate. You will get back to normal, but it will be a "new normal". It might take months or even a couple of years, but it will happen. I seem to be getting to a decent "new normal" in the past month or two; when I was evaluated in late Feb I was told that I was at a place a lot of people in my situation can take a couple of years to get to, largely because my wife's death was both expected and a merciful relief -- she sufferred terribly for years. And we had plenty of time to say our goodbyes and to grieve together. You haven't had that opportunity -- it was totally out of left field. So give yourself time. Be patient with yourself. This isn't going to go away overnight.
One of the most helpful things, especially early on, is that you need to talk, talk, talk, about what happened, about your feelings, etc. To the inexperienced listener it seems obsessive, and may also disturb their own equilibrium if they cared about the deceased person also. If you need a place to rant, rave, and vent, or just a place to lurk and see that you are not alone, go here:
Grief Healing Discussion Groups
I am sorry for your loss and wish you the best.
|03-16-2008, 03:16 AM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2008
About 10 years ago I lost my father. He was shot in an organized robbery. 7 months later my cousin was dead of a heroin overdose. 2 months after that my dear grandfather was gone.
I thought that my life had lost all meaning, that I would eventually just not wake up one morning and not be alive. I was afraid to die, but the meaning of life had escaped me completely.
The one thing that kept me trudging on and on, besides inertia, was my belief that one day, somehow, this would make sense to me in the future.
10 years later I can say that I lost these people in body but their spirits didn't just affect me, they really are a part of me. Our reliance on the physical aspect of spirits in our lives can be a huge crutch to help us feel whole. In fact it is an illusion. You have all your memories and your values are made up of all the spirits that touched you, for better or worse. Carry them with you and when you have to step back and make a tough decision, let them guide you towards the path that makes your life best.
I know, the pain you feel right now is unbearable. How can it not be, you are having to face the only thing we can't understand until it happens to us. Don't let it tear you apart but don't ignore it. Let it out with your family or find a counselor you can trust and just grieve. Consider it a car wash for your soul and water the gunk out of your heart. You'll feel 100 times better if you do.
I wish you grace and strength.
Last edited by mezameo; 03-16-2008 at 03:19 AM.
|03-16-2008, 05:54 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2007
Jan. 2007, my fiance committed suicide in a hotel room. This was hours after I left him.
This Suicide Grief messageboard helped me tremendously in the initial months.
If you would like, I can send you 2 books about surviving a loved one's suicide. If you'd like, I can mail them to you (you can PM me your address). These books helped me not feel so alone.
You may want to also check out any local survivor groups. A lot of my healing happened when I became friends with another survivor. He and I spent a lot of time commiserating with each other, and supporting each other's path to healing.
|03-16-2008, 09:16 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
I am so sorry for your loss. I can relate to your pain so much. I lost my best friend a year ago. He was 20 (me 23) and we were like brothers. I'm a single child, lost my family early and my childhood dream also to have a brother. Then I met this guy 9 years ago who quickly became my very best friend and.. my brother. We did everything together every single day until last January when he died, in a car accident with his sisters friends. The only reason he was there is because somebody cancelled the trip so they invited him instead. It was only him who died.
The only words that came out of my mouth when his mother called me to tell the news were "but.. my whole life.." and that's exactly what he meant to me. It was such a perfect friendship I can't imagine with anybody else. We planned to spend the next 40 years together: move next door, start families there, make music together, build businesses, travel the world related to the music and business etc. It was all possible and there was nothing that could stop us... except death which we never considered... And I didn't mention yet the fun we had together, the daily hugs (which I miss the most), being proud of each other and feeling that sense of connectedness that you're one of those lucky people who can truly say and believe that they're not alone on this planet.
A year went by but nothing's really changed. I'm doing my thing, I'm working on our goals etc but it feels so alone, the world seems empty and life meaningless. What are you supposed to do when you're left in a world without your loved ones? That's what I'm trying to deal with every single day since then. He's on my mind every evening and morning, also several times during the day. I'm making new friendships but they don't last too long because I usually loose interest in the other person.
I wanted to tell you that I totally feel how you described. I'm not OK either, all I want is to talk to him or see him. I feel angry and sad on a daily basis, this just can't be true. When I'm awake it feels like a nightmare, when I sleep I have nightmares So it's not easy. Just like you said, "I want normal back". I don't want this "new" reality. I'm ready to give up on anything but him. He's the last thing I'd give up on the planet yet he's whom I lost. Unbelievable.
Some people say it's gonna be "better" over time. I don't know. Others say I should learn from it. One thing's for sure: my perspective has changed tremendously. I'm not so attached to this life anymore as I used to.
As for suggestions: Take one day at a time. Feel what you feel and don't care about what others think.
Let me quote Shamou:
Last edited by norbert; 03-16-2008 at 10:37 PM.
|05-29-2009, 05:40 PM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2009
|05-29-2009, 06:45 PM||#7 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Nong Seng
Now what? What you have done so far has enabled you to survive. That is good but will not work in the long run. You know that already, having tried (and stopped!) drinking.
I strongly recommend you go and see a therapist or counselor. Not tomorrow or next week, now! Please do so, for yourself, and your family!
|05-29-2009, 07:39 PM||#8 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: London, United Kingdom
You are never alone, your higher self is always with you. But you will not feel the comfort and peace in yourself if you feel low emotions such as anger. You miss your brother not as a person that he used to be, but you miss the connection with him. Because you had great relationship with him, you miss the emotions that you used to have whilst being with him.
But you should know that you can always have the same emotions with other people, however if you cling to your brother you will block such emotional connection from others.
If you want to feel comfort and hapiness again, I suggest starting from meditation, which will make you aware of your inner sense of peace and that everything is always well.
Also, if you keep thinking about how bad the situation is, you will feel low. So try to shift your focus to positive things, however hard it may be.
|05-31-2009, 03:30 AM||#10 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2009
Dealing with a death is hard, a couple years ago I lost my grandfather and he was someone I didn't get to see much but it made me wish I had seen him more. Living on the opposite side of the globe made it hard to get in contact with him.
Try to keep your head up and don't try to avoid the grief, talk about your feelings and while drinking and smoking seem like a quick release they will end up doing more harm then good if you let it continue.
Best of luck to you and your family, I hope your boyfriend makes a full recovery!
|05-31-2009, 10:13 PM||#13 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2009
|03-01-2010, 06:40 AM||#14 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2010
Feeling the same,
I know you're probably at a much better place with this right now, as your original post was almost two years ago, but I am going through the same thing myself and I just felt like posting what I'm going through to help others who may too come across this feed.
I am 24 years old. Almost three months ago my baby brother was killed in a car accident on his way to school with his best friend. His friend died immediately, my brother was airlifted to the nearest hospital and fought aimlessly for his life. There was nothing the doctors could do. He had irreversible brain damage and too much internal bleeding. I, with my family, spent the worst two days and nights of our lives crying, questioning, getting angry, and feeling hopeless in that small hospital room. We didn't get to say goodbye, he was the baby of our family, he was such a good kid. These were all "rational" questions we had and could never have answered in a rational way. There WAS no answer. He was gone, and there was nothing we could do.
The initial shock was a very tramatic experience, I think for my entire family. We had our share of ups and downs, mostly economic downs in recent years, but there was no history of tragedy, and we were mostly lucky that we lived the lives we did. This was so hard for any one of us to handle, and my father took it the hardest. It was tough to see him break down.
I surprised myself at how quickly I was able to pick myself up and see the positive in the situation. I rationalized it with three beliefs to how the situation was not as bad.
First: my brother had a very short death, and as far as deaths go, it was painless because he didn't have to survive a terrible car crash or say goodbye to the people he loved.
Second: He lived the best part of his life and very happily. He died at 18, but he also will never have to go through the struggles that adults have to go through, and my brother was sort of a late bloomer, so to think of him as forever young was somehow a comfort.
Lastly: There was nothing I could do by being depressed. It was not going to change anything anyway, so we might as well be happy for him, because that's what we would have wanted. Live and let die, I guess.
Those rationalizations lasted me for about a good month. For the last couple of weeks I've slowly been loosing this hope I once had, that things were going to be OK. I'm finding myself becoming more and more depressed. I don't want to be social. Everything around me makes me angry and frustrated. People's problems and complaints seem so petty and trivial and I can't help but be angry at them for their stupid complaints and jealous that I can't have a life with problems as trivial.
I really need some suggestions on what I should do at this point of grief. I have been trying to stay really busy to get my mind off of the situation, but the more I exhaust myself the more susceptible I am to having mental and emotional breakdowns when the grief becomes too strong.
If you've been in this situation before, please let me know what helped. And Lynae, I hope that you are still there, and healthy and that you have managed to move past the death of your brother. My heart goes out to you.
|03-01-2010, 08:25 AM||#15 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Northern Germany
if you have read the replies to Lynae's post, you know that grieving is often done in recurring cycles, to be more manageable. The more you suppressed it before, the less of this piecemeal dealing-with-the-loss you were able to do in the past.
If you can accept this as the way things are, and that you are perfectly entitled to feel this way, then you will be, again, one step closer to finding your balance.
Your brother is not truly gone. You will find him in your memories, in situations that suddenly remind you of him, good or bad, and that have taught you much in life and about life. If you open up to listening, you will be able to find him, his essence, everywhere around you.
His spirit never died, and when you think of him, he can hear you, even though answering back may not be easy, or you may not hear.
If there was some kind of ritual, something you loved doing together, you could maybe ask him to send you someone who will do that thing with you in his stead, and allow you to always hold on to the good memories you have in your heart.
The love you have for each other is always there.
|07-21-2010, 05:48 PM||#16 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2010
I lost my Brother 2 months Ago and it really does feel like yesterday. He taught me how to live life as best as i could. And suddenly i lost him and a big part of my heart sank. i love him with all of my heart. but when something like this happens to you, you have to take all the strength that your brother gave you and turn it into something positive. all brothers are warriors. and it may sound like bull but someone who can take a leap into heaven is brave. my brother was stabbed at shy lounge, it was all over the news so i dont know if you heard about it. but the number one thing to do is just believe and have faith. cause he is always listening to you so when you need to talk to him he will always be there. no matter what he is your brother. although you cant see him. he is there in spirit. he will be right next to you when you have to face the toughest decision. dont feel lonley. you always have him. you have each other. i know if i had to watch my family suffer from heaven i would be so hurt. so keep your head up high. keep him in your heart and just never let go. i promise you, that you will meet with him again. dont doubt it. _ this is not the end of your relationship, stay positive
Last edited by godswarrior; 07-21-2010 at 05:50 PM.
|10-26-2011, 07:08 PM||#17 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2011
Lost of my brother
I know this thread has been created long time ago, but I am hoping to find inspiration and help from people who might be able to understand what I am going through right now...
7 days ago, I lost my brother, he was shot and worst of all we don't know why and who...This is really so painful for me and our entire family...I am in a different country working and I can't even go back to my home country to say goodbye for my brother for the last time...I only here stories from my sister, my other brothers and my parents...This is so tragic, so sudden and he was violently taken away from us...My brother rarely go out of the house, he is a homebody and he is full time taking care of my mom since she had a stroke and could move her right arm...I don't even know how I could start all over again...I always go to church and pray for my family...I really don't understand why this has to happen...I am so angry...I am in so much pain...and I don't know what to do... I am trying to be strong but I just don't know how...I hope this pain will just go away...
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