It has been 5 years since my younger brother died of a heart attack.  I was depressed about it for quite a while.  When that depression went away I thought I was Ok but I have come to realize that I haven't really been right since then and I never really had closure.  I guess I have been in denial thinking I was back to "normal" when in reality I knew deep down that I wasn't.  If I am honest with myself, my attitude is something akin to "What's the point?"  In many ways I have gotten on with my life.  I've done well at my job but I haven't given my best.  My family is also doing well but they haven't gotten my either.  I'm still looking for answers that may never come.  I am here to get help.  I need something to hold on to.  

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Hi James, so sorry about your brother. My younger brother at 45 passed away 3 years ago, his name is also James. I don't think there is a right answer, or the right way to feel. For me, i know hes in a peaceful, beautiful place & that I'll see him again one day. But at this time, I'm just starting to look into going to a therapy group in my area. I think Mabey sitting around talking to people in the same situation, might help. But u need to b strong for your family, & just think your brother would want only the best for you.

Thank you Michele.  My brother was 42 when he died and I was 47.  I know there is no right way to feel but I also know that I need to have closure or my condition will continue to get worse.  I am also thinking about seeking out a therapy group in my area. 

Hi James,

I understand how you feel. I lost my younger sister to cancer nearly five years ago at the age of 34. You think that after a certain period of time, it should be okay. Some days it feels just as raw as the day it happened. I have struggled on and off with depression since then too, and tried to find the "new normal", that people talk about.

I don't know if you believe in therapy, but that has helped me tremendously over the years. Once a therapist told me to find a way to honor her memory. I have tried to do that by raising money for cancer walks and I sometimes donate blood. It helps me feel like I am making a difference in other people's lives, because of her.

Time has also given me the perspective to see her death as a lesson. I feel like my life has been divided into two parts: before and after her death. I see and feel things more deeply since then.  Her illness and death taught me to really be present and think about what's important in this life. It hit home that nothing is promised and as a result, I value those people and things that mean something to me more than I used to.

The truth is that I don't think I will ever really get over the loss, and I have come to terms that this is okay. Don't feel bad about still grieving your brother's loss. The best thing we can do for ourselves is to remember the impact our siblings made on our lives and try to find a way to live a life that feels meaningful to us.

Thank you Shannon.  I appreciate your insight and I agree with much of what you have said especially what you said about valuing people more.  I definitely do not take the time I have with anyone for granted. 

Hi James:

I really believe I know how you feel. I lost my beautiful younger sister Lisa when she only 49 years old to neuroendocrine cancer. She was a beautiful person, inside and out. She was a loving mother, wife, sister, and my best friend. She passed away in November of 2013. Like others have said sometimes it feels like yesterday and other times it feels like forever. I miss her everyday. I actually write to her everyday letting her know how things are here and the news of the day. It helps me stay connected. I know that she is in heaven and at peace. She suffered so much. I too am going to look into therapists for this loss and other losses I am presently experiencing. I hope you find solace in what I and others have written. You are not alone.

Best,
Karen Liller

Thank you Karen.  I do appreciate everyone that is willing to share their experience.  One of the reasons I joined was because I knew that there had to be others that had similar experiences to mine. 

Hi James,

Please know that you are not alone. I lost my little brother at the age of 17 and I was blamed for his death. It was my idea to take my family hiking and he fell on the hiking trail and hit his head. My relatives would come and ask me why I would take him hiking and got him killed. My dad doesn't say it, but I know he secretly blamed me too. I went through depression and had to go to therapy, but that didn't help. I decided to do cross stitches and that kept me occupied for a few months. I'm doing better, but I'm still in denial. I don't think about it because it drains my mind and body but it still hit me from time to time. It's been 6 years and I haven't recover, and I don't think we will ever recover. My friend once told me that, you will never get it over. You'll eventually get use to the idea that he's not here anymore. I'm so sorry you are going through this too. It's good to talk about it and I hope that we can help comfort each other in here. Sending you lots of hugs.

Hi  James,

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Im so glad you have this support group to write down whats happening for you. Although its not in person I think writing is very therapeutic.  I was looking through the comments and I also agree with what others are saying. My younger brother passed 4 years ago ( almost 5 now) from chronic alcoholism. He was 32 years old.  I too thought that as time has passed that I would get to a place that is better than the start.  I have to say that although I have gone on with my life that I have never been the same. The new normal people talk about isnt something normal at all. Its trying to let go and move forward one day at a time.  I still wonder why and it breaks my heart. It has affected my family relationships as well and made them distant in some ways.  I dislike that society puts a time line on grief. We never get over anything. We get through it.  I am spirtual and I believe that everything happens for a reason in our lives.  I am still trying to figure out what all this pain is for in my life..... Although my brother is gone I just had a beautiful daughter at 42 years old and have found some amazing things have come into my life in the past couple years.  I sat crying so much after she was born because I cant share this with my  brother.  I think you have to just take each day and feel how you do and honour it. dont let anyone else tell you how to feel, or when to heal.  Your brother may not be here physically, but he is with you in more ways than you'll ever understand.  We are the ones that suffer not them.  I hope that you can find some sparks of joy and happiness and hold dear all that you still have in your life.  No one understands this walk until they walk it themselves.  Therapy is a huge tool to help out.  Our loved ones want us to move forward however we can and live a life that would make them proud.  I wish you some emotional recovery and please know that you can write anytime.

Thank you Jennifer!

Trust in God. I feel responsible for three deaths. 1) My Grandma who had a stroke while at church praying for me. 2) My only child, grown, who asked me to move w/her but my roommate said I couldn't come back so I didn't go and she o.d.'d 3) My younger brother who I smoked pot w/when we were teenagers but the person went on to w bigger drugs, left them behind but still had something in his system that weakened his lungs and heart so he ended up passing from a heart attack over 30 yrs later. I'll never get past it. Not after 2 yrs., 6-1/2 years or even 42 years! I know they'll be there to greet me when I pass, they don't want me to feel like this but it is what it is and I can't help but feel partly responsible, a big part. You're brother, I'm sure like mine, doesn't want you to feel bad or guilty.  We'll be with them soon enough, so please smile through the sadness and soon you'll start believing it. (so she said) Hold on to the belief that you WILL be reunited and all is right in that dimension!

Sorry for your lost. Hold onto the good memories, the laughter, the good conversations about school and life. Remember the gift he was to you and your family. Know that while he's asleep in death, his voice will always be heard because I'm sure he's given some brotherly advice. When someone we love dies it stings it hurts and adds to our bad memories when may cause us to add out. But when we allow the good memories to control our thoughts, our smiles return and in our mind they alive, though asleep in death. I lost my youngest sister in a car accident at the tender age of 16 I keep her smiling picture out where I can see it, while still greive her lost I smile because I remember that day she smiled in the picture, and many of the fun times we had. I must focus on her goodness, so that the sting of death doesn't make her death hurt me so much that I can't appreciate the good times with my baby sister. My best to you and your family, Maxine Hall

Thank you!

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