Brother's death eating away at me
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04-11-2014, 05:55 AM
RE: Brother's death eating away at me
You've known it's coming for a long time. When we're in situations that, whatever the context may be, we know we will have to deal with death, our minds go through a numbing process. The pain comes regardless because we can still empathize with those around us.

Beyond that I can't add much to the advice already given except:
1: Don't blame yourself. You made a decision based on what you thought was best (letting him rest). Given what you knew at the time, that was a good decision. Don't judge yourself based on hindsight bias. It was his deteriorating health that killed him.
2. The best way to get past pain, whether your own feelings of loss or guilt or your feelings of empathy towards others, is to stay busy and focused. Get on with your ambitions, even if it's the last thing you feel like doing right now.

Also... If you do have a certain inherent lack of emotion in situations you feel you shouldn't, don't hate yourself for it. I've been down that road before, and the only advice I can give is that making due with what you've got is just as important in regards to your psychological disposition as it is to your intellectual or physical capabilities. We didn't get to choose the minds we were born with.

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04-11-2014, 06:54 AM
RE: Brother's death eating away at me
Your situation is heart-breaking. Talking with a grief counselor is your best hope of coming to terms with your feelings.

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04-11-2014, 07:01 AM
RE: Brother's death eating away at me
What everybody already said. Blaming yourself is normal and it will take time to work through the emotions; don't try to bury them. Talk to a grief counselor and to your family and friends.

I've heard good things about groups like Grief Beyond Belief which helps people find ways to deal with grief without the religious trappings.

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04-11-2014, 07:16 AM
RE: Brother's death eating away at me
I feel with you. Grief is a very, very strange thing to go through. It ebbs and rises and takes control. It is seemingly totally irrational, and you get swept up in emotions you never thought possible for you.

There are various stages of grief, and they get jumbled and each person has them but in a different flavor and sequence.

The one that is trapping you at the time it seems is anger - but you have no one to blame so you blame yourself. You do realize that it is irrational to think that you should have been alarmed by a thump and jumped into action? Imagine you had gone through your life reacting to every thump like someone was going to die. Not rational, is it? Not even possible, you would have been a total wreck.

Your brother did not die because you were not alarmed by a thump. Your brother died because he was very ill, and had he lived , he would be facing much torture, I know, my mom had kidney failure. It is not something anyone wants to live with. My mom got so bad that she refused treatment so she could die. Your brother was spared that.

The second thing that plagues you is that you think your reaction is crazy and you are crazy. You are not. Everyone who grieves deeply thinks that. Everything you feel and think right now is not only perfectly normal but also necessary to cope. Whether you are numb or agitated, your mind is just trying to cope and resolve things. Numb is good. Agitated is good. You feel these things for a reason, they balance things out in the long run.

I am not so much in favor of grief counselors, the knowledge they can get from text books is limited. But groups are great for this. If you can find a local grieving group - go for it. Seeing others who are going through the same thing is extremely helpful in understanding yourself. You can also look for an online group...

Mainly, you need to just let it all flow. If tears well up, let them. If you feel angry, be so. It's not crazy, you are not crazy, and the more you allow it to sweep you up, the faster it shall pass. If you suppress it, it will just come back. You need to release it to let it go.

It will hit you in waves, just when you think you are all better it will hit again. But, it will do so with less frequency and force as you go. Each episode allows you to let go a bit more, whether you can feel that at the time or not.

There are no short cuts here. One of the hard spots is acknowledging your helplessness - you could not prevent his death, and you can't prevent your pain. It's a bitter pill to swallow.

Trust yourself, trust that your mind has the capacity to sort this for you if you let it. That can be very difficult for us rational people, it flies in the face of rationality. We want facts to rebuke feelings. Facts are good, such as the fact that you could not possibly have responded to every bump in the night (or day) to prevent your brother's death, it would have been insane. But knowing the facts will not stop the grieving process. There is no escaping it, it hits when and how it wants and there is not a damn thing you can do about it.

Grieving is not about your brother. It's all about you, your role in his death (real or imagined), the void in your life (regular interactions are missing) and your acceptance of how you feel.

What happened to your brother sucks big time. Having a life time of dealing with his health issues sucks big time. Being dead does not suck - being dead is neutral, it is nothing. This is the part that causes people to believe in heaven - all the suffering is gone. That is the kernel of truth behind the delusions of religion. It is the truth whether you spin stories around it or not.

Anyway, everything you are going through is normal, thousands of people are going through it as we speak. It's just a taboo to talk about, few people ever do.

Find a grief group and you will have an easier time of it - you will still have to go through the grieving process but it will help with the acceptance and handling of it.

To sum it up - you are not at fault, if it still helps to blame someone, blame the hospital. You are not crazy - what you are going through is normal and necessary for your sanity. Let it flow, and it will go away. Don't worry, he will never go away, he occupied a section of your brain and he will continue to do so.

If you want to talk, feel free to PM me....Heart

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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04-11-2014, 07:21 AM
RE: Brother's death eating away at me
Firstly, I want to commend you for being able to tell us what you're going through. That isn't easy to do! And that shows a lot of strength. I'm really proud of you!

My brother passed when he was 13 back in 2003. He was sick his whole life and was in and out of hospitals. I felt grief, guilt, anger, and self hatred after he died. For a long time I didn't want to stop grieving for him, because was scared that if the pain stopped I would forget him. More than 10 years later I remember him better than ever and I know now that I'll never forget him. My brother has helped shape who I am. I won't tell you that I know what you're going through, because one persons grief can't be compared to another, but I will say that time will make it better if you take care of yourself. You'll always miss him, but the pain does lessen.

I agree with DLJ, that as time goes on you'll be able to focus on your brothers legacy. He sounds like he was an amazing person.

I would also advice some professional help. I wish I would've done that when I was grieving. Please don't hesitate to vent or anything here on the forum too. That's what the forum is here for.

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Their thoughts are someone else's opinions,
their lives a mimicry,
their passions a quotation."
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