by Ruth
(Asheville, Nc)

My older brother died on April 11th, 2014. I was getting ready to leave for work at 6:30 am and my cell rang. I grabbed it thinking it was my work telling me to go to a different truck for the day, but when I looked at the phone it said “chriscell”. My thought was , something happened to one of my parents. I answered the call and it was Zach, his son. He just blurted out “Aunt Ruth dad is dead”. I fell apart, it was just so unexpected, so horrible , so painful. My family is not a close family, but Chris and I were close. We talked on the phone every single week, and for at least an hour. We talked about everything from politics, fishing, our parents, my other brother, our crazy upbringing, kids, music, just talked. He was really the only person in the world that I just gabbed with on the phone. I would make a cup of green tea, go sit on the porch and call Chris. I miss it so much. Every time I think about him being gone I just get this awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. I can’t fix this, I can’t do a thing about it and it is so final. I hate it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The first 2 weeks I just cried uncontrollably. Didn’t eat, just cried. Then the third week I was able to function better, it helped to go to work. I’m a firefighter and work is fun and the people are great. My crew and everyone on my shift was so thoughtful. I knew that they really cared and that helped.

I try and remember that I’m not the only one. So many people have lost someone they love. This is the first time that I have experienced a death of someone that I’m so close to, a brother. It sucks. It hurts. I want him back. It takes my breath away to know that he will never be back.

The first week I thought about it all the time, couldn’t sleep, just thought about Chris. After a couple of weeks I would have a moment where something would happen and I would forget about it for just a moment, I would smile or laugh and everything was back the way it was for just a moment. Then I would remember again and be sad once more. As time goes on I find those moments lasting longer, I feel guilty about that. How can I be happy or laugh when Chris is gone. But it happens. I guess that this is the normal process, or else you would just lay down and die too feeling all that sadness.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. God bless everyone here that is feeling the sadness. One more thing that I want to say is that I was always one of those people that would avoid addressing someone that had a loss, I never knew the right thing to say, it was awkward. I will never do that again. People just want to know that you care about what they are going through. Having people care about it is so nice. I had a girl that I have never met before hug me and say “my brother died too and I know the pain that you are in”. It meant so much to me. It meant so much for someone to just say “I am so sorry”. I will do that for others from now on. Ruth

Comments for sister

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May 30, 2014
Loss of Brother
by: Anonymous

I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my sister to ovarian cancer in February 2014. What you wrote describes how I also feel. It is a hugh void not having them in our lives.

May 21, 2014
Sorry for your loss
by: Anonymous

I am very sorry for the loss of your brother. I am feeling rather empty right now because I just found out that my half brother, whom I have never met, but have connected on Facebook, passed away. I'm 9 years older than him, and he has another brother, (my other half brother), who he has left behind. He is 23 and I've not met him either. We had planned on meeting - we even live in the same state, but just hadn't gotten to it yet. I talked with him via Facebook numerous times and he seemed to be a very kind and gentle old soul. Here's what I have to say I met him by. I hope he is able to rest now.

He had a great talent for songwriting and I just loved his voice.

May 12, 2014
My Little Brother
by: Anonymous

I, too, understand the pain and sadness of the loss of your brother. My younger brother died suddenly on 3/20/14 and I received that phone call where you can't comprehend what you are being told. We lived in different states, but we shared that weekly call that I miss so very much now. "Just checking in ..." I am still having so much trouble realizing I won't hear those words from him again. A week before he died, he found out that he and his wife were expecting their first child after many years of trying. It so haunts me that he will not be there for the birth and life of his son. I was the first one he told. I am doing my best to help his wife as I know he would want. He was the best brother and the best friend - opinionated, funny, snide, with beautiful eyes and the greatest laugh. I miss him. It is hard to get up knowing he is not in my world anymore. The world seem off kelter and this new reality without him - I don't want it.

May 01, 2014
I feel your pain
by: Sam

Dear Ruth, I also am in NC, and the same morning your brother passed I lost a very close relative who raised me as a sister, as I am an only child. The pain is too much for me to carry so somehow I have convenced myself that it just isnt real. It cant be. I will soon wake up from this dream. I wish I had words to make your pain less, but I will pray for you. If you want to talk about anything Im here for you.

Apr 30, 2014
Our brothers....
by: Lynn DeHart

I just read your blog and it truly touched my heart. I lost my brother, John, from North Carolina on December 22. He was 54 years old. He called me every Sunday and we would laugh and talk like we did when we were kids -- just fun -- and I miss him so much -- he was just so much fun -- he was on his way home for Christmas and he passed away in his motel room. The doctors think it was his heart. I just don't understand....and his wife -- they were just best friends and she was the best thing that ever happened to them -- they would have been married 30 years next month -- June -- they were planning to go to Hawaii -- please pray for my family and know that I am praying for you.

Apr 30, 2014
by: Doreen UK

Hi Ruth, I am so sorry for your loss of your precious brother Chris. I have 5 siblings and I couldn't bear to lose one of them. I lost my husband to cancer 2 yrs. ago on Monday next and I am feeling the rawness of those initial days of loss. None of us knows what to expect of grief, and from grief as each day unfolds. We don't plan to be sad, or choose not to be happy. As you say it happens daily when we flit in and out of different emotions and feelings. Otherwise as you say we would all lay down and just die. We couldn't, and wouldn't be able to get out of our grief. I think a certain amount of numbness hits all of us like shock absorbers so we absorb what we have to do and it is in the days after that we feel the full wrath of our grief. I just kept saying to my husband. Steve just make sure you are right with God because I want to see you on the other side. But I was numb and couldn't believe that I was accepting he was going to die, whilst praying for my miracle of healing. It is like being in a FOG. You find it hard to find your way out. Which is why TAKING ONE DAY AT A TIME does help. You had a strong bond with Chris and it will hurt more not having him with you. IT IS SUCH A HEAVY LOSS. It takes a long time for it to sink in that our loved ones are never coming back. I get flashbacks of my Steve's face and it is as if a vision in slow motion is taking place and as if he is here. It is lovely but at the same time sad because I want to touch him and it is not possible trying to match up the images with wanting to reach out and embrace him with a hug and touch him. This is what is hard coming up to the 2yrs. mark of his death. Some emotions and feelings sort themselves out in time. But as so many people are posting now that it feels worse. This may be how healing takes place. It gets worse before it gets better. Nothing can fill that gap that our loved one's filled. Nothing good in life can ever make up for what we have lost. Not even winning the lottery. It would not phase me. I lost more as we all have. I am sorry for your loss and I hope that God gives you some sunshine in your life to brighten those dark and lonely days of grief.

Apr 29, 2014
A lift up
by: Anonymous

Hello Ruth:
I am so sorry for your loss, I am there with you and the loss of our 22 year old son. Your journey is just beginning. There is really nothing anyone can say. Sometimes a hug goes a long way. I found that keeping a journal has helped. Alot of good books to read ie. Heaven is for real. and others. The best one for me has been reading the bible. Mathew 5:4
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted. I hung on to this day after day as each day started with a jolt into life and the realization that this is not a dream but it is real and it has happened to you. I am often reminded that God is good and things happen weather I like it or not. I am also reminded that God's son Jesus also died and God knows what we are going through as grieving parents, or siblings.I promise you that in a small while you will begin to as I call it come back to earth, and you will begin to feel again. Even Laugh. As you come back to life yourself you will also find that life has new meaning and what is and is not important.I have a business and that required me to return back after the first week and boy I can tell you my mind was not all there. even today it still is not what it used to be. I would encourage you to return to your job it will help. But your job I would think has the best possible way of giving back to people who are walking roads like ours, and I can also say that reaching out and lifting someones spirits has been a great gift you can give someone. You will see I promise you will get through this. God Bless.

Apr 29, 2014
Dear Ruth,
by: Anonymous

I am sorry for your loss. I lost my father a little over a year ago, and I think of him daily. I never had a chance to say goodbye to him-he died suddenly, and I still cannot get over it. You are not alone, and this website is full of compassionate people who know exactly what you are feeling. I hope you can find some comfort and peace as you begin to heal. Barb

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