Upside Down

by Rose
(Burbank, CA)

My younger brother died June 6, 2012. I was out of the country and back in the US within 24 hours. My mother was alone when she found my brother. My brother was diagnosed with Cirrhosis of the Liver in June 2009. He was placed on a transplant list, but received inadequate care due to county insurance. In July 2009, my mother had a stroke three weeks after retiring at 69. I lived and suffered through their drinking for 25 years prior to this. We discovered that my brother, Robert, started drinking again before his death knowing full well that it would shorten his life. Basically, he committed suicide. I thought I smelled alcohol once or twice on his breath, but couldn't be certain due to the odors from his damaged liver. I planned to speak with him about his poor self care when I returned from the Bahamas. I didn't get the chance. I don't feel guilty because I know his choices were his own and he could've reached out at any time. I do feel very sad that I waited to speak to him. Immediately after being told about my brother's death, I made airline arrangements to return home. I went into overdrive caring for my mom, making preliminary arrangements for my brother and flying in family members. I sorted through photos for a memory board, kept myself busy with scanning photos for a book and dvd of my brother's life. My sister, daughter and I kept busy cleaning my mother's place. It was very neglected and it was difficult to just be in that environment. My husband was here to stay with my mom the day my brother died and gave her great comfort. For this I will always be grateful. Unfortunately, he began to act out the day after my brother's death. He picked a serious fight and shouted that he wanted a divorce. Things had been rocky, but we were discussing counseling before my trip. Over the course of the next two weeks, things went from bad to worse. There were some arguments and erratic behavior on my husband's part. He drank two days after my brother died, giving up two and a half years of sobriety. Three days after I buried my brother, my husband and I had an argument which escalated in to a shouting fight and then he struck me on the side of my face. I was in such shock over my brother that I automatically picked up the phone with my purse and locked myself in my car to call 911. Needless to say, he was arrested and a three year protection order was issued for me. My husband has since accepted a plea agreement which includes 3 years probation and one year Domestic Violence Counseling. He has also filed for divorce. During the two months after my brother died and my experience with my husband, I felt okay. I was taking care of myself and everything else and was very happy about that. Not so much today. For the last three weeks or so I feel very intensely sad. I'm crying a lot, sleeping more, less energetic. I've been in therapy since about two weeks after my brother died, but I don't feel like it's really helping. At this point, I just feel incredibly sad. Not every minute, but a lot. I didn't want a divorce right away, but the choice was taken out of my hands. I'm grieving for my brother as well as the end of my twenty three marriage. As difficult as it was, I loved and still love my husband. I'm incredibly sad. How long is it okay to cry and feel bereft? I want to move through this.

Comments for Upside Down

Click here to add your own comments

Jun 16, 2013
by: Marlene

It would be unrealistic to feel anything but sad. There is so much you are dealing with. Each with it's own time of grieving. Losing your brother, allow yourself to give in to the pain, you must go through it to heal. Your marriage is a death as well, it all takes time. Don't try to rush. things of this magnitude can not be rushed. We think if we hurry we might be able to avoid the pain, but it will always be there until we work through it.

I lost my 42yr. old son 6mos. ago and someday's are better than others. It is so very hard for me to realize he will never walk through my door again. I hate that life goes on when I am so broken. I have totally given this to God. If I did not have faith I think I would have wanted to end my life.

Please hang in there. But only you will know when you have grieved sufficiently.

Love to you,

Oct 19, 2012
Upside Down
by: Doreen U.K.

Rose I am sorry for all your losses. You are in a most difficult place right now. A divorce is a bereavement all by itself without the grief of losing your brother. I guess all the drinking in the family is to block out all the pain that is around. If you love your husband wouldn't it be worth going into marriage counselling to try and save your marriage. If only one partner goes for the counselling the marriage can still be saved, but only if BOTH want to save the marriage. You are crying because you are in emotional PAIN. Crying is a release from emotional PAIN so don't repress this.
Don't cancel your counselling, even if it is painfull and you feel it is not working. It feels like this at the beginning and all of a sudden you start feeling better and you go back for more only to come out of couselling feeling like sh..... Then you start feeling better. the hurt and pain gets less. stick with it you won't regret this. When your mind is in turmoil you are locked into a depression and can't see beyond your pain. BUT ONE DAY YOU WILL. DON'T GIVE UP!!!! I wish I could fast forward my GRIEF to get it over quickly but HEALING is a very SLOW process and we just have to take things one day at a time. Don't rush your grief. Stick with your therapy. If after some time you are not progressing in therapy, then find another therapist till you find the right one. You will GET YOUR LIFE BACK.

Oct 18, 2012
stages pf grief
by: Anonymous

I am so sorry for all of your losses. Your divorce is a loss . It is a death, that I fell you need to go through all the stages of grief just as you will need to do with the loss of your brother. Maybe there still is hope for you and your husband to salvage at minimum a friendship. Someone in this relationship needs to be a hero to mend some of the hurt.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Other Loss.

[?]Subscribe To This Site
  • follow us in feedly
  • Add to My Yahoo!
  • Add to My MSN
  • Subscribe with Bloglines

RSS Feed Widget


Tap into the compassion, support and wisdom of the


Essential Healing Guide

Grief Relief

Free Griefwork

Free Stress

SBI Video Tour!