I lost my older brother

Discussion in 'Loss of Sibling' started by caroline cole, Jun 6, 2023.

  1. caroline cole

    caroline cole New Member

    My older brother was only a year and three months older than me, we were the closest in age in the whole family. We both had red hair and since we were only a year apart, everyone called us Irish twins.
    Personality wise, we were pretty different. I’m more extroverted, but he’s probably one of the my introverted people I ever knew. He was also one of the funniest and most meticulous people I knew. He was a little odd, but charming, and even though we weren’t particularly close, I still knew he would always have my back.
    In 2022, Oct. 1st, he married a girl he’d been dating since they were thirteen. He had just turned nineteen a few months before the wedding. The girl was one of my best friends and no one had ever seen two people love each other as much as my brother loved her and she loved him.
    The night before the wedding was the rehearsal dinner, which my brother told me to skip because that day was my eighteenth birthday. I felt bad at first, but both he and his fiancé told me I should go get dinner with one of my best friends and celebrate turning 18, so I did. My mom wasn’t happy that I didn’t attend the rehearsal dinner, and told me I would regret not spending time with him some day. I waved her off.
    Less than a month after he got married, on Monday, October 31st of 2022, he was driving on his motorcycle over a bridged intersection to come to my parents house to give a video game to our younger brother and say hi to me. He was the safest driver in the family. Never got a ticket, never got in an accident. Never sped ten over the limit.
    An elderly woman turned about fifteen feet early and hit him. He was wearing full protective gear: helmet, leather jacket, gloves, special boots. His bike barely hit her car, but it knocked him off balance and he hit the railing. The metal railing caved in his helmet and fractured his skull in two different places.
    The paramedics say he was dead before his body even hit the ground. The woman maintains that she didn’t even see him, but I don’t care if she did or not. I’m a Christian, was raised in the church, same as my family, and my older brother who was very devout. The woman who killed him told us she’s also a Christian, and knows that he’s in a better place. But I genuinely hope that woman never sleeps well again in her life. I hope she hates herself for what she took from me, I hope the guilt of killing my brother is the last thing she feels before she dies. I know that sounds horrible but her one act of carelessness when she turned in too soon on that bridge took my big brother from me. Forever.
    He had waited five years. Five years to marry the woman he loved. He had a house with her and everything, and wanted to be a father. And because of that old woman, he got less than a month with the woman of his dreams. Now she’s widowed at eighteen.
    It’s been a little over six months since he died, but it still feels like yesterday. I’m turning nineteen this year, in four months. That’s how old he was when he died. And I’m afraid to tell anyone, because I feel childish, but I’m so scared to turn nineteen. I just feel this horrendous sense of guilt and impending doom, like it’s against the universe to be as old as my older brother. I don’t know how I’m supposed to live my life. I don’t know how I’m supposed to get older.
    I hope that woman never finds peace, never ever ever.
  2. SallyD

    SallyD Well-Known Member

    Hi, Caroline. I'm SO sorry for what you and your family have been through. Losing your brother like that is just an awful thing.
    I've lost an older brother, too. We were close. He had medical stuff that looked like he had a really good shot at getting better from,
    then it all went downhill. We didn't expect him to pass away. I think it's a lot harder when their loss is so unexpected....I'm so sorry!

    I think it's really normal to feel all the things you are. Especially about the turning the same age as your brother when he passed.
    My brother and I....well, our dad passed away when we were really little. Our dad had just turned 36 when he died....my brother said
    that turning that age for him, when it happened, really kinda freaked him out, too. So, you're not alone in feeling that way. At all.

    Honestly, your loss has been such a hard one. Mine has been, too...and when it happened for me, I just felt like I couldn't get through it
    without trying to get into some grief support groups with other people who'd understand, and maybe could offer some guidance on how
    to deal with all this. You've done a good thing by coming onto this site. They do have meetings on here (I guess Zoom), and that could
    be something you'd try. I've done one for free (some you have to pay a bit for....cost isn't that bad). The one I went to here was pretty good,
    though. My budget's really tight, so I tried to find some free support. Around you, there may be some local grief groups if you ask at
    church, or social worker at hospital, or local hospices....places like that might know. I''ll tell you about a couple other online ones I know of:

    There's one called GriefShare at griefshare.org This one is church-based. Has online or in-person meetings, a workbook (the only cost).
    Type in your zip code at griefshare.org and see what's available near you or online. Can join at any point in the 13 week sessions and repeat
    it if you want (sometimes that helps). I've done this group even though I'm Jewish, because my people don't offer much grief support, I've found.
    I pulled out of GrefShare what I could, and I found some helpful stuff in it. The people in mine were really nice. I went, online...this group helps me
    the best with guilt I have, because it says things like no matter what went on, God decides when someone's time is up. If that was our brothers'
    time to go, it would've happened one way or another, that same day. And we may never understand Why....I know I don't. A rabbi who
    helped me with my brother's arrangements told me the same thing. I had to watch the GriefShare videos on this a ton of times, to sorta get it
    to stick in my head. I'm glad they were available to watch....

    Another online group you might like that I've been in is run by grief specialist David Kessler. He's been through some tough losses himself,
    and his group is called Tender Hearts. There's info on it on his website at grief.com, plus I think there's some free videos you can watch
    with him on the site and probably on YouTube, too. This group is done more from a psychological viewpoint....I've learned a lot of helpful
    things here, too, but I needed combo of religious & psychological stuff to help me....so, GriefShare and Tender Hearts have been the most
    helpful groups I've been it, at this point. Tender Hearts has online meetings (a lot of them; can pick or choose how many you go to),
    and you can even just listen and watch, if you don't feel like participating. You can still learn a lot from hearing other's experiences,
    and from hearing what David says to them. There is a fee per month (about 34 dollars), but if you're like me and can't afford it, you can
    write them and explain your circumstances, and they will either give you a discount or let you in for free. They've done this, for me.
    Mr. Kessler doesn't want to turn anyone away, due to cost. Also, if you write them at info@grief.com, they might know of grief groups
    or other support for younger people like you......explain what happened and your age; they may know of different resources for you, too.

    Again, I'm so sorry for what you're going through, and for what happened to your brother. None of your feelings are childish, or wrong.
    I think a lot of people going through grief would agree with me, on that. Maybe check into some things I've mentioned here. It could
    get easier for you to handle what happened, and the feelings that come with it, if you can get some extra support. I've needed some, for sure.
    My best to you...Sally D.
  3. Sean_TDC

    Sean_TDC Member

    I understand. Perhaps this resonate. I am sorry and hope you feel better some day.

    When I turned the same age as my older brother when he died, I felt the weight of knowing, really knowing that I was leaving him behind. As I have grown over the almost 20 years since he died, my perspective has turned interesting in my dreams about him. He's the same age, but I've grown, got married and am a father will all of life's responsibilities. In one dream he grew confused, as I realized, I was now older than him development wise.

    But, I also dream he wishes me well, and that he continues to help me as he did in life. I talk to him sometime and tell him about his niece and nephew. It helps.

    As far as the elderly women. Yes that is tough. I am somewhere along the lines as you for I once wish the man take took my brother's life a long life. I could think of no greater punishment than for him to contemplate the light what he had took from this world. I used to say to my relatives, well he killed my brother, I'm not going to let him kill me too.

    So I choose to live. For that meant leaving the army and going to school until I figured things out. Took me about 10 years to find peace.

    I hope you find yours. Respectfully .