Rogue Wave

I am approaching the 5 year anniversary of my younger brothers death. Last year was bearable…but this year is so much worse again. The pandemic isolation is not helping I am sure. I had a dream with him a few nights ago, the first since about a week after we lost him. Lost is such a vague word when talking about death. But in this case totally appropriate. He was last seen jumping off a dock into the freezing Hudson River. His body was never found. He’s not buried anywhere. No one wrote him an obituary or got him a memorial stone to put anywhere. (No one, being my parents or his wife) The apparent reason being…with no body, he’s not legally considered dead for 7 years. I don’t personally see that as a reason to take zero action in those areas. We are all pretty open about it…but not open enough for my liking. His children don’t know what really happened and we can’t speak too loudly for fear of them hearing the truth. They were 5 and 7 when it happened…sure you can’t tell them all the details…but I want to shout it from the rooftops to try and help other people and I don’t feel like I can. So I stay silent.
My therapist has been a lifesaver. For a while he kept asking me if I was feeling angry. I wasn’t. I miss him. I love him. He was 7 years younger than me. I remember being an only child. I was so lonely. I prayed every night after I went to bed for a brother or sister and I was so happy when he was born. On top of that, he was everything I wasn’t. He had a light complexion and a light personality. He was SO funny. No one made me laugh as much…except for my husband…who my brother introduced me to.
But I am angry today. I’m angry at him for most likely thinking that I’m tough and I’d be ok. I’m angry at him for ruining our family…even though we “keep it together”. I’m angry for him abandoning me. For making a decision to leave me alone. Leaving me to worry about his 3 kids and wife. To worry and take care of our aging, now broken parents. Ruining what everyone has told me is “the best decade of your life”…and for people telling me this is the best decade of your life. Angry at him for calling to say goodbye. Angry at myself for not knowing what that phone call was. Angry at myself for not taking care of myself over the last few years…eating like crap, gaining weight, not caring about brushing my teeth for days, wearing makeup or resting…basically not taking care of myself like I know I should. Angry at my parents for not saying the word suicide. Angry at my mom for saying she knows what it’s like to lose a sibling. She lost one of many to illness.
I remember, in the beginning of my grief “journey” reading that grief is like a wave. In the beginning the waves just smash over you and you feel like you’re drowning, and as time goes by the waves get farther apart and you begin to be able to catch your breath. I NEVER thought I would see my way through this at all. I never could imagine how I would ever get my life back to any kind of normal. Well, for all of you out there that are just beginning this awful journey…the waves do get father apart. Some days there are rogue waves that come out of nowhere and knock you over. Like today. Still life is ok. It’s just different. The thing that keeps me going is trying to honor my brother my not letting my life get overwhelmed by what he did. Today I’m mad at him and don’t feel like honoring him…but that gives me some kind of comfort too…because that such a normal feeling…being mad at a sibling. I guess we’re just fighting today.

5 thoughts on “Rogue Wave

  1. Thank you for sharing with us. This made me tear up. My heart is with you. My older brother and only sibling left us just about 20 years ago.
    A lot of what you wrote I feel too. I wish I could give you a hug. Please know I am thinking of you and understand some of what you are feeling. 💜

  2. I relate to many parts of this. I lost my only sibling, my younger brother a year ago and it still doesn’t quite seem real. I’ve not got to real anger yet, I’m just sad. Thank you for posting this xx

  3. ❤!! Year 4 of missing my brother. Thank you for sharing. It’s ups and downs for sure. Pain is real. 😥

  4. Thank you so much for posting this! It just gave me a huge epiphany with my twin sis taking her life 9 months ago. I found a letter for her 3 boys in her google docs. Nothing for me. Not to sound selfish, I just haven’t understood why she didn’t say goodbye to me…we were joined at the hip for 39 years! What you said though…not realizing it was the last phone call..She DID say goodbye to me! She video called me a few hours before she did it. We talked on the phone multiple times a day, rarely video chatted. She was saying her goodbye. No wonder she emphasized “love you” so much when we hung up. So thankful those were our last words. Thank you so much! I hope time has eased the pain some for you. Big hugs and love!

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