About two and a half months ago I lost my older brother in a tragic car accident. When I heard he had been in an accident, I wasn't shocked. Barrett liked to drive fast and had been in many wrecks before. A friend of my mom's that is part of the Volunteer Ambulance Service in my town came to my door with a cop. They told my mom my brother had been in a serious accident and was being air vacced to a hospital about 25 miles away. The lady drove my mom to the hospital. I was scared, but I knew he would come home. He had to. He always did. I stayed up waiting with my mom's best friend Julie and my younger brother and sister, while I studied for an English test. I remember Julie kept talking to my mom on the phone, and telling us there was no news, and then all the sudden my mom was just on her way home, without my brother. I thought everything must be fine... If he wasn't Ok she would stay there with him... But my 14 year old brother voiced what I knew in my heart was true. "Mom wouldn't come home without Barrett." As she walked in the door, I remember how exhasted and sad she looked. The woman who had come to our door and taken her to the hospital came in with her. My mom took off her sweater and handed it to her, and then broke down as she said, "He didn't make it." That was the most shocking horrifying, terrible moment of my life. It wasn't true. It couldn't be true. It couldn't happen here, not to me! Not to my family.
They say that in movies... "he didn't make it"... not in real life!! My dad was out of town traveling for business and my mom had to call and tell him over the phone. He had no way to get home until the next day.
My little sister was already asleep, so my mom, my younger brother, and I all sobbed together. I have never ever felt so much pain in my entire life. We laid in my mom's bed and wept. I hated seeing all the pain they were in even more than being in the pain that I was and am still in. My little sister woke up in the middle of the night and my mom had to tell her.
I cried myself to sleep in my mom's bed. The next day I woke up thinking, "this has to be a dream, this isn't real", but yet I knew I could never feel pain that real in a dream. For the next few days there were people at our house all the time; we were never alone. His service was beautiful. It gave me some peace. I thought it helped me to say goodbye, but still, almost 3 months later, I find myself overwhelmed with disbeleif that he is really gone.
How do you live with the fact that your brother, your mentor, your protector, your hero, your friend... is never coming back? How do you live everyday seeing your family members break down on a regular basis?
How can you stand to see the pain in everyone's eyes?
How do you deal with your own pain, your own emptiness, while trying to be strong for your family so they don't have to feel like they have to be strong for you? The last thing I want is for anyone in my family to feel like they cant grieve because they have to be strong for someone else. It's like, I wonder when my life will go on, be back to normal...yet i feel like it shouldn't! It should be horrible without my brother, I don't deserve to have a "normal" life without him here. Why him? Why now? He had so much going for him.
Every day I deal with the pain of the loss of my brother. Nobody understands. None of my friends know this kind of pain. Only my family knows how truly hard it is for us even when we are smiling. Even when we seem happy. Our hearts are broken, and everyday we feel the emptiness of the piece that's missing. I know that my brother is freed. He is no longer confined to his body, and his spirit soars free somewhere. He is still here, with all of us, yet his physical presence is missed daily. I only hope that with time it will hurt less. I know that this is not something you get over, just something you learn to live with, and that is what I am trying to do right now... learn to live with it. I would be so grateful to hear from anyone who has gone through something similar. If you are struggling too, hang in there. I know how you feel.