Coping with the loss of a sibling

I lost my big brother nearly 4 months ago to brain cancer. He had just turned 29 two weeks before. People say your sibling is your best friend and that is so true for my brother and me. He is 2 years older than me and with me not really being a girly girl we were as thick as thieves growing up. Since I lost him it feels as though I’ve lost a big part of myself. Trying to remain strong for my parents means I hide myself away so no one sees me cry. It feels as though someone is standing on my chest and it gets harder to breath. I just want my big brother back and I know that isn’t going to happen. Pretending to be “ok” is taking more and more energy and now it just feels like I could burst. Having lost all my grandparents before I was born this is the first time I have dealt with any sort of loss. I never in a million years thought I’d be saying goodbye to my best friend this early in our lives. I know I need help with this but I don’t know what to do.

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Clare. My gosh, my heart goes out to you. What an early age for someone to go. You are very wise to come on here where we all know and understand. Never be afraid to unload. Emotions must be given free rein. No bottling up. It’s so tiring to suppress emotions. They are there for a purpose, to help relieve tension.
I am sure if you cry in front of your parents they will understand. They must be feeling the loss so much. Try not to ‘pretend’ to be ok. It won’t work because you have just suffered a life trauma. Loss is new to you so it can be doubly painful.
The heavy feeling on your chest can be caused by anxiety. The chest muscles tighten up when we are stressed. But if you feel at all doubtful see your GP. It’s a good idea to do so anyway. They can advise about local bereavement services. Sue Ryder offer bereavement counselling.
At first, and four months is so little time, you will feel lost lonely and isolated within yourself. This is a natural response to grief.
When replying to someone like yourself it’s so difficult to be practical because it comes over as heartlessness and nothing could be further from the truth. But practical advice is needed at such times.
I won’t indulge in all the old platitudes, I imagine you may have had enough of those! I can only say with all sincerity, that everyone on this site will empathise with you in your pain. And it is pain isn’t it?
Gradually the pain may ease. You will never forget, but time must be allowed to pass without fighting your emotions. Let them come.
Bless you. And please come back and talk if you want. We are all good listeners.

Hello Clare610, So sorry for your loss. I lost my sibling (sister) to cancer about a year on, and I fully relate to everything you are experiencing. My Sister was also my life-long best friend, and soul mate. We have indeed lost a part of ourselves, our history and the future we would have had with them. I wish I could give you an answer that might bring instant relief, but alas I still search for that myself. All I can say is to seek out support in any way you can, friends, clergy, this forum, support groups, and as Jonathan said, a GP if your symptoms prevail. I have tried it all, and continue to do so. What is important is that you be gentle and patient with yourself. Your loss is still so fresh and raw. I understand the task of “putting on a brave face” for others, but we have a right to our feelings and must find an outlet for them. My heart goes out to you. We can never really separate from our siblings, they live on within us. Take care and post again. I find just writing out your feelings can help. Here to listen. Sister2 Xxx

Jonathan123 and Sister2 thank you so much for your kind words. Today was a horrible day which I’m glad is over. The soaps tonight had a very similar storyline to what my brothers final days were like so it really brought everything back to the surface. I have read a lot of entries on this site saying that it gets easier through time but as of now I’m struggling to see that ever being a possibility. It’s nice to see that despite feeling so alone and isolated with this deep pain in my heart there are others out there who have went through the same pain.

Sorry for your bad day Clare, I have many of those too. I avoid any shows, movies, that portray death, funerals, wakes. I just cannot deal with it, because as you said, it brings it all back to the surface. We do not need any more reminders. Time? I am not so sure it heals. I am finding with each day, my beloved Sister gets farther away from me, and I want time to stop. I cannot accept that she has been gone from my life this long, nor can I imagine living the rest of my life without her. I am sure you feel the same about your beloved brother. Take care, and together we will walk this awful journey. I agree, it helps to know we are not alone in our pain. Xxxx Sister2

Hi Clare,
I know my reply is delayed but I’ve only just found this forum. I lost my little brother, aged 28, in June from a brain aneurysm. The emotions are still very raw and I still ask myself daily ‘Why him?’ He was working full time and doing a masters degree and it all seems such a waste. I struggle to cope at work and as I am the oldest of three siblings, I have always been the one to pull the family together and that seems like a hard task now. It’s the first loss I’ve dealt with too and it just feels so all consuming and that I have lost a huge part of my life and of myself. If you’d ever like to chat let me know, I am in the same place as you and I am just trying to take it day by day.

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