I'm still stuck back in time 7 years ago and can't move on... I can't heal from the loss of my big bro


My big brother died 7 years ago at the age of 31 after fighting skin cancer for a year. I flew home the day after I got the call that the cancer had metastasized to his liver and didn't leave his bedside until he took his last breath 7 days later. The fear I saw and heard in him, and the daunting task of having to write his will and help him plan his funeral has traumatized me. I've lost every friend I had and pushed every one away since then and am just now realizing that. I can't move on.I have nightmares a few times a week and wake up crying having relived it all over and over and over again. I am drained. I am sad. I am lost. How do I begin to get healthy?

Comments for I'm still stuck back in time 7 years ago and can't move on... I can't heal from the loss of my big bro

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Nov 30, 2013
I'm still stuck back in time 7 years ago and can't move on... I can't heal from the loss of my big bro
by: Doreend UK

I am sorry for your loss of your brother to cancer. You were probably stuck in the cancer journey and now you have lost your brother you are unable to grieve. You could benefit from seeing a grief counsellor to help you work through your repressed feelings which is now turning into nightmares and great distress for you.
It is not uncommon. I lost my husband of 44yrs. to terminal cancer 18 months ago. I nursed him for over 3yrs. through a deadly cancer caused by working with asbestos. It was a horrid cancer journey watching someone you love deeply slowly die of a dreadful disease that destroy their body and the person they once were. In some ways it destroys us going through this experience. We never quite recover from those memories. They get buried somewhere along the line and resurrect themselves at a time when we least expect this and assaults us, in much the same way you are going through now. It hurts so much all the time. Christmas coming up and the anniversaries are so crippling. At the time of a death we can lose people from our life who were once there. You need to reach out to some of those people and let them know how you are feeling and need their support. It may surprise you to know they still care and will be there for you. You are isolated and this makes grief worse. I had immense support from my siblings that made a difference to my healing from grief. Support is such a good foundation to heal from our losses. I hope you get the professional help you need and that you will realise that you can move forward and life will become better for you in time. When we are in such a dark place we feel as if it will be this way forever and we will never get out from this. But you will. I DID. I got professional support and in a much healthier place. I got my life back in ways I never thought possible.
Don't ever give up on yourself and on life. It is always darkest before the dawn. WE will keep having losses and setbacks, but we will be nearer coping better from our experiences.

Nov 29, 2013
Jolynne and 7 years
by: Anonymous

I too lost my son age 31, of an accidental overdose. He was a great guy, smart, loving and great to have around. Always appreciative of anything people did for him. Great laugh, and hugs. How I wished he was at the table for our Thanksgiving. He's only been gone since April, and I miss him so much. He has a sister and brother who miss him as well, and others. My mother is still grieving a lot for my son. I guess her grief is for me as well. It's just hard to lose someone young. I like to be by myself. Its easier. Although I've moved on with life, it'll never be the same without him.

Nov 28, 2013
Your Hero
by: Jolynn

I am so sorry for your loss. It is so sad what you and he had to go thru. You probably had to put on a strong face for him and just about came undone after he passed due in part from not being able to grieve which is what you were doing as he was dying and also from pent up stress. We are traumatized when we loose someone we love. 1 year ago I lost my 26yr old son who was an officer in the Marines training to be a fighter pilot. He was my first born and I adored him. I considered him my hero just as you do your brother. The pain and sorrow of grief equals the magnitude of our love but sometimes grief can become what is called "Complicated Grief". This is just as you described and unfortunately u are going to need professional help to work your way through to better mental health and some degree of peace regarding your dear brother's death. It sounds as if you may even have post traumatic stress disorder which explains the nightmares and reliving the events and feeling so terribly overwhelmed and stuck, reliving the events like a loop in your head. Have you tried going to a grief group? Check with churches and hospitals for groups. I sleep with my son's shirt. I write him letters because his was a sudden and shocking death I did not get to tell him I was proud of him or that I loved him or goodbye. I miss him so terribly it actually hurts. I lost a future and a past. My whole family is in pain so I worry about my other 2 children and how it will affect them. My husband lost his best friend and is devastated. Our family has a gaping hole in it. Everything has changed for me and Holidays and his birthday are so sad now when they used to bring us all such joy. I talk to him because I think maybe, just maybe, he can hear me. Who really knows what happens after we die? I force myself to go out of the house at least once each day. I force myself to go lunch with friends and to movies even though I'd rather isolate. Sometimes we have to push ourselves to take control of our lives again. It takes courage to walk thru the pain. Your brother would not want you to be so very upset...maybe tell yourself that you will take some positive steps for your brother. Make him proud of you . He may be closer to you than you think.
I wish you peace and comfort and a Happy Thanksgiving. Things CAN get better.

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