Five weeks ago on June 8, 2014, I got the call that no one wants to receive. My 39-year-old brother drowned in a boating accident. He was an avid fisherman and an excellent swimmer. My parents had just seen him 2 hours prior. He and his friend had stopped by to charge the motor/battery. The boat capsized and both men were thrown out, but my brother did not survive. He was my only sibling. I live in Georgia and arrived in North Carolina the same day. Since this accident happened on a public lake, I had to talk to the park ranger, the medical examiner and the local sheriff. I had to plan his funeral, select clothes to bury him in and select his casket. I also spoke at the funeral on behalf of our family. I felt like I had to do those things because I'm the oldest and I'm the survivor. My parents simply could not handle such details. They were mourning their son. My hands are trembling as I write this because it's still so painful. I literally feel like I have a hole in my heart. I know it's only been a month but I still cry every day. I'm glad to have found this forum because even though my husband is a fantastic supporter, he cannot know exactly how I feel.

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April my older sister & only sibling passed away in 2001 when I was 16. I am now 29 & it will be 13 years this December that she passed away and still till this day, I break down crying...especially in July.....her birthday month & December .....The month of her passing. This might sound cliche but i promise you...Things will get easier with time but on occasion, there will be moments of weakness & sadness.....but it's okay. It's okay to miss your brother, it's okay to break down & cry, it's okay to get mad & feel frustrated. Your a great sister & remember your brother is ALWAYS with you, watching over you & your family. We here are always here for you, if you ever need to talk......just remember your not alone......we here, understand your lost, your sadness, your pain & what you're feeling. I am sorry for your lost but just remember I know it sucks.... but god takes the goods one 1st. Trust me It will get easier.

Stephanie, thank you so much for taking the time to respond. He passed away two weeks before my birthday so I didn't even celebrate. And his birthday is in August. I'm honestly dreading it. I'm sorry about your sister. I appreciate you confirming that crying is as natural as anger. I just have to get through this and sharing my story with supporters like you really helps. 

Dear April, I am so sorry about your brother's passing.  What a shock it must have been to get that call and to have to handle all the arrangements and care for your grieving parents.  It is coming up on my brother's first anniversary this Saturday and I am trying so hard to hold myself together.  Both my parents had passed before Mike, but I felt the same "responsibility" to lay him to rest they way they would have liked, but also respect Mike's wishes.  I know they were waiting for him on the other side.

The crying will subside a little, but you will miss him always.

Hang in there, Mary Anne

Hi April,

I'm really sorry for your loss.  I lost my 23 yr old brother on Dec 25th 2013 when he went swimming in the sea.  I wish I could tell you it gets easier.  Some days are still hard for me, I feel paralyzed by the pain.  I remind myself that he is at peace but sometimes it's not good enough. I love talking about him.  That's what helped us keep our sanity in the initial months. Just sharing memories of him.  I also talk to him at times.  Maybe it's just in my head but I'm willing to do anything to keep him alive in my mind.  He lived in the moment and he lived his life to the fullest.  So, I keep reminding myself I need to do the same.  I need to love my mom, dad, and siblings more for him.  I hope you find a way to manage your grief.

Take care,

Saj

Mary Anne, I'll be thinking of you this Saturday. I'm glad that you mentioned your brother by name. That's still something that is a little difficult for me; saying his name aloud hurts. And, I hope that someone is there to comfort you now and whenever you need it.

Mary Anne Hines said:

Dear April, I am so sorry about your brother's passing.  What a shock it must have been to get that call and to have to handle all the arrangements and care for your grieving parents.  It is coming up on my brother's first anniversary this Saturday and I am trying so hard to hold myself together.  Both my parents had passed before Mike, but I felt the same "responsibility" to lay him to rest they way they would have liked, but also respect Mike's wishes.  I know they were waiting for him on the other side.

The crying will subside a little, but you will miss him always.

Hang in there, Mary Anne

Saj, I feel the same way. Some days are good and others are just plain bad. I like your idea about the dialogue. I do talk about him to my parents, but it seems I'm the one always bringing it up. Perhaps in time they will too. And, my brother was courageous. He didn't let challenges or fear of failure stop him. Thanks for reminding me about that because it's a trait we shared that I look fondly upon.

Saj said:

Hi April,

I'm really sorry for your loss.  I lost my 23 yr old brother on Dec 25th 2013 when he went swimming in the sea.  I wish I could tell you it gets easier.  Some days are still hard for me, I feel paralyzed by the pain.  I remind myself that he is at peace but sometimes it's not good enough. I love talking about him.  That's what helped us keep our sanity in the initial months. Just sharing memories of him.  I also talk to him at times.  Maybe it's just in my head but I'm willing to do anything to keep him alive in my mind.  He lived in the moment and he lived his life to the fullest.  So, I keep reminding myself I need to do the same.  I need to love my mom, dad, and siblings more for him.  I hope you find a way to manage your grief.

Take care,

Saj

I am so very sorry for the loss of your brother. I lost my oldest sister October 10th, 2013. She also drowned, though the circumstances are complicated, and the cops in my hometown just don't care. She was 37.

5 weeks makes your loss still so new. I'm glad you have a supportive husband. It definitely helps talking to others who truly understand. My bf (of 8 years) has been amazing but he's never been through loss like I have.  It's hard for someone who hasn't been through it to really get it.

It's been over 9 months since my sister, and I'm still struggling. We never stop grieving. Not really. But you do learn to get through each day. There'll be good days and bad days, but you keep moving forward. *hugs*

I'm here to listen if you want to talk. For anyone. <3

Five weeks ago my brother went into a coma after minor outpatient surgery.

I hated being the one to tell our side of the family. Mom couldn't. When I try to express my own grief I end up taking care of the person I'm talking to. I don't get the chance to be sad and to whine and to have someone hold me while I cry.

The well-meaners don't understand. How could they when I don't understand it?

Time is supposed to help. Yeah, I guess so. Lee was my only sibling, my big brother. I feel terribly alone.

I'm sorry about your sister, Kimberly. 37 is young. It's so true. People can sympathize but unless you've personally experienced a tragedy like this, it's impossible to fully understand. You mentioned Moving Forward. Ironically, that was the name of my brother's trucking company. I know that's exactly what I have to do, it's just very hard right now. Thanks for your support.

Kimberly said:

I am so very sorry for the loss of your brother. I lost my oldest sister October 10th, 2013. She also drowned, though the circumstances are complicated, and the cops in my hometown just don't care. She was 37.

5 weeks makes your loss still so new. I'm glad you have a supportive husband. It definitely helps talking to others who truly understand. My bf (of 8 years) has been amazing but he's never been through loss like I have.  It's hard for someone who hasn't been through it to really get it.

It's been over 9 months since my sister, and I'm still struggling. We never stop grieving. Not really. But you do learn to get through each day. There'll be good days and bad days, but you keep moving forward. *hugs*

I'm here to listen if you want to talk. For anyone. <3

Laurie, I'm sorry to hear about your brother and that something as routine as surgey went horribly wrong. I know exactly what you mean about caring for others. My father was so angry at the survivor that he wanted to physically harm him. My mother was asking "Why her son" and not the guy who's still trying to find his life direction. I secretly called my Mom's best friend and ask her to contact a woman in the church who had experienced the same type of loss. I felt like she needed to talk another Mother. My brother's long term girlfriend was so distraught that she wouldn't leave the funeral home (I've been talking with her on almost a daily basis since then), and the survivor wanted to commit suicide so I talked with him last week.

I'm convinced that people like you and I have to find time to mourn, too. We just can't shoulder all that responsibility without caring for ourselves. It's the reason I joined this forum.  You are not alone. I'm certainly willing to share with you or just listen. You've found people who understand your pain. 

Laurie Slicer said:

Five weeks ago my brother went into a coma after minor outpatient surgery.

I hated being the one to tell our side of the family. Mom couldn't. When I try to express my own grief I end up taking care of the person I'm talking to. I don't get the chance to be sad and to whine and to have someone hold me while I cry.

The well-meaners don't understand. How could they when I don't understand it?

Time is supposed to help. Yeah, I guess so. Lee was my only sibling, my big brother. I feel terribly alone.

Hi April-

I am so sorry to learn about your loss.  I lost my sister Lisa on November 7, 2013.  It is very hard-devastating.  My husband and family are very supportive but a sibling bond is very special.  That is why I am so glad I found this site.  We all have lost siblings and are here for each other.

I hope you find peace.  I do have a huge hole in my heart for Lisa who was my best friend.  I told my mom today who is really suffering as well that I feel her presence quite a bit.  I look forward to seeing her heaven someday.  In the meantime we all have to find a way to go on and keep our sibling's memories alive.

Take care,

Karen

Take care,

Karen, I'm sorry to hear about Lisa and I appreciate the reminder about everlasting life. You're right, we just have to find a way to keep moving forward and balancing the sorrow with joy.

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