Sibling Death(19 Posts)
I don't know why I'm writing this or what I expect from anyone reading.
My brother died at Christmas, he died at home, in seconds, with his wife and children. He wasn't sick, he wasn't complaining about being unwell, he was just taken from us.
I've lost grandparents, uncles and aunts, I stupidly thought I had some idea what grief was but I couldn't be more wrong. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.
When I would hear someone lost a relative 8 or 9 weeks ago, I would think things must be getting better for them, how stupid was I, it's still so painful, if anything, it's got worse as time goes on.
It's not helped by the fact that most of my "friends" have just started to pretend nothing ever happened. I don't know when one of them last asked me how I was. It's been weeks. If someone does acknowledge what has happened, I get asked how my mum and dad is, how my sister in law, nephews and nieces are. I know they're hurting badly but I want to scream "what about me?!". I have some friends who haven't mentioned it since the funeral! but at least they stay in touch. I have one friend who has contacted me once since the funeral, she's now an ex friend. I don't want pity or a counselling session from anyone, I just want them to acknowledge or realise how much I'm hurting.
Everyday I have to go to work and spend all day listening to people go on about their so called problems and I have to pretend I care and sympathise. I should get an oscar for my performances.
I'm so angry at the minute, I must be in angry stage. Maybe I shouldn't be angry with people though, I don't know if I'd be any better if I was in their shoes.
Anyway, as I said, I'm not sure what I expect from anyone reading but thanks for listening.
Oh darling, how terrible, I am do sorry for your loss. I really can't imagine what you are going through.
I think sometimes even good friends can struggle to know what to say. I have been guilty in the past of not mentioning a death, past the initial condolences because I was frightened I would upset the person by mentioning it if they were only just managing to keep it together. MN has taught me that people would rather have a little cry & know someone is thinking about them than have no one mention it. Could you just be honest with your friends & tell them you are struggling & need to talk? Xx
I haven't lost a sibling but I lost my DF a few years ago. I'll ask - How are you? I'll also give you a hug and say I understand.
I think people who haven't lost anyone close think it's such a trivial event. I was probably one of those people until I my father passed away. I was devastated and still am. My DH and DC don't understand. I understand when you say you give an oscar worthy performance when listening to other people trivial problems.
I think you have posted in the right place and I have found mumsnet to be very helpful when I have been hurting.
Do you have any friends that you can be very honest with? Explain to them how you feel. Sometimes people don't want to say anything as they think it might upset you more. My DC used to change the channel if we were watching anything on TV where someone died.
Please talk to someone or consider contacting Cruise. I found them to be very helpful.
Thanks for the comments.
I do think sometimes I shouldn't be too angry, if I was them I'm not sure I would do any better. (apart from the "friend" who has only contacted me once, that's unforgivable in my book) I'm not even the type to wear my heart on my sleeve. As I said, I don't want a counselling session with them, I just want some acknowledgment they know I'm still hurting, things are not ok! If they asked how I was I would just say it's tough but I'm ok, I know they don't understand.
There's two friends I feel I can be honest with, they keep in constant contact but will talk about anything other than what happened, I don't want to offend them by saying "oi, can we stop pretending nothing is wrong". I do feel they are trying to be supportive but they're just doing it wrong!
Then I don't want to be that person who brings everyone down with me. I don't want to make them uncomfortable.
The odd thing is my mum and dad are really sick of people asking how they are, visiting them etc, they know people are tying to be good and helpful but they want some time on their own, I can't get anyone to ask how I am.
Crazy8, I'm sorry about your dad. Thanks for asking how I am, it's very hard but I'm trying to get on with it. Grief is the strangest thing I have ever experienced. I have no energy, I can't concentrate, I just can't be bothered to do anything, I have to try and do a very difficult and responsible job when all I want to do is stay in bed all day and replay every memory and conversation I had with him in my head. I don't want to forget a single thing, I don't want to forget his voice. I want to scream and shout about how unfair this all is and how no one should have to go through this. Sometimes I feel half normal then I feel guilty for feeling half normal, and then I cry because I felt half normal because that means I might be letting go when I don't want to. I almost want to feel bad forever because that means he's still with me. I know this is all completely irrational but grief, it's a funny old thing!
Teedybears, everything you are feeling is very normal. When we experience a bereavement it is such a huge shock to the system. I felt exactly the same way as you. I used to also get fed up with everyone asking me how my DM was and never asking me how I was. I used to wake up thinking everything was how it always was and then within seconds remember what had happened and experience pure grief. Internally I was and still am heartbroken but day by day I am getting better at coping. I still have moments when I break down.
The first year I found was exceptionally hard. I found my birthday hard without my DF and also I was constantly trying to be supportive to my DM. When people say time heals I don't believe it's true. What I think happens is that we develop better coping mechanisms.
You have lost someone precious to you and all your feelings are perfectly natural. I find having photographs of my DF around me helps. Maybe make a memory box with photos and a diary of events from your childhood which you could share with your brothers wife and children, or you could keep it personal to you and look through it whenever you wanted to.
Teddybears I'm so sorry to hear of your brother's passing. I'm sorry to hear of, and empathise with, the pain you are going through.
It is the same old, same old, though sadly. Most people will have absolutely no idea of the impact something like this has on a person, until they are in a similar position themselves.
Also, everybody deals with death differently. I lost my brother. I have other siblings, but we all handle it slightly differently. I wanted/like to talk about him, keep his memory alive, not feel guilty for not acting like he never exsisted just because his heart stopped beating. But quite often I'm met with silence.
I can't be/feel any different than I do, but I have come to accept that not everyone processes things the way I do. I have learnt the hardest lessons of this life as a result of losing him. And yes, sadly those lessons are still going on years later.
You won't ever forget him, and it won't ever stop hurting. But you will get used to it, and you will learn to live life around this.
It has only been a matter of weeks. You are still in shock, and yes, working your way through the stages. As hard as it may sound, forget what everyone else is doing and please take care of yourself. Get some counselling asap - I wish I had. Be however you want to be with your brothers memory, just don't expect others to share your approach. Accepting this sooner rather than later may save you some hurt.
Best wishes X
Meant to say... I think when people ask how others are doing, it is perhaps because that is all they can think of to say. Maybe your parents/siblings are being asked about you?
People often feel very awkward, but it doesn't necessarily mean they don't care. Just that they have absolutely no understanding of the situation, and the depth of feeling you are suffering. It is a lonely situation. But seek solace through bereavement helplines/groups/on here. Like minds, and some distance (from your relatives) may be what you need to help yourself through this.
I am so sorry for your loss. I have been there, word by word I could have written your post. The feeling of loneliness was unbearable. For me it took me a while to then realise how angry I was. I still am. I can't understand the fact that my aunts and uncles have never asked me how I am coping, I felt disconnected from everyone. I am a different person since, the experience changed me in any ways. I send you a big hug.
Teddy - so sorry for your loss. I haven't lost a sibling but my DH has - he lost his brother to suicide last Spring and he still finds it incredibly hard....he cries for him most days, feels a lot of anger and guilt etc.....I just encourage him to talk about how he is feeling, and just support him in any way I can.
It's very early days for you. When my mum died I put on a complete act even though I felt dead inside for a long time, everyone thinks I coped well and outwardly I did but inside..........
Grief has a lot of rungs....anger, guilt, shock, you just need to ride it out in whatever way you can cope with, there is no right or wrong and everyone is different in how they deal with it.
Sending hugs x
Thanks for your comments, everyone. I really appreciate it, it helps a lot particularly after another really painful day.
Really sorry about your bro. Must be just dreadful.
I think we are just a bit crap about dealing with death. I think a lot of people don't want to mention it because they don't want to upset you - they maybe think you are not thinking about your brother and they don't want to remind you of what has happened and upset you. I think people who haven't experienced the death of a close relative think that they can't possibly understand, and are scared of saying the wrong thing and don't realise that you are just the same person, and don't know how to feel, just as they don't know what to say.
I experienced similar isolation after my mum died (a long time ago). I eventually got to the point where I was content for my grief to be a personal, inner thing. But it took years. And it still irks me that my dad never asked how I was! Best advice I ever received: welcome your grief, don't try to push it away, and think of it as something to nurture and look after.
All the best x
I am sorry you aren't getting the support you need. Is it possible that when people are asking how your mother and other relatives are they just can't come out and ask about you in case they upset you? I know people can be scared to mention a death in case you are having a "good" day and it brings it all back.
I know how you feel. Still greive for my brother and its 6 years on cant really say anything as I feel like I should be over it and not miss him.
It does get easier but no one really understands.
I have just read your post about not wanting to forget anything, could you buy a nice notebook and write your happy memories down to reread and share with the family?
I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. I lost a brother several years ago, and it took me a long time to come to terms with it.
I do think siblings are overlooked when there is a death. Everyone tends to think of the children, spouse and parents, but it can be devastating for the sibling, especially if there was just the two of you.
I am sure people are just worried about upsetting you and they have not forgotten your db, nor do they think you are fine. I lost my best friend very suddenly and completely out of the blue and it still hurts 12 years later and will do forever. But I would still be cautious about mentioning your db or asking how you felt if I was one of your friends because I wouldn't want to upset you.
I'm so sorry about your brother. I can't imagine how I'd feel if I lost my brother who I adore. My DS died a very few months ago aged 21 and I know how devastated I am. Reading your post makes me think more of how his brothers feel. They seem to cope (aged 20 and 23) but it must surely affect them.
Sending you peace and calm and hugs (and because that's a more realistic help!) XX
I am so sorry for your loss. I didn't want to read this and not reply. My brother died two years ago so I really do know how you feel. It is horrible, but it does get easier to live with. It never goes away, but you get more good days than bad days as time goes on.
I know what you mean about other people acting as if nothing has happened or as if you should have got over it, but as others say, I think people just don't know how to talk about it and they are afraid of making it worse for you.
I read a very good quote about grief recently. I can't remember it exactly, but it something about how grief starts like an enormous hole in the ground that you keep falling into and as time goes on your learn to walk round the edge of the hole. It is still there, it is still part of your life, but it doesn't keep swallowing you up.
Look after yourself and don't expect too much of yourself. It is still very early days.
Sorry to hear about your brother. I know all to well what you mean my brother was killed in 2009. Its horrible as u want to support ur parents as mych as possible but feel forgotten about. People don't seem to think of you grieving. Ime that amount of time is nothing at all
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