A young woman wrote
that she was from another country but living in the US with her American husband. Maria learned her brother had been killed
recently in her country of origin. She was unable to go home for his funeral because she lacked money for travel. Maria couldn’t
get over the feeling that her brother wasn’t dead. She wrote: “He feels alive to me but I am so sad for him. Why
can’t I believe that he is dead? Please help me.”
I am so sorry for the sudden
death of your brother. I can think of several reasons that you believe your brother is still alive but you feel sad for him.
Of course you are sad--he was your brother and you loved him. You are grieving. His death is still so new. It may be hard
for you to believe that he is dead because he was young like yourself. His death is not in the natural order of things.
But, I think it's also possible that your brother still feels alive to you because you did not have a chance to say
good-bye to him or go to his funeral. Without actually attending a memorial service, it is difficult to believe that he is
dead, especially because you have been unable to grieve with your family.
Consider having your own memorial service
for him, even if it is only for you or you and your husband. A special remembrance of your beloved brother might help you
to say good-bye. Can you talk to or write your mother? Are you able to contact other family members or friends who attended
his funeral? Perhaps you can write or call one of them and ask about the details of his memorial service. This might help
you slowly adjust to your loss.
You wrote that your husband is supportive but you are far from home and your family.
This makes your grief even more burdensome because effective grief work is not done alone. The most important thing you can
do right now is to grieve. Grief needs to cry and cry some more, to talk and talk some more, to remember and remember some
more. Surround yourself with people you love and people who love you. Tell your story--often.
You may find comfort
now online with others who grieve or eventually find your way to a grief support group. Your grieving heart will tell you
what you need to do in order to grieve your brother's death and when you need to do it. Listen to it.
visit a web site called Grief Healing and look at the section called
Death of a Sibling or Twin.
You wrote that you lost your brother "by guns." Click here for a link to articles about the special grief of traumatic loss including violent
death. Or, try the online discussion group for grievers because there is comfort in
connecting with others who grieve.
You found your way to The Grieving Heart® for a reason. Maybe you are doing
the very best you can right now. We never know about the divine timing of things. The healing from grief is like a burn: healing
(with scars) does occur but we are never the same again. I am certain that your loved one would want you to enjoy life and
be happy again—but it takes a very long time. Give yourself the time to grieve. You hurt because you love your
brother. You will always love and miss your brother. May he live inside your heart forever.
Wishing you peace and
Death ends a life, but it does not end a relationship.
The Grieving Heart is getting a new home...
Grief has no timetable, but the launch of a new website does: August 1, 2019.
The updated design will be easy to use, secure and mobile-friendly.
visit again. Thank you!
(at) The Grieving Heart (dot) info
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I read and
respond to grief email at the end of each month when I update this site. If you need a more timely response, please visit
a well moderated grief healing discussion group. It is free to use and requires registration to participate. I am not part of this group, but certified
grief counselors are there to help, support and comfort grievers and those who love them. Because the
counselors lost funding for the site, they are grateful for voluntary donations.
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How complicated and individual mending is,
the time required for healing
cannot be measured against any fixed calendar.
Mary Jane Moffat
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