February 4, 2012 at 2:18 am #48915
My brother died unexpectedly on the 25.9.10. I am Phil’s sister.
This was sent to me from a friend who was grieving for other reasons. I believe it was taken from an infertility web site.
Grief, despite what type of loss has caused it, is universal. It can be lonely, and sadly not only do we have to deal with the loss our sibling, but some friendships as well.
I wish you would not be afraid to speak to me about what is going on in my life, and to ask what you can do to help.
If I cry or get emotional when we talk about them, I wish you knew that it isn’t because you have hurt me. The fact that I have suffered has caused my tears. You have allowed me to cry, and I thank you. Crying and emotional outbursts are healing.
I wish you wouldn’t pretend that nothing is happening to me, because it is a large part of my life. I need my friends and family by my side.
I will have emotional highs and lows, ups and downs. I wish you wouldn’t think that if I have a good day, my grief is over, or that if I have a bad day, I need psychiatric counseling.
Grieving and what I’m going through is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn’t shy away from me.
I wish you knew that all of the “crazy” grief reactions I am having are in fact very normal. Depression, anger, frustration, hopelessness, and questioning of values and beliefs are to be expected during and following what is happening to me.
I wish you wouldn’t expect my grief to be over if and when I appear to be smiling or happy.
I wish you would understand the physical reactions to grief. I may gain weight or lose weight…sleep all the time or not at all…want to surround myself with business or be all alone, all of which may be related to my grief.
A birthday, anniversaries of big days, holidays, and the day I found out, are all terrible times for me. I wish you could tell me that you are thinking about me, and if I get quite withdrawn, just know I am doing my best to cope. Please don’t try to coerce me into being cheerful or tell me that it will be better soon.
It is normal and good that most of us re-examine our faith, values, and beliefs throughout this journey. We will question things we have been taught all our lives, and hopefully come to some new understandings to include those with God. I wish you would let me tangle with my religion, opinions, and beliefs without making me feel guilty.
I wish you would not offer me drinks or drugs to ease the pain. These are just temporary crutches. The only way I can get through this grief is to experience it, and sometimes immerse myself in it. I have to hurt before I can heal.
I wish you understood that grief and difficult situations change people. I am not the same person I was before I experienced it nor will I ever be that person again. If you keep waiting for me to “get back to my old self,” you will be frustrated. I am a new creature with new thoughts, dreams, aspirations, values, and beliefs. Please try and get to know the “new me”…maybe you will still like me.
I hope this brings some comfort to others who have lost a sibling- bigsiss.June 23, 2012 at 1:30 am #49075
That just made me feel less crazy. Thank you.June 25, 2012 at 2:22 am #49076
I couldn’t have said this better myself. I have felt this, thought this and struggled with all of these things since my brother’s death on 8/31/10. Thanks so much for sharing.June 28, 2012 at 9:23 am #49077
I am so sorry you both are also dealing with the loss of a sibling. I am pleased that my post gave you some comfort, to feel understood. Sibling grief is sometimes underestimated.January 22, 2013 at 2:36 pm #51173
Thank you for sharing this. I try so hard to explain this to those around me but can’t always find the right words. They don’t understand why I get more upset when they tell me to “cheer up”…I don’t want to cheer up. It has been almost 10 months since I lost my sister and people have either quit asking how I am doing or when the subject comes up they try to change it.February 10, 2013 at 2:21 am #51240
I am so sorry you lost your sister. I know exactly how you feel. I lost my brother and at first everyone is there to ask how you are etc. etc. and then slowly they begin to get on with their lives and try and forget while we are stuck in the same place. You probably feel sometimes like maybe you should be “over it” by now but don’t feel that way. People just plain don’t understand unless they have been through it. It has been almost 10 years since my brother died unexpectedly and I can tell you I am not “over it.” Sure it gets easier but it isn’t something that ever goes away. A few years ago I was weeks away from getting married and having a hard time with the thought of not having my brother with me on my wedding day. I spoke with my fiance and he comforted me and I looked at him and asked, “should I be over this by now?” He replied,”Yes, I think you need to get over it. I think I would by now.” A week later I called off the wedding and we broke up. And although I had asked the question I just couldn’t get past his answer. I couldn’t spend my life with someone that made me feel guilty and crazy for feeling sadness over the loss of my brother. Through my loss I have learned that for some reason people don’t see a siblings loss as that bad or painful of a thing. It has made me feel very alone and at times very angry. But if you can surround yourself with people who do understand even just online like this you hopefully won’t feel alone and won’t feel that you should be over the loss of your sister at any point in your life. I know I wish I had found people who understand sooner, I spent a lot of years feeling like no one cared or understood. I am very closed off to people and am slowly trying to change that. When my brother died I felt that I suddenly had to grow up and had to take care of my parents, I thought I had to be the strong one. But you don’t have to do that, you need to take care of you and if you want to talk about it just start talking. You can tell people that you know they feel uncomfortable with you talking about it but you need to it helps you and if they care they will listen. I have found if you tell the person you know it is uncomfortable for them they seem to feel better about it. I think they try and change the subject because they don’t understand how you feel so they don’t know what to say and because they do care they don’t want to see you sad. So explaining that it is healing for you to talk about it let’s them know it’s ok, it’s what you need to do to feel better.February 28, 2013 at 1:03 pm #51381
I’ve been through/am going through what you’ve been through. 3.5 years ago I lost my little brother tragically and it’s still very sore and painful. Not quite in the same way as when it first happened, but different. As a newlywed I can completely relate to those difficult feelings about thinking about getting married without your brother there. We ended up leaving a space for him where the groomsmen where and acknowledging him during the service as well as in the program. Leading up to the wedding I went through anger that he wouldn’t be there as well as pain and guilt/insecurity to draw attention to him during something “joyous” like a wedding… Knowing from personal experience that people get awkward and uncomfortable about death. But ultimately I needed to recognize him and point out his obvious absence.
I’m so sorry about your fiance, that is just horrible and I think that you made the right decision – you absolutely and undoubtedly will never “get over it.” It’s impossible. This is your flesh and blood and something as big as a wedding definitely brings up a wide range of emotions and makes you think more and more about your loved one and I felt the same way. You need someone who’s sensitive to your loss and who can understand that monumental events make you think about those you wish to share them with and if they’re not there how that may be painful.
And Alyssa, I think that’s one of the hardest parts of grief, that tough point where people stop thinking about it and stop asking about it because they can just go on with their lives. I think you should just tell a few of your closest friends how you’re feeling and just ask them point blank to try to remember to ask you about it if they can, and ask them to just listen when you bring it up because even if it’s not at the forefront of their mind anymore, it’s still at the forefront of your own. I’ll never forget the first Thanksgiving after my little brother Chase died … I was in Minneapolis with my boyfriend (now husband) and I was so nervous to talk about Chase because it had only been 2.5 months.. I guess I was nervous because I didn’t want to cry in front of a bunch of people I didn’t know that well, but assumed because it was Thanksgiving it would come up. Much to my surprise not a single person mentioned it… Not one. In effect this made me feel even worse because not only was I not with my own family, but no one in my boyfriend’s would even bring it up. So much for not having to cry, I had to just walk around like a zombie with no emotions whatsoever. It’s really hard to find that balance with “those who haven’t been through anything similar.” You may try to reach out to someone who’s experienced loss as well and see if that offers you some comfort.
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