He was younger than me!

by Diana

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.


Comments for He was younger than me!

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Nov 17, 2011
I Had a Little Brother Too (:
by: TrishJ

My beloved younger brother was the first major death I ever faced in my life. He was only 33 when he passed leaving behind a 4 year old son. Twenty years late I'm still not over my brother's death. He wasn't just my brother - he was my best friend. Unconditional love. That's what I missed the most after he died. I could be my nutty self around him and he never judged me.
Grief shapes us into the people we have become. They say life's experiences make us stronger. Well, 20 deaths or so later....I'm strong enough thank you very much.
I lost my husband almost 1 year ago. He was too young to die and I am too young to be a widow. I was very bitter at first. Lonely, afraid, mad at the world. I'm learning to adjust.
You are so right about a positive attitude. That has so much to do with how we cope. I know all of my loved ones who have passed would want me to go on and lead a happy and productive life. I just have to try my best.
I will still have my days when I can't pull myself out of the "dumps" no matter how hard I try.....but things are getting better.
Stay strong and positive. Your brother really is looking out for you. I got so tired of hearing people say that after my husband died but I've had too many little signs from him that he's around me every day. Keep an open mind and learn how to read the signs.
God bless. Hoping the very best for you.

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