hamc36August 7, 2007

My brother, Bob, died suddenly on May 12, 2006. It turns out he had a genetic problem with his heart. It was shocking. We all thought he was in excellent health. He was 36 years old. The pain was almost unbearable. I don't know how I survived that first awful week.

I had always assumed that I would lose my parents and my husband's parents first. My whole world was turned upsidedown. How does a young healthy guy fall asleep one night and not wake up? Did he have a choice? Did he get a glimpse of heaven and get to choose? Why wouldn't he stay here on earth? I spent many hours crying in my mother-in-law's arms. She told me that every death I face will get a little easier.

My mother-in-law died 6 weeks ago. I was close to her and I miss her, but I don't really feel sad. I don't even feel guilty for not feeling sad. It's like I spent all my emotions on Bob, and now I don't have any sadness left for anyone else. Two days before Florence died, she told me that she lived a good life, but her time had come, and she was

ready to go. She had been sick (and rather grumpy) for years and I hadn't seen her that happy for a long time. She absolutely glowed when she told me that it was time for her to go.

Since Florence died, I feel a little bit better about Bob. Almost like order has been restored. People are dying in the right order (old and sick first).

I must sound stark raving mad.

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You don't sound mad at all. Bob's death was a shock as well as being terribly sad for you. And he was so young. I have no siblings, but as I've watched a few people lose theirs I've thought that it must be the second hardest thing after losing a child.

"The right order" makes a big difference, I think. The elderly are expected to die before the young. I was always wonderfully close to my dad, and I miss him still--some days to the point of tears, and he died 14 years ago--but when he died I was sad but not heartbroken. He was 90 years old. I don't believe it's a tragedy at age 90. I sounds like Florence wouldn't regard her death as a tragedy either.

I've read extensively on the subject of death, near-death, and the afterlife, and I've never seen any indication that we all have a choice as to whether we live or die. I think if that were the case, only the elderly would dieƂand even some of them would hang on interminably. So please don't think that your brother turned his back on his family and chose heaven. I'm sure that decision was made for him.

With sympathy,


    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 5:44PM
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I will pray for you and your family. Please accept my deepest sympathy for your loss.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 9:54PM
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I dont think you are mad.

I think we grieve in different ways for different people.

I lost a baby, born too early, many years ago, and I can honestly say that I grieved for that little guy for a lot longer than I grieved for my own parents.

This seems very strange because I didn't even know the baby, whereas, or course I loved and knew my parents very well. Of coarse I did "know" the baby, but hopefully you get the guist of what I am saying.

Looking back now, I think its because its normal for old people to die, difficult as that is, to deal with.

But a child, is really too much to bear, because its a life that was not given a chance to live.

But I must say I find comfort accepting what happened, knowing it was meant to be like that, and finding joy in my life now.

I know its a cliche but life goes on, and happiness will prevail if you find the chink of happiness in your everyday life and try not to dwell on what has happened. Live in the moment.

I have things that are precious to me, like my mother's ring, that I wear everyday, having that nearby, on my figure, brings me comfort. Perhaps you could find something that your brother owned that you could have in your home, to give you comfort.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 4:24AM
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Popi, Kayjones and alisande,

Thank you for your kind words. I have a number if his things but he wasn't very materialistic. I found a journal that he wrote in everyday for several months about five years ago. It is entirely about work and the people he was working with, but I catch little glimpses of his personality when I read it.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2007 at 4:18AM
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