Coping with the loss of someone we love, is unfortunately something we all have to experience. The older we get the more people we lose. Loving someone is what causes such pain when they die, without love there would be no pain. If someone you know dies, but you’re not emotionally attached to them, you may feel sad, but you don’t experience the whole pain of grief.
When you lose someone you love, whether it is sudden or expected, it causes pain within in us, like no other. The sense of loss is all consuming. Getting your brain to except that’s it, they’ve gone, and you can never see or speak to them again is such a challenge. My brain frequently tells me to contact my brother, I pick up my phone to call him, the sadness hitting me like a brick in the face, when I remember he can never answer his phone again.
It’s been just over a year since I lost my brother, I cry most days. The time I spend in my car commuting daily is the hardest, a memory will pop in my head, or a song comes on and reminds me of him. Memories that used to make me smile, now makes tears roll down my checks and my chest and stomach hurt. They say that time is a great healer, I don’t believe there will be enough time to heal this pain, I miss his laugh, his voice, his sense of fun and his love of life. His zest for life, still makes me feel guilty, how I am alive and wasting my life, while his was stolen when he was so young.
Life goes on
I had a couple of weeks off, when my brother died. The days pass by, all you can think about is the person who has died, nothing else exists. Just the pain of their departure. When I was about to return to work, I started to have health checks on my heart – I have a heart condition – resulting in a month off. When I finally returned to work, I was convinced I was ready.
It was the first journey to work, I realised how even my music choices had changed, so many songs I could no longer bear to hear. It felt wrong, that I was returning to my ordinary life, when I shouldn’t really be here. I arrived at work, totally unprepared for my colleagues wanting to offer me sympathy, didn’t they know I wasn’t able to cope with this? For the first time I used the words I have lost my brother, regardless of how much I hate that saying – like I left him somewhere – I still haven’t found the words that feel comfortable as they form in my head. I suppose it’s because more than anything, I don’t want it to be true.
I felt like a was floating, rather than walking through the office. I could see and hear people but didn’t feel I was actually with them. Because these people looked like they usually did, acted the same as ever. I was so confused how these people appeared to be acting like nothing had changed. I wanted to scream at them “what is wrong with you? why are you acting like nothing has changed? Everything has changed FOREVER!! My brother has gone!!”
After a year, I can finally talk about my brother without crying, not always but sometimes.
Getting through the firsts
When you finally start to pick yourself up and get on with your life, along comes a list of firsts, you have to get yourself through. Three months after my brother died, I had to get through the first Christmas without him. Christmas has always felt like a sad lonely time to me, this year it just didn’t exist, I didn’t have the energy to even pretend to be happy. Having had surgery Christmas eve, it was easy for me to stay home alone and treat it like any other day.
Two weeks after Christmas, it would have been his 45th birthday, it was heart breaking knowing he would never be 45, he would be stuck at 44 forever. The emotions bubble to the surface, it feels like the pain of losing him all over again. How is he not here? How can he be gone? We should be celebrating not living in this hell.
Six months after he died, it was my birthday. It was incredibly difficult knowing I was 47 and he would never get to this age. How is it fair? Why am I still alive? If I had died, he would have been saved, I wished I could turn back time and save my brother. It is pointless wanting something you can never have, but that doesn’t stop the yearning.
The first anniversary
The worst first was the anniversary of his death. A month before, I started to feel so sad, I also felt so much anger. Why had he been taken from us, when there are so many cruel and evil people walking this earth? Why did I have to lose the one family member I truly loved. I fell to pieces on the anniversary of his collapse. Luckily, I had arranged to see my counsellor twice this week, I knew how much I was going to struggle. I had booked the week off work, giving me the space to do whatever it was that I needed to do. The pain and sadness were just as intense as the day he collapsed, the day he died.