The fog is gone

by Julie
(Moline, IL)

The moat that protected myself from the reality of the situation has dried up. I lost my brother in April to leukemia and it is finally starting to feel too real- although it is too terrible to fathom. I was reading a book by T.J. Wray tonight on sibling loss- my favorite of the multiple books I've read- and something just hit me. Our story together is gone. He was cheated out of 3/4 of his life. He died not a month after he turned 24.
I have a sweatshirt of his that he wore all of the time, especially when we were going to different hospitals for treatment. He'd pull the hood over his head so people wouldn't see the chemo-bald head of his sweating profusely out of pain. Right now, at this moment, I need to hold it in my hands. I get up in the dark and start fumbling around for it- but my hands couldn't find it in the first closet. My crying turns into panicked hyperventilation as I swing open the bedroom door and search in the hall closet. I know I have it- it can't be gone. I need that part of him wrapped around me like a comforting hug. I run back into the bedroom, throw on all of the lights and start throwing things out until I see it- the green emblem staring back at me. I grab it and cry into it. After a few solid minutes of trying to calm myself down- I walk out into our living room to my favorite picture of Shawn, right over the entertainment center. There are my baby brothers eyes that I miss so much, staring back at me in a genuinely happy photo. It was taken before we found out he was ill and before his very short 8 month battle. My eyes travel down to his fingers and hands- the hand that I held as he took his last breath on this earth- the day that I forgot how to breathe myself. How can this horrid thing be real? Did my brothers body really turn against him? Could no one on this earth cure him? Why wasn't my marrow a match for his- we were perfectly in sync in every other aspect? I touch the cold glass cover his photo in the frame... wishing I could touch him again.

The hug from his sweatshirt isn't enough.

Comments for The fog is gone

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Dec 16, 2011
more comments from Shirley
by: Anonymous

I just want to add that my son died 16 months ago at the age of 23 years and 27 days old of leukemia. His name was Dimitri and he was such an amazing young man. I was so proud of him. He faced his illness with such grace. "His was a man's courage" is on his grave marker. The sister I lost 35 years ago.....her name was Shawn Marie....She was also special and amazing. I was blessed to have a part of this earthly life with two beautiful angels.
Hugs, Shirley in Calif

Dec 16, 2011
by: Anonymous

It's difficult to lose a sibling...I understand because I lost my baby sister to a drunk driver 35 years ago. She was only 5 and I was 20. It took 3 years before I could even say her name without breaking into tears. Just 16 months ago my beautiful beloved 23 year old son joined my little sister in Heaven. I miss him more than words can describe and I hope that my sister was there to greet him. I belong to The Compassionate Friends. They are an amazing group. I would recommend going to their facebook page. There are lots of siblings who post and some of them have their own sibling grief pages. I go to local meetings once a month. Although most of the people in the group are parents we do have a couple of siblings who attend regularly. I'm sending lots of supportive hugs your way.
Shirley in California

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