My brother

I have mentioned how close I was to my younger brother (8 years) a number of times. I have also read here how many of you feel guilt when your loved ones have died.
I feel guilty about my lack of action when I knew that he was very unhappy, I shall try to be as brief as possible, Our John and his wife were so happy together in the beginning, however that happiness waned as time went on, the circumstances became so bad that it took them all their time to speak to each other.
I did not view him through rose coloured glasses, he had his faults just like all of us. He was a kind and generous man who loved his family dearly. I heard through the family grapevine that he was in hospital with a second bout of pneumonia, he had been diagnosed with a Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, an incurable lung condition. The last time I saw him was on the 28 September 2015, he told me that he was living in a caravan not far from his home with his dog. I asked him what was he going to do when the caravan site closed for the winter, He just shrugged and replied “Dunno” How I wish that I had asked him to stay with us, we had plenty of room, Stan thought the world of him, they were closer than brothers and when I explained to Stan that I was feeling so guilty, he agreed that our John could have lived with us for as long as he needed to. However, I didn’t and I shall regret this as long as I live.
Wind forward to November 2015, we had spoken on the phone many times, The phone rang on November the 5th and it showed on the screen that it was our John’s mobile, I was so thrilled I really thought that he had recovered, instead it was my ex-sister-in-law crying telling me that John wanted to say goodbye to me. I was so taken aback that I could hardly speak, he was handed the phone and I asked him if he was dying. He replied “yes love and I want to say goodbye and that I love you sweetheart” I told him that I loved him and to go to his rest and be at peace. He died 2 days later with his children around him, they had travelled from South Africa, New Zealand, Libya and Brazil to be with their beloved dad.
I am sorry for the long post, I have tried to shorten it, I didn’t attend his funeral, he lived too far away and my health would not allow me to go. Instead, our friend held a service/mass for him, it started at the same time as our John’s funeral, we had a bunch of white roses on the altar for a wonderful Yorkshire man.

Hi Mary
Please dont feel guilty about it. I am certain that you didnt ask him because likely you were being considerate of his pride and didnt want to over-step. If he needed it, he would have asked or hinted. Also, he had other options including all of his children. I am sorry you are feeling down today and surely miss your brother.
Ell

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Thank you, Ell, your reply is really appreciated.

Hi Mary,
It is horrible going over everything about regrets and guilty feelings, it eats us up and there’s nothing we can do about it . At the time, that was your decision, and we all wish we should of done things differently. Your brother knew you loved him, and he loved you, try and remember the happy times, life wouldn’t be normal if we didn’t have guilt and regrets, life is never perfect.
Thinking of you xx

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Thank you dear Steph. x x

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