He was younger than me!
My brother died on the 13th of October 2011. He was younger than me by 16 months. He was 48 years old. He left behind a wife and an 11 year old daughter. His death is going throw a whole lot of disruption through my family (siblings and inlaws).
I don't deal too well with grief - to the point where I tend to separate myself from the pain and turmoil that is connected with grief.
My first experiences with grief came at very early time in my life, beginning with a mother who was plagued by mental illness (depression and verbal aggression - later diagnosed with bipolar disorder). This our family had to deal with throughout our lives, up until the death of my mother in 1994.
Then there was the time my grandmother went back to Holland, when I was only 6 yrs old, and she never came back. Two years after my grandfather died (he'd remained in Australia), and two years after that my older sister died. By then I was 10, my sister was 13.
In none of those situations was I allowed to have feelings of sorrow and grief. Only my mother was allowed to experience these things - her selfishness in her own grief and her mental illness manifested in anger towards us if we showed signs of sadness and weeping in these circumstances. I strongly remember her her yelling at me one day when she found me crying after the death of my sister. She said "why are you crying about Lucy!? She was my daughter not yours!!!". Fancy getting into trouble because you dared to cry about the loss of your own sister.
Anyways - that's only a small part of the many situations that have caused serious grief in my life. No matter what though - i still try to remain positive in life. It's sometimes hard, but I keep moving forward. I think grief had caused me a lot of symptoms of illness in the past - I guess the comfort foods I ate and the negative attitudes I took up impacted a lot on my health in the past. These days my health is improving (except my diabetes - which is getting gradually worse), with having lost weight from many years ago, and improving my energy levels through eating better. I still have a long way to go - but if I hadn't had someone show me many years ago about the affects that grief can have on a persons life, the negative patterns that can develop etc, there is no way I could have come this far on my road to recover.
You could say it's been a lifetime of grief. It's been a long struggle to cope with it, but I've come out a much more positive person now than i ever was. Just got to work through the changes that are going to be brought about by the death of my brother now. It's not going to be easy.