I feel like an alien

It’s been 3 years now since losing my big bro when I was 18 years old. Even on this forum I scroll through the sea of messages as though I’ll find someone experiencing my exact situation. Of course, grief doesn’t operate like that and what I’m learning more each day is that grief is so alien to any other journey because it involves a whole story, a whole life, a whole person; and all the people that they have touched. I feel like I’m either invisible or living in someone else’s skin most of the time. I’m not sure of reality. But I’m also so mature, so aged by this lonely agony. Even when I’m not thinking of him, my actions are screaming. Joey was a lot older than I, 31 when he passed suddenly in the night. He wasn’t a health conscious man. He wasn’t a perfect man. But I have always thought he was the coolest. MY big brother. He used to teach me to draw when I was 6 years old and I’m making art still today. Pursuing it as a career. How am I meant to cope with the Joe sized hole that is left in my heart? He made me. He protected me. I can’t help but be riddled with regret now that I’m 21 and I feel old enough to have hung out with him more, asked more questions, asked him why he was living with me then one day just not. Asked him if he was okay. Asked him if he was drinking. Asked him if he loved me. My heart hurts so much for a girl so young that I can’t not feel like an alien. My friends at the time all left me because I wasn’t fun anymore, and when I asked for help they didn’t know what to do. Instead they left to be friends with my partner of 2 years who had broken up with me not days before I lost him. As we had already broken up- when I called her and visited her the day after he died, she said something like ‘Just because this has happened doesn’t mean we haven’t broken up. I can’t help you.’ I want to separate the trauma and the other people from the person my brother is to me. Time doesn’t make the rumination or anger much better so I’m feeling stuck. It feels good to even write these words because for so long I though they didn’t matter. I hope everyone can find something to smile about sometime soon. Even if just once. Even if you feel you may never smile again. As much as the ache is raw, I am already finding so much strength. I promise you, I know we can do this.

Dear emdoodles,
Thank you fr sharing your story with us about your big brother. He obviously had and still has a big place in your heart and it is clear from your words how much you miss him. It is good that you have come to this site, and eve nthough you are unlikely to find someone who has gone though exactly the same situation as you, there will be posts and responses from other people who have lost siblings and who can understand what you are feeling. You may also find it helpful to look at this website:


Hi @emdoodles, I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your big brother when you were so young, and that you are feeling stuck in your grief. I’m glad that it feels good to write things down here - it’s so important to have outlets for your emotions, and not having anywhere to talk about this stuff can actually make grief worse.

You mentioned that you have been looking through posts for someone whose situation is close to yours, so I wanted to point you in the direction of this post by @JeanH Feeling ashamed of my grief after brother’s death. She lost her brother when she was 13 and he was 18, and it sounds as though you might have some things in common. She hasn’t been active on the site for a month or so, but if you wanted to post a reply to her, she should get a notification and might return.

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