Author Topic: Only Sibling, Removal of Life Support  (Read 4563 times)

alpine73

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Only Sibling, Removal of Life Support
« on: March 08, 2010, 09:29:11 PM »
My only sibling, my older brother passed away 3 months and 4 days ago.

We do not live near each other, however have always remained close. After Thanksgiving of 2009 my brother had a cardiac arrest. From the point that he was found until the point we removed life support and he passed away he never woke up. This was very sudden as he was only 39, one month shy of 40. My parents and I flew to be by his side after the cardiac arrest. This was probably the point when I realized he was never going to wake up again. When we got the news from the doctor about my brother not having any brain activity it hit us like a ton of bricks. We couldn't function after that. I am not sure how we came to finally make the decision to remove the life support. The process up to that point was like a foggy nightmare...but then it was worse. He survived for a traumatic 11 hours. He passed away with our parents there, and me holding his hand. Everytime I close my eyes that is what I see. Everytime I put my head down on a pillow I remember sleeping with my head on his bed holding his hand as his body seizured.  I remember him dying. I know we did the right thing. I know I did the right thing being there, but I don't know how to deal with the feelings. My family (besides my husband who has 5 siblings living) lives far away. My parents are dealing with their own grief of losing their only son, and I am trying to be strong for them when I do talk to them. No one seems to understand. When will the whole thing stop replaying in my mind?

Anade

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Re: Only Sibling, Removal of Life Support
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2010, 10:27:06 AM »
 I'm sorry for your loss. My younger brother died 10 mos ago yesterday. I still cant seem to believe its true. I lived 1500 miles away from my family. On May 10th 2009, my phone rings I answer my sister said Hugo is dead Hugo died, At that moment my world stopped. I couldnt talk I couldnt even cry, I felt so empty inside It hurt so much and to this day Only god knows how much it still hurts.

browneyedgirl

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Re: Only Sibling, Removal of Life Support
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2010, 12:43:25 PM »
Dear Alpine73 ~

I am so sorry that you lost your brother.  I, too, lost my older brother.  How awful for you to have to go though that, but I know that he was glad that you were there.  Yes, you did do the right thing, but I am sure it will take some time before you TRULY believe it.  My heart goes out to you and your family.  Perhaps you could seek counseling if that works for you to help deal with the pain.  And, I know at times it does seem like no one understands, but EVERYONE here is is here for you.  Like a family...we are all on this journey together.

Dear Anade ~  

I am so sorry for the loss of your brother as well.  All three of us lost our brothers, it's a deep saddness that I am so sorry we have to endure.  I, too, remember when my step mother called me and said "Tony's dead".  I dropped to my knees and cried and cried and cried.  That day changed me forever.  I am not the same person that I was almost one year ago.  Yes, you're right, only you and God truly know what pain invades your heart.  

You have both come to the right place, there are so many people here who care, who can comfort and offer a kind supportive word if you need it.  

Please, both of you take care of yourselves and one day at a time.  
« Last Edit: March 11, 2010, 04:13:38 PM by browneyedgirl »
Tony Repola 07/20/66 03/29/09
I know you are fishing in the oceans and streams of heaven

ScottW

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Re: Only Sibling, Removal of Life Support
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2010, 02:35:23 PM »
Dear Alpine, I just want to reiterate what everyone has said and that I am so so sorry that you have to go through this.  I am glad you found this site.  This is one place where everyone really 'get' it (I lost my sister November '08; she too was one month short of her 40th Birthday). 

I'm sure that everyone wishes they could tell you that "it will get better" . . . but a lot of us (including me) haven't gotten ther yet.  Just 'be how you need to be' and never ever judge yourself for any feelings that might come about. 

Yours is a unique experience in that you, yourself, experienced not only the trauma of losing a loved one but 'true trauma' having actually 'been there'.  I know that it is not for everyone, but professional therapy has helped me . . . to - at least - get by.  I don't know if you've thought of that for yourself but I think that a (good) therapist could help with the trauma portion of you being there at the end.

Take Care,
Scott

clc100

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Re: Only Sibling, Removal of Life Support
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2010, 01:36:11 PM »
I too lost my brother this past year, 4 days after his 50th birthday of cardiac arrest. It is helpful to come a place like this to realize you are not alone in your grief and that there are others who understand. I keep recommending the book "The Empty Room: Understand Sibling Loss", which is a book I found about 3 months after my brother died. It really made me feel validated in my grief. I also saw a therapist because I needed somewhere to go and the pain and grief be all about me. You made the statement about your parent's grief and I felt the same way but you have lost someone you have spent an entire lifespan with and that is a pain all its own.

alpine73

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Re: Only Sibling, Removal of Life Support
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2010, 12:35:34 AM »
Thank you all so much for the comforting & understanding words. I feel better knowing that there is a network out here for sibling loss. It does help to hear that others have the same feelings. I don't feel like life will ever be the same, nor will I ever be the person I once was. The only way I can describe the way I feel everyday is that I feel like I have been shaken to the core. I will absolutely find the book that was mentioned and am currently reaching out to a grief therapist. Thank you all.

laurenE

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Re: Only Sibling, Removal of Life Support
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2010, 06:39:19 PM »
You will more than likely keep playing the scene over and over for a few months to a year.   I cant remember how long it took me to stop the replays,  but it was an issue for me as well. I'm pretty sure by the time the year anniversary rolled around,  it had stopped.   The pain was still there though.  Just not as intense and not constant like it is at the very beginning.

keep coming here to get support.  It helps to know we are not alone in our grief.

alpine73

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Re: Only Sibling, Removal of Life Support
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2010, 12:37:20 AM »
I still come here a lot and read although I don't reply often.  I have finally found a counselor to see which I truly believe will help. I feel that the only people who do understand are the people that have been through this. Thank you all for the support. It truly is appreciated and needed.