Author Topic: Lost my brother 2 weeks ago  (Read 6481 times)


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Lost my brother 2 weeks ago
« on: May 17, 2009, 02:56:47 PM »
I am very new to this.  Don't know where to begin.  I lost my younger brother 2 weeks ago after a very short time of being diagnosed with cancer.   My brother was diagnosed with cancer on April 8, 2009 and died on May 4, 2009.  He rarely missed a day of work. prior to this diagnosis.  He also has a 9 year old son (my nephew) whom I dearly love and had to tell him that his Daddy was dying.

When my brother found out he had less than a month to live (pancreatic, liver, lung and brain cancer) he began his bucket list.  The main item was to go to Disney World.  We were in Disney 3 weeks ago.  My brother, nephew, mom and myself all went and spent a week there.  He was so sick, but he never complained.  He only had 1 1/2 good days.  The other were so wretching with pain.  The moment he stepped off the plane, he began to shut down and preparing to die.  He did what he wanted.  My mother, aunt and I took care of him until his last breathe.  I am 47 and he is 43.  I never imagined that I would have to take care of my brother at such a young age.

Did I mention that I am a Hospice nurse?  Well that is my profession.  I have to go back to work tomorrow and don't know if I can.  Did I also mention that my work would not give me FMLA to take care of my brother.  I was a few weeks short of being there 1 year, therefore, not eligible.  They placed me in the position of having to choose between taking care of my brother or coming back to work.  I told them I was not leaving my brother.  This took place 1 week before he died.  I knew the signs and symptoms of transitioning to dying, so I knew he was dying.   I am so resentful towards them. A Hospice of all things.  That is what we do, care for the dying and terminally ill.   I don't know if I can continue to be a hospice nurse.  They agreed to extend my absence for 2 additional weeks but they are posting my job.  So I am actively looking for a job. And I have to go back tomorrow. 

I cry or am near tears all the time.  I have to make myself get up and go.  I kept everything bottled in until I was able to get back home.  I felt like I "had to be strong" for my mom.  I think she is coping much better than me.  I don't want to worry her so I act like all is well.  I am a Christian, but I am having a hard time praying.  I know that is not right cause I know that my brother is with Jesus. 

Please what am I to do?  I feel guilty for living.  My mom and I decided that rather us receive the grief counseling, we wanted my nephew to have as much support as possible.  He lives in another town, so we had to pick who would get that support of grief counseling from Hospice.

Thank you for reading this.  I am not sure what I am searching for.  I want ME back.  I want to resume my life, but how do I do that?  I am dreading going to work.  I don't like the relationship I am in.  I just want to go away and never return.  Am I being normal?   ARRRGGGGGHHHH......

Again, Thank you.


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Re: Lost my brother 2 weeks ago
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2009, 08:16:06 PM »
You are so very normal- and I bet most here would agree. Sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you in your pain...                                                                                                                    Please write again. Terri


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Re: Lost my brother 2 weeks ago
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2009, 11:24:31 PM »
I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. I can't imagine how painful it must have been to go through this ordeal. You are a very strong and stable person for being there for him and for your nephew. I think that you shouldn't go back to your job. They weren't there for you when you needed them, so they shouldn't expect anything less. You need some "you" time.  Try reading, taking a walk, exercising...doing normal stuff really helped me. But you do need some time to yourself, and you shouldn't have to worry about going to work. Work is supposed to support you in the bad times.  I lost my older sister on January 21st.  There is no magical pill that makes everything go away, but I can say with confidence that every passing day, the painfulness lessens, and each new day is a step back to normalcy. Just stay strong, and know that we are here to support you and going through the same thing. Take care.

My Darling Sister....I will never meet anyone in my entire life as strong and brave as you. I will regret the rest of my life never telling you that.

Sad Eyes

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Re: Lost my brother 2 weeks ago
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2009, 11:43:25 AM »
So very sorry for your loss.  I'm sure in some ways your knowledge as a hospice nurse made your sorrow even more painful.  You knew the signs and were looking for them.  I have lost several loved ones to cancer and know that hospice nurses are angels here on earth.  I was shocked to read that your employers were not more supportative of you during your time of need, I'm sorry that you had to endure that heartache as well.  Be kind to yourself and don't try to rush yourself back to "normal" life.  I have found that the so called normal in our lives changes after the loss of a loved one. With time your good memories of your brother will over shadow the memories of his bout with cancer.  Take care!!!

Sad Eyes

P. S.  You sound like a wonderful aunt!!!  Thank goodness your nephew has you. When the time is right each of you will bring healing to the other.


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Re: Lost my brother 2 weeks ago
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2009, 04:07:59 PM »
I am so very sorry for your loss.

It is hard to imagine that hospice would be so insensitive to its own employees... this is just so wrong.

There is a christian based support called griefshare.  You might check out the website at  It might be a good resource for you and/or your mother.

I lost one of my brother's 13 years ago in June and my youngest son 6 years ago in July.  I understand wanting to be strong for your mom but remember you need to grieve as well.  Being the strong one can take all your energy... I know I've been there.

You are so early on this journey and everything you've said is so normal.  I hope that you will keep coming and posting.  It certainly has helped me and I hope it will you.

Hold on tight,
Philip's mom forever
Bruce's sister


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Re: Lost my brother 2 weeks ago
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2009, 09:11:39 AM »
so sorry for your loss.  I, too, lost my brother.  It is so very hard.  My brother left behind a son, 8 years old.  hard to explain that Daddy is gone....

thoughts, and prayers for you. 
Tony Repola 07/20/66 03/29/09
I know you are fishing in the oceans and streams of heaven