My brother died 10 years ago

kris10bartJanuary 28, 2009

In the years that have passed since my brother's death, I have had a variety of emotions and experiences with the grief. I never quite know how I will deal with the anniversary or his birthday. The sixth anniversary and each following were particularly difficult because I was more upset knowing that the ten year mark was looming. Now its only a few days away.

A few months ago I moved 800 miles away from home. While my husband is supportive, I feel very lost this anniversary. I don't have any places to go that Andy and I shared. I don't have anyone to cry with that knew Andy. (I met my husband in college after Andy died.) My apartment only has a few tokens to remember him by, two pictures and the blanket that I took off his bed the day he died.

For months I have thought about the day that lies ahead. How would I recognize it? I am not particularly religious. I cannot go home. I will call my parents, brother and grandparents. My cousin and best friend from childhood will call me, they have every other year. But the idea that its TEN years makes me feel like I should do more.

I made an appointment to give blood, platelets actually. Its a two hour process and after I made the appointment I realized that it is just around his time of death. I don't know if the donation will be uplifting at all, but at least its something to do that day. I will have to get out of my pajamas and brave the cold.

No question. I just needed to tell someone that I am still grieving. I hope that this idea isn't discouraging to anyone with a recent loss. I can say that the pain does ease. Recognizing it helps. Talking about him helps. I am not afraid to cry or think about him or tell a story of our matter how much time passes.

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Kris, you surely do still miss your dear brother. I'm sorry you lost him. You must have had a rough time of it when he passed away.

I think talking with family on the day is wonderful. Be sure to share with them how much you still feel his loss. Let those feelings out.

I think one of the best things we can do to honor loved ones' memories is to help others. Donate platelets in his memory. You could make this an annual tradition, or even do it a few times a year. Something good is coming from your relationship with your brother.

Forgive me if I seem insensitive, but 10 is just a number, not much different from 9 or 11. Maybe you don't need to attach such importance to "10." Maybe it's just because it seems like such a big number now, and it pains you to know he has been gone so long now.

I wish I had wise and comforting words to say to ease the pain you still feel. Take care.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 10:53PM
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I'm so sorry, Kris.

How're you doing?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 1:15PM
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Hi Kris,

I'm facing the same dilemma myself. May 13th 09 marks 10 years since my brother died in a car crash and I also feel I should mark the day in some special way. At the same time the anniversary of his death has always been a private day for me to be quiet and reflect on my feelings; I almost feel I shouldn't bring it up with my parents in fear of upsetting them.

Like you I met my boyfriend Lee a couple of years after Tom had died. He knew of my brother and was also friends with my older sister, which I feel helps when I talk about Tom. Mostly Lee just holds me when I cry on my brother's anniversary and the day passes in a subdued manner. I don't want to toot the horns to announce Tom's been dead for 10 years but you're right, it's significant.

I think the fact you're giving blood is great. I'm in no way religious but do sometimes smile at coincidences or what I hope are signs. On the same date Andy lost his life you're potentially saving another!

You say you've had a variety of emotions and experiences with grief, me too. Some days are fine then others, like today for me, come and bite you in the ass out of nowhere.
I wrote this poem today as that's exactly how I felt:

My heart hurts today
for the brother I lost ten years ago
Although the charcoal grey of pain sometimes fades
to the colour of a rainy autumn sky,
today it is black and screaming at me
I want to turn my head and look away,
to busy myself with other things
But it's tap-tap-tapping on my shoulder
and pulling on my legs
I can feel myself being dragged down,
despite my every effort to stand tall
Clawing at my throat, clouding my head;
only it will decide when I've had enough,
when it will scuttle back to that well worn place
upon my shoulder
Well I've had enough!
I scream and cry and try to shake it off
but it sits heavily above my heart
Mocking me with the certainty of knowing it'll be back,
but not knowing when
With a defeated sigh I raise my head,
I dry my eyes and vow to prepare
for its next cruel arrival
Knowing, in my next breath,
I can't.

I don't mean to sound depressing but I think sometimes people presume because someone died a while ago that you're over it. Yes time heals but you never forget.

I hope the anniversary wasn't too horrendous for you : )

Connie x

    Bookmark   February 10, 2009 at 6:59PM
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