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Mon Feb 12, 2018, 10:59 PM

40 years ago today, my life changed forever.

My 23 year old younger brother, and only sibling, died unexpectedly in a scuba diving adventure gone wrong. Probably a cold-induced cardiac arrhythmia. He was going to do some underwater photography under the ice of one of the many lakes in western upstate New York.

I was at work, in the pediatric clinic of the small base hospital on Yokota Air Base west of Tokyo. I had only been there about 3 weeks. I got a call from the Red Cross. I went back to NY for about 10 days, and then returned to Japan. The military community is typically quite supportive in times of difficulty, and that was certainly true for this devastating experience. Nonetheless, it was a very difficult time, because, although people could relate abstractly to the loss of a sibling, no one there had known my brother, so I could not share memories with anyone. Essentially, I had to grieve by myself. I did not realize, for a very long time afterward, years and years, how atypical that was. Most commonly, one has family and long term friends around to lean on.

I have found, as the years go by, that this early loss of my brother almost negates my early childhood in a strange way, as I have no one to share childhood memories with. Sometimes it almost feels as if I imagined him. I refer to it as a biological loneliness.

He had no children. I'm not an aunt. We didn't live near any relatives - neither of my parents, nor any of their siblings had stayed in their home towns - aunts, uncles and cousins lived in Maryland, Virginia, Minnesota, and Arizona. We saw each other, at best, once a year. It wasn't until moving to the greater Chicago area in 1994 that I was around people with large extended families that are conveniently nearby. I envy that.

My soon-to-be 96 year old mom is still here, and sharp as a tack. We live 12 hours apart. I hope she makes it to 100.

One of the things that you discover when you lose a sibling is what a large club you have become a member of. It's not something people talk about a lot, and it's a silent injury in many ways, because you don't walk around with a visible scar on your face, or a cast, or a crutch, so people don't know you are not the same person you used to be.

Please know that I'm not discussing this here tonight out of a need for pity or consolation. I'm not an unhappy person, and there has been much in life that has been and still is joyful. It just somehow seemed right to acknowledge the 40 year mark of the loss of my beloved brother, Tom. I still miss him.

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Reply 40 years ago today, my life changed forever. (Original post)
3catwoman3 Feb 2018 OP
cilla4progress Feb 2018 #1
3catwoman3 Feb 2018 #10
cilla4progress Feb 2018 #11
kag Feb 2018 #54
MaryMagdaline Feb 2018 #2
yardwork Feb 2018 #3
lapfog_1 Feb 2018 #4
3catwoman3 Feb 2018 #63
Phoenix61 Feb 2018 #5
Jarqui Feb 2018 #34
3catwoman3 Feb 2018 #39
Jarqui Feb 2018 #45
stopwastingmymoney Feb 2018 #6
Skittles Feb 2018 #7
3catwoman3 Feb 2018 #15
Skittles Feb 2018 #16
mcar Feb 2018 #8
shenmue Feb 2018 #9
mehrrh Feb 2018 #12
CaliforniaPeggy Feb 2018 #13
kimbutgar Feb 2018 #14
sprinkleeninow Feb 2018 #17
panader0 Feb 2018 #18
RestoreAmerica2020 Feb 2018 #19
3catwoman3 Feb 2018 #22
FM123 Feb 2018 #20
mopinko Feb 2018 #21
onlyadream Feb 2018 #23
Grammy23 Feb 2018 #24
Honeycombe8 Feb 2018 #25
3catwoman3 Feb 2018 #30
Honeycombe8 Feb 2018 #31
volstork Feb 2018 #26
PoindexterOglethorpe Feb 2018 #27
pnwmom Feb 2018 #28
PatrickforO Feb 2018 #29
colorado_ufo Feb 2018 #32
MLAA Feb 2018 #33
Angry Dragon Feb 2018 #35
LoveMyCali Feb 2018 #36
Historic NY Feb 2018 #37
3catwoman3 Feb 2018 #40
mfcorey1 Feb 2018 #38
Nonhlanhla Feb 2018 #41
SHRED Feb 2018 #42
mountain grammy Feb 2018 #43
Basic LA Feb 2018 #44
malaise Feb 2018 #46
jimlup Feb 2018 #47
Vinca Feb 2018 #48
Freedomofspeech Feb 2018 #49
Hortensis Feb 2018 #50
DarthDem Feb 2018 #51
TalenaGor Feb 2018 #52
msdogi Feb 2018 #53
ailsagirl Feb 2018 #55
Collimator Feb 2018 #56
3catwoman3 Feb 2018 #58
Collimator Feb 2018 #67
CaptainTruth Feb 2018 #57
bluescribbler Feb 2018 #59
peacebuzzard Feb 2018 #60
Ellen Forradalom Feb 2018 #61
3catwoman3 Feb 2018 #62
Ellen Forradalom Feb 2018 #65
Ilsa Feb 2018 #64
Collimator Feb 2018 #66
Ilsa Feb 2018 #68

Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 11:04 PM

1. Blessings to you

Cat woman. Such a wonderful share. What a sharp cut to the heart. I imagine this is very painful. Thank you for honoring your brother here with us.

How old were you at the time?

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Response to cilla4progress (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 11:21 PM

10. I was 26.

He was only 23. Our birthdays were only 12 days apart - April 24th for me, and May 5th for him. Altho we did not believe in astrology, we got a kick out of both being under the Taurus sign because my mom used to regularly comment on how stubborn we both were, which is supposed to be characteristic if the sign of the bull.

The sharpness of the pain softens, of course, but it is odd how something like that kind of loss still sometimes feels as if it happened only seconds ago, and forever ago, all at the same time.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 11:22 PM

11. Oh my,

I am just so terribly sorry for your loss.

Hugs.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 01:33 PM

54. My two kids are both gemini.

Their birthdays are only 3 days apart (plus two years) and they are, at 19 and 21, each other's best friends. They share an apartment in Denver. I would be destroyed if anything ever happened to either of them, but I know that it would probably affect the other one even more. I don't dwell on that, but I would be lying if I said it hadn't crossed my mind in those dark moments when such thoughts invade my mind.

Catwoman, I am so sorry for your loss. I know that even forty years later it still tugs at your heart. (I was 16 when my mom died of cancer 38 years ago.) Thank you for sharing your story, and I will be sending thoughts of love and strength your way today.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 11:07 PM

2. Beautiful post

i can't really formulate everything your post brings forth, but thank you.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 11:10 PM

3. I honor your memory of your brother Tom.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 11:12 PM

4. 44 years ago this august for me

my brother...

ironically I was to graduate high school the following May and go to the Naval Academy and ( hopefully ) join as a LTJG in the submarine service (at the time my brother died, he was a LT serving in the Navy after graduating from University of Kansas ROTC program. So my mother nix'd me going to Annapolis... my life changed drastically.

I'm so sorry for your loss... even these many years later, it still is like a hole in your life that you simply don't know how to fill.

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Response to lapfog_1 (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 10:19 PM

63. Very understandable that your mom wanted to...

...minimize risk to you, but how disappointed you must have been. I hope you found a fulfilling career path in something else.

About a year ago, my sons told me that were planning to brush up on the high school Spanish. I was briefly impressed, thinking they wanted to enhance their job marketability. Guess again. They want to go run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain! I told them they were out of their minds, and asked that they please not do so whhile I am still on the planet so I do not have to worry about them getting gored to death. I truly hope they do not pursue this.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 11:13 PM

5. I think when we lose someone we love we miss

them forever. It definitely makes it harder when you have no one to share your memories of them with. I'm so sorry for your loss but happy to hear your mom is still with us and doing well.

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Response to Phoenix61 (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 12:44 AM

34. I think so too.

In my case, it was a best friend from age 3. We were next door neighbors. Schoolmates through college. Always, if we were not living together, we were only minutes away. We did everything together. I was closer to him than my own brother, parents or sisters.

He's now been dead longer than he was alive. But it remains the worst thing that ever happened to me. Maybe compared to others, if that is the worst, I seem lucky. It was a massive, horrendous loss. I cannot get over it. You just learn to live with it as best as you can.

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Response to Jarqui (Reply #34)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 01:12 AM

39. It sounds as if he was your...

...brother in spirit.

One never "gets over" losses such as these, and don't let anyone tell you that you should. We are forever changed by them, and we eventually adapt, as best we can, to what I have heard described as your "new normal."

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Reply #39)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 08:24 AM

45. It felt like we were connected right down to our souls

we were so very close. There was nothing we could not talk about. That was 'normal' because for all my childhood and young adult memory, that is the way that it was. We also went through most of those youthful years naively feeling invulnerable - that nobody or nothing could hurt us. Then a sudden and very harsh reality showed up. It was a shock.

There was, as you say, no choice but to adjust to a "new normal" : life without him.

I was very blessed to have a fantastic father, three awesome siblings who I still have, a number of other very good, close and compassionate friends who I still have today to help me get through it. It took many, many years. And I had just met my wife who had not met him but I found out later, went to his grave a few times to try to sort things out - to ease my pain. I needed all of them. In that regard, I was very lucky to have that sort of support to adapt to the "new normal" or I probably would have fallen well short of where I am today, suffered a much more difficult time adapting to the "new normal" and/or not survived.

You did not have all of that - the other siblings for example - so adapting to the "new normal" would be more difficult for you. I'm so sorry for that. But I do not think we ever completely adapt either. I still think about him many, many times. The hole in our heart is there forever. Other things in our lives distract us from it. Some of the void gets fills in with the love from others but never near enough or close to all of it. Some people never get over such losses and I don't know if I'll ever understand fully why except I know it is never going to happen with me. I'm going to miss him forever.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 11:15 PM

6. Beautifully written

Siblings are special, we say theyíre the ones who best understand where you came from.

Iím so sorry you lost your brother

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 11:15 PM

7. I can sympathize, catwoman

 

when my brother who was 11 months older than me passed, there was no one around who knew him.....I have long lived thousands of miles away from family

may I ask, was he your only sibling?

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Response to Skittles (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 11:26 PM

15. Sadly, yes.

It would have sucked anyway, but it sucks even more for there to be no one else with whom you share that unique bond. I always feel sad when I read about brothers and sisters who are estranged from one another, especially for what sometimes seems like rather trivial reasons. Such a waste.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 11:30 PM

16. I hear you

 

my brother died of alcoholism and my mother had some harsh words about that - eventually I told her, do not EVER mention him to me again

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 11:17 PM

8. Such a powerful story

Catwoman!

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 11:21 PM

9. My brother died in 1991

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 11:23 PM

12. So sorry

You've written beautifully about a beloved lost brother and how still affects you 40 years later.
It's so sad that it happened, but I hope your poignant thoughts here will add a level of comfort, as you cherish his memory.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 11:23 PM

13. My dear 3catwoman...

I'm so sorry that you lost your brother. Biological loneliness is a very good way to describe your feelings.

Thank you for telling us your story, and about Tom. It brings him to life.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 11:24 PM

14. I can not imagine your pain but your post was so moving.

To lose a sibling at such a young age. The memories that could have been never happened. But the love and memories you kept for 40 years is testamount to your strength.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 11:33 PM

17. "Blessed Be His Memory Eternal." 🕯

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 11:40 PM

18. Wow--fine writing. Fine tribute.

"biological loneliness"--I have felt it too.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 11:41 PM

19. Thank you for sharing...loss of a loved one is always

...difficult, he was so young...yet, doing what he enjoyed, living everyday to the fullest. I'm reminded of things that I enjoy, yet keep putting off, things to complete my bucket list, maybe take that trip to Spain, Portugal, and Moracco before travelling gets to difficult. Maybe I'll start with unplugging the toxicity of the occupant in the white house, and the wretched gop, for now thats at the top of my list--to take care of myself. We often care for others that we need to stop..if only for a time and care for our well being.

Also, how blessed you are to have your mother near you. Take care. Paz

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Response to RestoreAmerica2020 (Reply #19)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 11:48 PM

22. Near me in spirit, but we live...

...almost 700 miles apart.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 11:44 PM

20. I am so sorry for your loss. How generous of you to share your story with us, thank you.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 11:48 PM

21. i consider myself so lucky

that out of 7 kids, i lost my first sibling late last year, at 63. she was 65 and had fought ms for several decades.
i cant imagine the impact had any one of the many close calls that happened when i was younger had ended tragically. our family was pretty dysfunctional, but we kids had each other. most of us got into some kind of trouble or another. illnesses and accidents. shady friends and stupid choices.
but somehow we all hung together.
and in spite of challenges and issues over the past several years, we all came together to give patti a proper send-off just a couple weeks ago.

(((hugs))) honey.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 11:51 PM

23. I just recently started to think about the possibility of not having my sister on earth with me

And itís a jarring thought. We are 13 months apart and she is my oldest friend. She now lives 6 hours away, but we FaceTime regularly (thank God for FaceTime, itís like sheís with me visiting).

Iím sorry that you lost you brother, and in such an isolated way. How horrible.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Mon Feb 12, 2018, 11:57 PM

24. Feb. 6th was the 15th year since my younger sister died suddenly at age 52.

As you said, it creates a void in your life that is hard to explain to those who have not experienced the loss. I felt like I had a huge, black hole blown through my heart. It was a feeling of great emptiness and longing for things to be whole again. Time has done its job to fill that ugly hole with memories of happy times. I suppose I will never be okay with the idea that she missed so many things, including seeing her 11 year old daughter grow up to be an awesome young woman who is happily married and teaches 4th grade. But I can remember her now without having intense pain where there should be happiness and fond memories.

It sounds as if you have dealt with your loss, grieved and replaced the pain with the good memories, much as I did. I know you are not here seeking attention or having a pity party. Just acknowledging this special person in your life who will ALWAYS have a place in your memory that no one else can fill. It is hard on these anniversaries not to think of what might have been, if only.....

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 12:03 AM

25. A moving post.

I've never heard it described quite that way. I understand what you mean.

As we get older, of course, more and more of us join the club. But I am one of five, so I will probably not be the last one standing. I will not experience that not being able to reminisce with someone who shares the memories. I've had a taste of it, though, at times. It's odd, knowing that no one you're in contact with remembers the things you do, the grandparents, the experiences.

12 hours from your mother is a long way. Have you thought of moving closer to her? Does she have someone in her town to help look after her?

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #25)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 12:21 AM

30. I am still working. I'm a pediatric nurse...

...practitioner, and have been with my practice for 21 years. Not quite ready to retire. My mom knows I would welcome her moving to where I am, but she is as stubborn as she liked to claim my brother and I were, and simply won't hear of it.

She often comments on how stubborn my 2 sons are. I tell her I know where it came from.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Reply #30)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 12:26 AM

31. Oh, I can understand her not wanting to move.

It's very traumatic. She'd have to get rid of belongings, she's set with her doctors, her friends, she knows where things are, has a routine. I just went through a move. It was much harder than when I was young. Horrible. It's also very expensive.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 12:04 AM

26. Sending you love and support, 3catwoman3!

I came very close to losing my only sibling (also a brother) to addiction. Thankfully, he is in recovery, but I have thought about what it would mean to be the only sibling left-- the only one who remembered the things and people of our shared childhood.

I say this not to negate your feelings, since I have not suffered your loss, but to let you know that I can see what you mean about that particular loneliness.

Here's to your brother, and to hoping that you hold warm memories of the time you shared. All the best to you.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 12:14 AM

27. Thank you so much for sharing that.

I'm one of six, and my older sister died last April at the age of 70. She'd been in ill health so it wasn't that unexpected, and even though I miss her she had a full life of a decent length. She was the first of us to go, and since we are all obviously getting older, it's just a matter of time before we all leave, one by one. But we've all had lives of a decent length thus far.

Being able to share memories is such an important part of having or being a sibling. Only children haven't a clue, even though they have good and full lives of their own.

I'm sending you a PM.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 12:15 AM

28. I am so sorry for your loss. Here's to your brother, and all he meant to you,

and all he still means to you.

And here's to your 96 year old mother.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 12:20 AM

29. Then I too will acknowledge him.

I will write his name.

Tom. Once he lived on this plane. Now he lives in memory.

I'm sorry for your loss.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 12:34 AM

32. The Society of Sorrow

Is a very large Club indeed. However each person in that club has the experience of feeling alone at times. Please know that there are many people who care and Share what you are feeling. You are a living Memorial to your brother, and I know how proud he would be that you are thinking of him today.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 12:41 AM

33. Tom 💞❤️🌞☀️💫

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 12:50 AM

35. Just a KICK

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 12:59 AM

36. I am also a member of the club

Today marks the eighth anniversary of losing my sister Vicki to a stroke brought on by a previously un-diagnosed and very rare blood disease. She was only 49.She, my sister Suzanne and I always joked that together we made one kick-ass person. Now it's as if a third of me has been ripped away.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 01:02 AM

37. "Silent injury"......

I know what you mean, my world turned upside down in July when I lost my twin. We weathered the loss of both of our parent by the time we were 12. The pool of close friends and nearby relatives has dwindled to a trickle. I tried to keep busy. The hardest part is not being able to pickup the phone and hassle him or just share news or BS. It is not easy. It leaves a big hole.

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Response to Historic NY (Reply #37)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 01:17 AM

40. I suspect the loss of a twin...

...must be that much harder. I send you wishes for strength and serenity. Even after 40 years, there are times when I find myself thinking, "Oh, I must remember to tell Tom about this."

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 01:05 AM

38. The powerful connection with a sibling means love never dies. Those

memories you will share, in depth one day, will always be a part of you.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 01:47 AM

41. Thoughts to you

Although 40 years is a long time, death is a permanent loss that time can only soften, not heal. I honor your brother's memory with you.

My mother's oldest brother died at the age of 37 in 1980, and I know my mom misses him still, 38 years later. With her I saw how deeply a sibling's death can cut.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 01:55 AM

42. 💕

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 01:57 AM

43. 10 years this June

since my sister died. My only sibliing. It is a large club.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 02:30 AM

44. It's a shock you never get over.

My 24-yr-old kid brother drowned in Spain while backpacking in Europe about 40 yrs ago. My thoughts go out to you.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 08:57 AM

46. Thank you for this lovely post

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 09:02 AM

47. Thank you for sharing this

I have not experienced those emotions. My brothers and I are all stable members of our generation. We spend much of our time worrying about the generation following us. I have many nieces and nephews and I am now a grandfather. We can't choose our life's story nor our place in the web of life.

I send condolences and empathy.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 09:05 AM

48. Interesting post. I lost my mother when I was 8 and I have similar feelings.

It was 60 years ago in January and I wish I had known her. The memories I have are bits and pieces that flash back from time to time, but I don't remember things like her voice or her smell. It's like one of the most important chapters in the book is missing.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 09:10 AM

49. I was 15 when my brother was killed in a plane crash on his way to Vietnam.

My life was forever changed....I still cry about him. My boys never knew their funny, crazy handsome Uncle Joe. 80 young men were killed that day when the plane went down at Clark Air Force base. None of their names appear on the Vietnam Wall because they never made it Vietnam.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 09:17 AM

50. Fine post, thank you. "loss of my brother almost negates my early childhood"

I never had a sister or brother growing up, so what happened to you is a new thought to me. My husband is also an only child. Although that didn't cause losses we could feel, we both specifically wanted to give our children each other and never considered having only one.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 09:27 AM

51. What a Moving Story


You told it beautifully and I'm glad you posted it. RIP, Tom.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 10:15 AM

52. hugs to you.... you're not alone

I lost a brother in 1985...he was 13, I was 16...he was hiking with his church group and fell off a cliff...

Loss like that is hard at any age for sure...

Ty for sharing your story, my thoughts are with you

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 01:01 PM

53. Thanks for sharing

My very long time friend just lost her baby brother to an accident, and it has hit her harder than the death of her older brother, her mom and her dad. She is pretty sure her grief will last forever. She too will miss him forever

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 03:22 PM

55. I'm very sorry to hear of the loss of your brother

The years keep speeding by but our love and loyalty never falters.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 04:19 PM

56. Thank you.

My heart is with you. I'm welling up a little as I type. One of my brothers passed away two days before his 53rd birthday.

I was stunned when I heard the news because he wasn't the oldest. I kept repeating his name as a question, expecting my other brother who called to tell me to say, "No, I meant Dad." (They had the same name and my father was suffering with Alzheimer's, so that would not have been such a shock.)

Days later, at the funeral home, I and the same older brother who called with the news were sharing a quiet moment. My brother was talking about things in that way when you need to sort them through. At one point he said, "I lost a brother and a job in the same week."

Hearing those words from him, "I lost a brother", really struck me. I realized that our brother's death effected him in a different way. As the only girl, I imagine that the lost of a sister would have touched me differently than it would have the boys in the family.

This is not to diminish your particular lost, 3catwoman3. As you pointed out, you and you brother only had each other to play out the sibling experience of sharing, fighting, having fun, and complaining about your parents.

I have often joked that the worst part about being an only child must be not having someone to complain about your parents with.

To those who point out adult sibling estrangments, my heart is heavy with your feelings as well. There were five of us. The four boys and then me--the youngest and long awaited girl. I could do an entire thesis on gender issues here, but that's not my point right now.

We were definitely dysfunctional in that we were the family that the neighbors called the cops on. Sadly, unlike some siblings in troubled homes, we didn't bond to support each other.

The one brother, the third boy, is gone. The oldest brother is a user/sociopath. The remaining two brothers are estranged and non-communicado. Each one has some legitmate points, and -- as it always is in these situations-- each one believes that the other is the problem.

Reading the OP with its tender reverence for a shared childhood, it breaks my heart anew that my brothers don't have each other.

Sometimes I think that I would give anything to see them healed, both in themselves and in their relationship.

You are healed, 3catwoman3, because there is beauty and respect in your loss. You will ache from time to time, and you can feel the scar tissue on your soul. But, essentially, you are whole, because your brother is there in your heart. A part of him lives on in you. He would rather have that, than knowing that a part of you had died with him.

It's sad that you didn't have anyone to share childhood memories with when you first experienced this lost, but it's not too late.

Tell Tom's stories now. Your childhood is not lost if you tell the stories. We will listen to them, here, of course. But once you start writing them down, you may find that they can be shared to heal other hearts as well.

It doesn't matter if the stories aren't earth-shakingly dramatic. Simple tales are profound in their own way.

Please consider this. And thank you again. Goddess bless Tom, wherever he is, whatever he may have become. I'm sort of kidding when I write that because I believe in rationalism. But I'm sort of not kidding, because I believe that "magic" lives in our spirits and our connection to the Universe--including our connection to one another.

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Response to Collimator (Reply #56)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 07:24 PM

58. Thank you for this very thoughtful reply.

Perhaps it would not make any difference, but if you think it might possibly help, please feel free to show this thread to your brothers.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Reply #58)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 09:33 AM

67. I wish!

One of them voted for Trump. I wouldn't dare show him this site. (It doesn't take a lot to get him ticked.)

And again, I feel for your loss, especially since your and your brother clearly cherished each other.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 07:15 PM

57. Thank you for sharing, & I hope sharing helped to bring some peace.


Can I comment on this? "this early loss of my brother almost negates my early childhood in a strange way, as I have no one to share childhood memories with"

Nothing can ever negate your early childhood, it happened, it was real, & it will always be there for you. And you have the entire DU community to share your childhood memories with, anytime you want to.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 07:40 PM

59. Sorry for your loss

I still have my 3 siblings around me, but I still miss my wife, who passed away more than 8 years ago. I feel your pain.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 08:06 PM

60. Dear 3catwoman3, I feel the irreplaceable loss of your magnificent brother,

All the time that has passed,
Itís the longing that stays.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 09:54 PM

61. My brother has been gone for 28 years

It doesn't seem possible.

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Response to Ellen Forradalom (Reply #61)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 10:11 PM

62. I know what you mean.

The early agony softens as the decades go by, but to this day, any time I hear someone say, "I'm going to do XYZ with my brother," a little part of me thinks, "Gee, I wish I could still do/say that."

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Reply #62)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 10:56 PM

65. My son was deprived of an uncle

Long before he was born.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 10:48 PM

64. Most people don't think about this, but

Our siblings are the people we are supposed to know the longest in our lives. Not our parents, children, or even spouses.

Your post was beautiful. I gave you a heart because you shared yours with us.

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Response to Ilsa (Reply #64)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 09:29 AM

66. Important point.

I often joke with my BFF that she and her twin brother have known each other for even longer than their mother has known them. We also speculated that people who shared a womb might have a different perspective on the idea of God, because they have never really been alone in the universe. (That probably sounds like a weird thought; I guess you had to be there. )

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Response to Collimator (Reply #66)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 02:49 PM

68. Thank you for sharing that.

I've never thought about the experience of twins.

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