Brother's death eating away at me
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03-11-2014, 09:53 PM
Brother's death eating away at me
I have had a life changing experience within the past 6 months of my life that I usually do not share with anyone (even those on the internet). But, in order for you to fully understand what is currently happening within my life, it is best that I offer the knowledge of this occurrence to you.

My brother had battled kidney failure since birth, and, at 24 years of age, he has passed away.

This occurred in June during my summer vacation, and I found him. When I had found him, he was not dead, but rather, he was seizing with his face swollen (as he had bitten his tongue due to the seizures). I had left him there, and I had not checked on him for the entire day (which was not unusual mind you, for he often slept during most of the day) until my mother had told me to do so. I had immediately called 911, and they arrived with lightning speed, but, if I may use a cliche, it felt like hours. At one point, in fact (2 minutes after the call), I began to tell the operator to make them come quicker. The ambulance operators came to my house and took my brother to the hospital.

In retrospect, I had heard a bump in the morning, which I know attribute to my brother's fall (I thought nothing of it at the time). This sound occurred in the morning (around 10 AM), and I found him at 6 PM. This possibility perpetually eats at my mind. How could I be so fucking stupid? My brother had told me that he often fell in the morning when waking up. Why the fuck didn't I care to check on him? He had most likely seized for the entire day, while I was playing video games, eating pizza, sleeping, reading, and doing other pointless shit.

His seizures came as a result of high blood pressure (we later found), so I can imagine that he fell early in the morning (when I heard the bump) due to his blood pressure.

My brother was in the hospital for many days, and, at one point was expected to make a full recovery. But, my brother had to be intubated in order for him to breathe (for his tongue was swollen), and this tube inserted down his throat gave way to an infection, giving way to sepsis, leading his heart to fail multiple times. By the end of his series of heart failures his mind was no longer with him, and, if not for his life support system, he would not have been alive. Knowing he was dead, I felt nothing. I did cry, but only because my family members were saddened by the occurrence, which did not effect me in a traditionally grievous way. My father had consulted me in order to plan a course of action, and I explained to my father that my brother (his son) had already died, and that my father should request to have the life support system turned off.

We had no funeral, but a reception at the local funeral home. Seeing the pictures of me and my older brother killed me, and is eating at me while writing this post currently. Seeing my brother transform from a child to an adult, and realizing that his life was full of hospital visits and pain saddens me deeply. I still feel like I'm in that very reception, holding my mothers hand as she cries silently, while my uncle reads through the bible. In order to make this speech, my uncle had asked me about my brother's beliefs. My brother, it turns out, was the one who originally challenged my belief in a higher power, if briefly (though I never truly believed), and later paved the way for my acceptance of all peoples (he advocated all religious rights). Thus, I explained to my uncle that my brother did not necessarily believe in a god or an afterlife, and my uncle respectfully catered his speech in my brother's memory (though he did advocate a specific religion within his speech).

I had begun to feel anger towards myself, and I still feel this anger within me though I am, for the most part, calm. Frequently (when I am alone), I have extremely short outbursts of anger, often yelling/laughing at myself when I see my reflection and cursing at myself when frustrated. Sometimes I even doubt myself when concerning whether I even care or not, which is perhaps the most insulting intrusive thought I have had regarding this situation, but there are many more intrusive thoughts that regard this situation.

I wish I could fully express the hatred that I feel for myself currently, but it is so deep within me that I am unable to bring it to the surface in order to express it in words.

Sorry for any errors in grammar or spelling.
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03-11-2014, 10:03 PM
RE: Brother's death eating away at me
It is obvious this is tearing your apart. Please, please seek professional help. You are carrying too much guilt to handle this alone.
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03-11-2014, 10:06 PM
RE: Brother's death eating away at me
Thank you for sharing.

I have no words of consolation. Platitudes don't help.

Thinking about "What if... ?" is a necessary but thankfully temporary reaction.

Later, and more productively, you'll be able to focus on your brother's legacy.

In fact, you already are doing that. His 'Free-thinking' perspective has changed you.

No doubt he changed others too by simply existing.

I feel for you.

I does get easier.

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03-11-2014, 10:11 PM
RE: Brother's death eating away at me
I have to agree with the above. You need more than a message board can give you. And the sooner you start the better.

Hindsight is always 20/20 but you need to hear that from someone who can tell you what to do.

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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03-11-2014, 10:37 PM
RE: Brother's death eating away at me
Please find a grief counselor. If your doctor doesn't know of one perhaps someone at a local hospital can help provide you with some names.

They are amazing in helping people deal with the loss of a loved one.

Be good to yourself.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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03-11-2014, 10:42 PM
RE: Brother's death eating away at me
My sister passed away that same month your brother went to the hospital, she at the age of 29 from cancer. While not the same situation as yours, I can identify with your description of feeling numb to the events. I still have moments where I can't contain my emotions about my sister's death--as do my parents and my brother. So if my experience is any guide, this has to be normal to still be having difficulties with your brothers' death.

My words may not be enough to comfort you, but here they are. Your brother was gravely ill. That is what killed him. Your brother's complications in the hospital were not your fault. He probably knew that you cared for him and would likely feel sad about your current feelings of guilt over his death. You feel guilty, but I do not assign guilt to you as an outside observer. You said yourself that you thought nothing of the bump you heard in the morning until after the fact, meaning you did not consciously decide to ignore your brother or withhold acting to attempt saving him.

My only advice is that if you can find a counselor, family member, or loved one to talk through these issues surrounding your brother's death, you should try to do that.
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03-11-2014, 11:22 PM
RE: Brother's death eating away at me
I had a friend who was wiped out on an LA freeway. I always had this strange feeling he was too good to be true, and that something bad would happen to him, and he would die young, as no one could be that funny, or cute, or amazing. He warmed up a room whenever he walked in. He made me laugh so hard I cried. One of my best friends now is the lady who stopped and cradled him, during his last minutes, waiting for the ambulance. I cried for months whenever I thought of him. Now, as weird as it sounds, I'm actually glad he went quickly the way he did, and never had to experience getting old, or sick, or any of the difficult or disappointing things life can bring. I know it's a rationalization, but it's the truth.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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03-11-2014, 11:50 PM
RE: Brother's death eating away at me
What everyone else said especially about seeing a grief counselor.

Hug


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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04-11-2014, 12:22 AM
RE: Brother's death eating away at me
(03-11-2014 11:50 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  What everyone else said especially about seeing a grief counselor.

Hug

This, and I wish you the best.
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04-11-2014, 02:22 AM
RE: Brother's death eating away at me
My sister died a few years ago and my mother also felt in hindsight that it could have been prevented if she and my Dad had acted sooner to take her to hospital. It's a very heavy burden to bear. Think of it like this: what would your brother want for you? If he's anything like my sister he would not want you to live your life feeling sad. He would want you to be happy and live life to the full. I learned from my sister's death that death comes completely unexpectedly. You must tell people that you love them *now*, you must enjoy life *now*. Doing so honours your loved one's memory too, I believe.

Go see a counsellor, as others have said, they will help more than we can. But don't blame yourself for something that could have happened to anyone - accidents do happen and sometimes they have terrible consequences, and though you trace the cause of your brother's death to yourself actually there was a whole chain of causes and ultimately even you recognize that it was the intubation and sepsis that killed him, so to blame yourself is... too much. Unfortunately in a grief state like you currently are, this line of reasoning may not seem very convincing, which is why you need a counsellor to help you take a step back and see things from a more neutral viewpoint.

Also be aware that with the passage of time the pain does lessen.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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