My Brother Rob & Dealing with Complicated Grief
by Anne Gray Liversidge
(Takoma Park, MD)
(First, I'm glad to find this website and be able to tell this story). My older brother Rob died from side effects of a psychotropic medication on 10/5/02. He collasped into a coma and died shortly thereafter. I didn't really find the words to say goodbye at the hospital since I was in a state of shock. The death scene was surreal, watching both of my long-divorced parents there. I felt pretty inadequate and alone and wish I had been comforted more right then and afterwards.
I developed PTSD after this event, which seemed like too much for my parents. My Dad went back to Maine and my mother later moved to San Diego....since my family had issues, this was really a challenge for me. I am still working on truly accepting what happened. I still feel like I need to grieve "right" and like the Snake Bite, just feel like I was blindsided....I've been to two grief support groups, finally found some good therapy, and hope very soon to put this all in perspective.
About Rob..I'm appreciative that he did his best as an older brother, and have good memories such as when I was in high school and went up to Cornell to one of his parties. I'm glad he came to one of my deaf parties- he "got it". He dealt with a difficult illness and in a way maybe it's good that he's not suffering, but I don't know how to ask him that. I don't know why this happened.
The fallout included that I fell into a deep depression and my mother went off all her medication and moved away so it's a little bit like, "my family's gone...do I matter? where was my life? where am I? what do I do?" It also feels so strange to "outage" Rob..he was 3 1/2 years older than me and 39 when he passed...now I'm almost 44. I've had to work hard to learn to accept, accept, accept what happened and try to move on with my life. I'd welcome any comments. Thanks.