Lost my younger brother

by JH

My younger brother died in Jan 2012 - two months before his 30th birthday. He was an alcoholic. Things had gotten unbearably bad towards the end - he had been in and out of hospital due to various drinking related issues. He was still living at home with our Mum and I was so angry and frightened by his behaviour that I'd stopped visiting. I still spoke to my Mum on a regular basis, but the last time I'd been home, I had been taking an afternoon nap and woke up to a house full of paramedics and police because my brother had a drink related seizure on the way to buy more alcohol. After that, I stopped going home.

I howled - I can't think of a more accurate description of the noise I made - when my Mum called me to tell me my brother was dead. After that, I didn't cry much. My (divorced) parents fell to pieces and I had to organise the funeral. I know it's sexist, but for a daughter to watch her Dad cry is really heartbreaking.

Mixed in with the difficult, painful memories from his adult life, I have some beautiful ones too from when we were growing up. When he was very little, he was my little shadow - he followed me everywhere. As he got older, it became apparent how intelligent he was - and so funny. So funny. No one's ever made me crack up with laughter the way he did. He was also very sensitive and spend a lot of time pondering and worrying about the big questions in life, and in particular, all the unfairness and inequalities in the world.

Now, ten months later, I can't move for grief. I am crying all the time and can't function properly.

It's just so incredibly sad and unfair. I wonder why someone so smart and funny became addicted to alcohol. I am also so angry at him for not being strong enough to fight it and get better. In my head, I have this whole other normal life for him where he wasn't drinking and instead he went to university, got a good job and settled down with someone he loved and had a little family. In reality, he sat in his room alone and slowly drank himself to death over the course of a ten year period.

I miss him and I feel completely overwhelmed with the loss of him at times - particularly at the moment. I know that my grief wll never go away, and will become bearable in time, but right now I feel like my world is slowly collapsing in on me.

I'm not religious. Maybe it would be easier to cope with if I were, but if you are up there somewhere little brother - I miss you so much x

Comments for Lost my younger brother

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Jul 15, 2013
Same boat....
by: Anonymous

Man.., do I know about the pain of having an alcoholic brother..I lost my younger bro to alcoholism 2 months ago and the hardest thing is to actually feel that he is dead..I still think of him as being somewhere... a rehab or hospital where he had been so many times....and still I get angry and sometimes beat myself up for not doing enough..Truth is.. (HARD).. that we are all responsible for our own lives and he actually had plenty of people who cared about him but because alcoholics can't see life outside of themselves and the drink he wasn't able to accept the fact that people ,his family really loved him..How do I know...I am a recovering ALCOHOLIC myself 26 years sober..I choose to believe that this life is a way of learning about oneself and our relationships with others...Sometimes the lessons are cruel...God for me is the only thing I've found that really makes sense and I am not a "religeous" person..I just find comfort...Pete

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