Sibling-less-ness. This word I use to describe my feelings of loneliness, my missing my siblings, my alone-ness. It’s the feeling which causes me to cry or being jealous of my friends and co-workers who have their siblings to see and talk to. My feelings that my siblings-in-law are poor replacements for my brothers.

I lost my older brother Jimmy on Feb 25, 1999 age 18 when I was only 11 years old. This was a shock and something that effected my life for years. While his death helped to shape me into who I am, it no effects me in my life on a regular basis. Even when he was alive we had a rocky relationship.

I lost my younger brother John on Jan 27, 2013. He was 20 and I was 25. He was a post-deployment suicide. That military knock on the door at 6 am was one of the hardest things I will probably ever experience. I feel part of the worst of it was standing with my mom and asking what happened hearing that he had been found hanging in his room by his roommate and mom’s response “NO THAT’S NOT POSSIBLE BECAUSE I FOUND HIS BROTHER HANGING DOWN THERE” as she pointed down the stairs.

This started my alone-ness, my sibling-less-ness. I had already dreaded the question “How many siblings do you have?” sometimes it was 2 sometimes just 1 brother. A couple of weeks ago it was “I have 2 brothers in heaven” Today with my school-age day care class (25 kids ages 5-12), I told them “I have 2 brothers but am an only child”


One thought on “Sibling-less-ness

  1. Elizabeth, I am so sorry for your losses. I can only imagine how difficult this is for you. I lost one brother and that has been life-changing enough. I too am now an only child and can understand feeling lost and confused on how to answer the types of questions you mentioned above. I am glad to see that you are reaching out for resources and help. If you have not already found them, I would suggest going to survivors of suicide support groups. You can find them through this web site: I found tremendous help when going to these support groups after John died. Please keep in touch and let us know if you have any questions. Sending lots of healing thoughts your way…

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