I lost the only member of my family that I truly loved....

by Terri
(Springfield, IL)

I was a 54 year old woman who lost her brother, Ryan, in a motorcycle crash in June 2011, only 8 days from his 56th B-Day. We were so close in age, we coulda' been twins, and we shared the 1st 5 years of our lives together exactly that way.

Unconsciously, I leaned on him over the years, not really knowing why. We lived on opposite sides of the continent, but he was always my rock,thru thick & thru thin. I guess I knew he would support me unconditionally, and he truly did!

He survived an emergent heart cath in 2004,where he had 3 stents placed. I guess I took for granted that this procedure had saved his life for another many years to come.

I was wrong...on the evening of June 20, 2011, the summer solstice, he rode from work on his brand new motorcycle and somehow lost control of it. It was a 1-vehicle MVA. He was thrown from the bike, for whatever reason with his kinda'-sorta-helmet, like the ones they wore in WWII. Needless to say, the helmet flew from his head prior to his landing on the asphalt, head-first. He sustained a traumatic, irreversible brain injury. Sheering, midline shift & truncation were involved in the final determination of injuries that led to his demise.

I was 3500 miles from him, in Illinois. He lived in Oregon. I spoke with other family members & medical staff over the phone as they described his failing condition and imminent death. I flew to Oregon the day after his death, and I was filled with such grief, I believe I cried the entire 5 days I spent there.

It is now 3/13/13, and I feel worse than I felt the day he passed away. Everything in my life changed the day that he died. I lost both of my parents previously as well as many, many, many friends & family members, but none compared with this one.

I have only 2 surviving siblings, both younger than me, in my close family structure. Not sure if I just do not care to deal with their selfish ways or I really cannot tolerate their lack of respect for the rest of humankind or I am just so angry that nothing will appease me now. I am losing both of them to my anger. PLEASE HELP ME!!

Comments for I lost the only member of my family that I truly loved....

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Mar 15, 2013
I lost the only member of my family that I truly loved...
by: Doreen U.K.

Terri, You need to see a grief counsellor. See this as URGENT. You may only need the basic few sessions. You will soon start feeling better than you are now. This is very beneficial to deal with ANGER issues which is normal when someone dies. We were a close family and suddenly there was war in the family and no one was getting on. Expect this. Then suddenly there was issues over the "WILL" But it takes time for things to settle down. You find out that those persons in your family who were unselfish suddenly become selfish. There is fighting over who was left what in the "WILL" and who got less or nothing. My husband died 10 months ago of cancer and this is the worst death I have grieved over. Some deaths you will grieve more over. This doesn't mean you loved the other's less. It depends on the BOND with the person and the nature of the relationship being stronger and closer.
My father is 91yrs. and will die soon. My younger sister is at war with the older one in how she has power of attorney and spending our dad's money as if it belonged to her. Human nature kicks in and life can be unbearable for some time. You may even get FAMILY DIVISION for some time that will never be quite the same again.
This is the harsh reality of facing a death in the family. I am finding out more that this is quite normal to face the difficulties many speak of here on this site. Expect jealousy from your 2 siblings over your closer relationship with your brother who died. Try to resolve any quarrels quickly because unresolved conflict will affect future losses. These initial days will not last and things should get better in time. But feelings are sometimes volatile after someone dies. Handled with the aid of a grief counsellor is a more positive approach otherwise things will be said that may never be forgiven or retracted. After I had counselling I related in a way that brought healing to the family.

Mar 14, 2013
Terri, I am left without caring relatives too
by: Bereaved daughter

Dear Terri, Ryan has such kindness around his aura I felt compelled to respond.

I lost my darling mum recently. When I say we only had each other you will understand I can empathise with your grief.

When she died individuals were crying and asked for her forgiveness, and then fled leaving me alone. These people had ignored her for decades. So I truly understand your bonding with Ryan.

Just as he contributed so much to your life before he was taken, You CONTRIBUTED TO HIS. Never forget whilst on this earth how you must have comforted him through his health scare and given him the sisterly love he appreciated.

Take care of your health during this time. I stopped eating and am now suffering.
Wishing you well. Visit this site. It will help for you to realise you are not alone.

Mar 14, 2013
Dear Terri,
by: Pat in Missouri

I hear your pain loud and clear. I also lost a brother in 2011. I also lost my father and my fiance the same year. I feel stuck in grief too. Your anger is very much a part of grief. I go through it some days too. I hear myself saying things like, "how dare you die on me and leave me alone." You've probably heard yourself saying the same kind of thing and more.

Are you familiar with the 5 stages of grief? Anger is 1 of them. I keep telling myself that I need to move on. I have lost everyone closest to me. I look at myself in the mirror and don't know who this is because I have always identified myself as a sister, a daughter, Frank's fiancee, somebody else's someone. I am finally beginning to realize that I have to find the real me. It sounds like this might be the key for you too. Until I lost all these loved ones, I never really thought about who I am. I have been doing some deep soul-searching. I think I have to reinvent myself and my way of thinking. I have been journaling my feelings and I went to a grief support group. Both of these have helped. Somehow, putting your feelings on paper makes them more real and tangible. I am making some new decisions to do things I have never done before and it is kind of exciting. Having a new purpose in this life is meaningful and therapeutic. The support group was great because everyone in it was dealing with the same feelings. We could lean on each other.

I have told you all of this because it sounds like you are feeling much like I have. I think we could help each other. I have decided to write a cookbook for those dealing with loss because I have found that even my taste buds are different, since I have been grieving. I have no one else to cook for so I am having to find new ways to cook.

I hope my message has been of some kind of help. Everyone is different and everyone grieves differently and at a different pace. There is no right or wrong. I have also been reading a lot so I can learn more about grief. It's so good to know there are experts in this field. I hope you will reach out for support. Check with a local church, community center, or hospice. These are the usual sources for grief support groups. I wish you well. The 1 thing you do not want to do is to alienate yourself from your remaining siblings. I am in that spot too, but it is more their doing than mine. If you wish to email me directly, send Jenny a note and ask her to get my permission to give out my email address. I hope to hear more from you. Take care, dear one. Pat

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