Tomorrow, October 2, will be exactly one month since my brother, Jerald (Boo) passed away from an accidental drug overdose. I believe the semi-numb haze of shock the past month is starting to wear off. Although I am more in control of my outer emotions, the pain is growing worse because I am starting to realize that I am NEVER going to see my brother again. I am never going to hear his voice again, or drive past his house and see him mowing his lawn, or anything else that I took for granted only a month ago. Right now, he still feels so close but I know it's only a matter of time before I start to forget the little things like exactly  what his voice sounds like. I fear the future that will make me forget the small details even while it eases the sharpness of the pain. I would rather have the pain than to have his face become more and more blurry in my memory. Right now I say "he is my brother," because time hasn't yet forced me to say, " he was my brother."  His birthday was on Sept. 30 and I forgot to pick up the phone, even though he had taken the time about a month earlier to call and leave me a long message telling me how much he appreciated me and the things I've done during a previous family crisis, and that he loved me. It's too late to tell him now that I love and appreciate him and his warm heart. I can only hope that he knows.

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Comment by Jen W. on November 3, 2013 at 10:26pm

Thanks Nancy, for taking the time to comment. I have taken your advice and started a journal to express some of the things that I am going through. I felt a little bit better today but then of course came the guilt that I let myself forget for a little while. I know this is normal from some of the things I have read, but I guess it is still so soon that it is hard to rationalize about that type of thing. I don't have alot of options as far as people to talk to. I think the people in my life think I should be feeling better by now. My mom even seems to be doing better than I am, getting on with her life. Of course I can't judge how she feels, or what she goes through at her darkest moments. I know it sounds bad but I wish someone in my life would ask ME how I am doing. I was Boo's only sister and I just lost someone who was a part of my life for 40 years but all everyone asks me is how is my mom doing while I feel like I'm expected to just deal with it. I feel very alone with my grief and that makes this even harder.

Comment by Nancy McDonald on November 1, 2013 at 9:17pm

Hi Jen,

Thanks for posting a picture of Jerald.   I believe your brother DOES know that you love him.  It sounds like you had a very close relationship and you both did your best to keep in touch.  I also lost a brother, and I remember vividly how intense my feelings were after he died.  Unfortunately, this grieving process is something we have to go through if we ever want to live a somewhat normal life again.  This means that you need to get all of your feelings out by expressing them out loud to a close friend or family member.  I kept a journal after losing my brother and reading your thoughts brings it all back even though my brother passed away almost 11 years ago.  I really wish I had expressed myself and all the raw emotions inside me to someone who would just listen and let me talk or cry.   Instead I kept it all inside and my grief came out in other ways.  I started having panic attacks when I was driving.  I finally sought help from my doctor who suggested anti-depressants and counseling.  The meds helped quite a bit, but I wish I had tried counseling, too. 

In time, your feelings will very gradually grow less intense, too.  Talking with other people, going to a grief support group, and journaling (the good, the bad, and the ugly) will all help you in the grieving process.  You also might try writing a letter to your brother telling him all of your unsaid thoughts.  My thoughts are with you!  Take care.



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