My 3 Brothers: Tim, Tom & Tony

by Tammy
(Royal Oak, MI)

I have lost all three of my brothers. Seven years ago I lost my oldest brother Tim he was 45 years old. He had always been in good physical shape. He was in the Marines & then was a Policeman & than a Master Detective. He started having issues with his legs, they misdiagnosed him with MS only later to find out it was not MS but a very rare decease called Adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN) which is a rare inherited metabolic disorder that is a form of Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), which occurs in young men. AMN characterized by the loss of the fatty covering (myelin sheath) on nerve fibers within the brain (cerebral demyelination) and the progressive degeneration of the adrenal gland (adrenal atrophy). Neurological disability in AMN is slowly progressive over several decades. AMN interests the wider neurologic community because of its similarities to Multiple Sclerosis (MS). We had always been worried as his health declined that he would take his own life, but he had always told us he would never do that. One morning while getting out of the shower, Tim fell & his wife & her parents had to help him up & put him on his bed. We feel that was the breaking point for Tim & within minutes after they left the room he shot himself.
My Twin Tom & my little brother Tony were also diagnosed with AMN. They had also been in the military, but AMN does not have noticeable symptoms until the third decade of life.
I have two sons who were both tested as you are born with this disease & there is a special blood test that they can do. My boys were both negative. The female is the carrier of this disease I tested at 3% & I show no signs. My mother however, has the bad gate, bounce & neuropathy that occur with AMN.

On September 6, 2013 Tony was driving (which became harder as time went on) & was t-boned by a pickup truck who went through a red light. Tony was killed instantly. Then on October 30, 2013 I called the police to do a “well check” on my brother because he had not answered my phone calls or e-mails as he always did. The police found him he had had a fatal heart attack.

The sadness has not gone away for me as of yet. I feel I have this horrible void. When I think about all 3 of my brothers being gone, I have hard time breathing. I don’t think people get it. Even my parents will say something like; well at least they are not suffering anymore. Maybe I am just selfish, because I want to talk to them, see them laugh & cry with them.

Tom & I turned 50 last February 20th. I really would like to curl up in a hole & not come out for this year’s birthday. I wish everyone would just understand. I am sad! I function every day for my family, I work every day but I cry in the bathtub every single night alone.

Comments for My 3 Brothers: Tim, Tom & Tony

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Jun 12, 2014
my heart aches for u...you are not alone
by: bridgette

Hi tami i too have lost all three of my siblings. Birthdays and holidays,anniversaries of thier death is most difficult for me. My eldest brother died at 36 my little sister suffered and then died at 38. My eldest sister died in a car crash. I was in the car too. I think the most difficult feelings i deal with is thinking i should be with them. I have had many dreams of my siblings coming too me. Ive been closer to god. The meditation and prayer have made my life more bareable. I no longer cry because i know they are always with me. God saw me suffering and he showed me that as long as i believe in him i will see them again

Feb 12, 2014
The Lord is my strength
by: Anonymous

Hello there I just want to say how sorry I am for the 3 loss of your brothers. I can only imagine what you really are feeling, as a matter a fact, you are probably to numb to feel anything. I lost my husband 1 yr 11 months to Cancer/Leukemia, and not only have you loss one brother, but 3 that is more than one can really handle. Listen I know how you feel, and I just want to ask you if you have had any kind of counseling, group therapy, and or even do you pray. I hope that you can start reading some scripture to help you start your healing process, and or just do what comes natural to you right now, because you are very angry, sad, fear, distress, and well all of the above, and I will pray for you that GOD gives you strength, courage, hope, and faith are very important. Just start screaming, yelling, stomping what ever makes you feel that you need to do at the moment, cry all this things you need to let them out. You may even be mad at GOD some folk who are grieving they get mad at GOD. I was mad at the doctors never GOD. If anyone comes out with something stupid, or a remark just say you are grieving as fast as you can. I am really sorry that you lost all 3 brothers, but I know they are looking down on you right now, and they don't want you to be sad, but it is part of grieving. I hope you really seek some counseling. Till next time GOD bless

Feb 12, 2014
My 3 Brothers: Tim, Tom & Tony
by: Doreen UK

Tammy I am sorry for your loss of your 3 brothers. What a terrible tragedy. To live with a disease you know will shorten your life is not easy to accept. When my husband was diagnoses with a terminal cancer I was stunned beyond belief. I went into shock mode. More so since I found out this tumour was growing inside his lung for 40yrs. from cutting asbestos as a young carpenter in his 20's. The silent killer. I nursed him for over 3yrs. and this was the worst experience of my life. LIFE IS LONELY now. You had a twin. You will feel lost without him, as you will also your two other brothers.
Don't be disappointed with your parents for how they feel. They are probably feeling worse but daren't show it. Sometimes an answer is not the one they want to give but the only one which is acceptable to them from their loss. You are not being selfish for wanting your brother's to live. This is your family.
Your brother who shot himself was in the spur of the moment hurt by not being able to cope and having to be cared for. Even this hurts a man's pride. None of us likes to be dependent on someone else for our total care. This also hurt my husband. To be a body builder and then reduced to being such a weak man he lost all his strength. Life is so CRUEL. Try a grief counsellor if you find yourself struggling with no support or understanding of how you feel. It will take time to recover from grief. But we all need a helping hand at times. Once the healing process starts you won't feel the raw pain so much. It is nevertheless a daily battle. I wish you better days ahead and God's Comfort and Peace.

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