I lost my younger brother 7 weeks ago

I lost my younger brother at the end of September.

He was diagnosed with lung cancer on 1 April and after 6 months of the worse emotional rollercoaster I’ve ever been on m, we thought could see a light at the end of the tunnel. After 4 rounds of chemotherapy the tumour had shrunk enough for him to have surgery to remove it all. The surgery went really well and they managed to remove the entire tumour but chemotherapy had damaged his heart vessels so badly that he had a massive haemorrhage during surgery and we lost him. No one was expecting it! N

Apart from knowing he’s no longer there, I have loads of guilt… guilt because life was too busy so that we didn’t spend enough time together while he was here, guilt because I’m here doing normal things like watching the tele and taking my daughter to football, or laughing at films with the kids, guilt because I couldn’t protect him (im his big sister) and guilt because he went before me, (he was only 47 and im 49) and he made a good life for himself where as I am on a constant road of failed relationships and crappy health which prevents me from working now!

I swap from being angry at the world for taking him and questioning regularly what the point of everything is, to being hit by a sledge hammer of grief! And also im frightened for the future cos I always assumed he’d be here to help me navigate my way through life, especially when we loose our parents! Now im left on my own to deal with that. (I am single so it’s just me and my kids).

I also trying to be strong for my Mum who isn’t coping AT ALL and she has pushed me away and doesn’t want to see me (we used to see each other at least once a week, she used to come over for lunch and dinner every Wednesday but since my brother passed she’s been to me twice and is full of excuses as to why she can’t come over). And im trying to offer emotional and practical support to my sister in law and nephew.

It’s the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever had to deal with in my life and I’m struggling to keep my head above water

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Dear @Welliwooster

I apologise for the delay in responding. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your brother and that you are struggling. What you are going through is normal and part of the grieving process.

There is a Grief Guide by Sue Ryder that has information and support to help you understand and cope with your bereavement and grief along with exploring your emotions and feelings. It would be worth you taking a look at this guide. The guide would also be useful for your family.

Cruse Bereavement have information on Losing a Sibling which may be of help and support to you.

Have you considered talking to your doctor as to how you feel and for support or even consider Counselling? Sue Ryder offer a free Online Bereavement Counselling which you may wish to consider. You start by registering and then you will be invited to book an assessment.

You can also connect with members here on the Community by typing Losing a Sibling in the search bar, the support is amazing.

You are not alone, please continue to reach out, we are all here for you. If you need further information please email online.community@sueryder.org.

Take care.


I lost my younger sister almost 3 years ago to brain cancer it was, very traumatic and like you I felt guilty I couldn’t save her then guilty that my life went on.I was hiding my grief from my parents so they didn’t worry over me and was supporting them. I’d like to say it gets, easier but you just learn the new way of being.
loosening my sister like loosening you’re younger brother was trauma and grief like I’d never known. It just didn’t seem and doesn’t seem real. Me and my parents, became closer though because we’d gone through the trauma of loosening my sister and there daughter together

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Thank you n for replying. So sorry for your loss, it really is the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. Unfortunately I don’t think it will bring me and my mum closer, if anything at the moment it seems to be causing a rift. She’s been pushing me away since it happened. Which isn’t helping me either. I really could have done with her support during this, but I understand we all deal with grief differently and for her it’s to push me away and isolate herself! I’m the opposite so I have been really struggling. I ended up joining the church which does give me some peace xx.


I lost my older brother in August 2020 aged 65. I agree, the emotional pain after he was diagnosed was terrible. I am on my own but appreciate that it is hard for you, trying to help different family members as well. Like you, I thought we would help each other as we got older. Being the older child, it is natural for you to feel guilty that you couldn’t help him but I’m sure you have been a great sister.

Thinking of you

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So sorry, grieving is full of if only moments, we look for things to best ourselves up with, and your mum it seems is shutting herself off at the moment another form of grieving, just take those little steps and know your brother knew I’m sure just how much you love him, and your mum, perhaps send her some flowers if you think that will help
Just let her know your there for her, and be kind to yourself
Sending hugs x