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Trying to deal with my feelings honestly

Sunday, April 07, 2013

I really don't know how to write this blog but somehow I feel like I want to. The past week has been all over the boards with regards to feelings and generally being overwhelmed with all that I have to do.

My brother has died as many of you know. Thank you so much for your supportive comments and goodies. To know that I have good Spark friends out there means very much to me. It has been of a great help to me in the past week to think of you all and allow my self even to have little conversations in my head with you!

The brother that passed away was my younger one...the troubled one. He was found on April 1 by my parents upon their return from their winter break in the south. There is no official report yet as to the cause of his death but most likely it was an alcohol overdose. There is also a question as to how long he had been gone since they were away for over a month and had lost contact with him at the end of February. I think this is causing a lot of guilt on their part...wondering if they should have tried to do something when he stopped answering his phone. The reality is though that on many many occasions he had dropped communications with them and disappeared or checked him self into a rehab so they just assumed that is was what happened. He was 42, not a child.

Admittedly we all knew it was a possibility always was. When they told me several weeks ago that he was missing I knew that he could have passed away...and I knew that we would not know until my parents returned from their trip...on April 1.

I have been trying to let myself just be...trying not to tell myself how to feel or how to act. This is a very difficult thing for me and those connected with my family. He was my brother and of course his passing never should have happened. He should have valued life and relished in all of the chances that my parents gave him. He should have taken it seriously when he was told how badly ravaged his body was by alcohol. He should have realized how important he was to my parents, as any child should be, and done what he could for them if he couldn't do it for himself. But he was unable to and here we are...saddened by a life lost. Saddened by a life wasted.

I feel for my parents the most. No one should have to go through what they did...what they are still going thorough. He died as he lived...leaving a wake of chaos and mess for others for sort through and deal with. My mother feels the need to keep reminding people that we are all coming together to remember him and that this is a solemn occasion. My father is hurt the most I think because he gave up so much FOR him and kept on blindly believing in him.

I was the first one to give up ON him. I walked away out of sheer self preservation. I would have been very happy for him to change and yet I knew that I was powerless to help.

I feel like I am not ready to go back and yet of course I have to. I am not sure if I am strong enough. Am I strong enough? I keep trying to figure out how I will react when he says all of those weird things to me...and then I remember he will not be there. I try to figure out just the right thing to wear and I keep checking my roots for grey so he can't be cruel...then I remember he won't be there. I hope he won't try and bring me down in front of my children...try to belittle me in their eyes...and then I remember...he is really gone. That is WHY I am going. It all makes me feel slightly crazy.

No more crazy drama from him. No more unbelievable stories of insanity to add to the list. No more worrying if it is OK that he will do something that will show up on the news. He is gone. I was watching Person of Interest the other day and one of the new women characters spouted out that she had an Access Two Personality Disorder, the same thing that my brother is said to have had. Some writer must have come across it somewhere and thought it sounded cool. Nonsense. Trust me... this kind of person is not cool and could never care about people in the way that they portray this woman. I know.

How do you remember someone like that? I am struggling with that. I have noticed that people seem to be thinking about him when he was a child. I guess. I was there when he was a child too though and it wasn't all that great. Funny stories? Not so much. Not for me anyway...I was told by my parents my whole life that I have no sense of humor. I did not find his brand of humor funny. People back home thought I hated him but once I got away it was not true. I felt sad for him, but mostly I don't even think that is what you talk about when remembering someone. I plan on focusing on my parents and being of comfort where I can to them. One thing I can say in all honesty is that he is at peace now. My parents can live a far more peaceful life too.

In some ways I am happy to be going back to the US. I realized that my children will be able to meet my favorite uncle who showers them with gifts at the holidays and on their birthdays even though he has never met them in person. Actually lots of relatives have never met my children...Liam for sure since he has never been there. We are staying for a week so I can bring them to the Twin Cities and to the town where Quintessa was born to see the house that was once her home. There will be good things about being there for sure. Patrick will spend his 40th birthday in the State that he most feels is home.

The week has been stressful and chaotic and messy for sure...sadness, anger, excitement and apprehension all mixed together. I am just trying to move what I have to do and let myself feel what ever it is I need to feel to get through this. If I don't get a chance to blog again before I get back I want to thank you, my Spark Friends for all of your constant support and for "listening" to me. If it were possible and I was in the States for longer I would be wanting to meet my wonderful Spark friends for real. emoticon

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Oh Ronna,
    I am so sincerely sorry for your loss. I know I am late on reading this, but know that I am thinking of you.
    1751 days ago
    I am so far behind, but I'm embarrassed that I'm this far behind on catching up with you. I should never be too busy for friends! My heart goes out to you and your parents. It's tough to face the loss of a sibling, and tough emoticon to sort through your feelings. My prayers continue to be with you.

    1768 days ago
    Dear Ronna,
    I am so very sorry. I am just catching up on my blog reading and saw this terrible news. My heart goes out to you and your parents. I understand how difficult it is to lose someone you love. I also understand (more than I can write here) exactly how the rest of the story plays into your emotions.
    Please know that I am thinking of you and I am praying for all of you.
    Sending you my love,
    1774 days ago
    Dear Ronna,

    So sorry I am just getting this news now.Such a tragedy for you and your family to deal with. I can feel your pain and understand all the different feelings you are dealing with. As I too need to say goodbye to Bobby as he could not recognize the love that was around him to choose to get better. It was killing me everyday never knowing what would happen next. Sending strength to you and your family, dear friend. Patrick will be there for you. Lean on him for his strength. I am so glad you did not come over seas alone.

    Hugs - Kristan
    1776 days ago

    I don't know what to say. But I do hope that your trip to the Midwest would be turned for good for you, your kids and Patrick. Blessings ~ Karen
    1780 days ago
    Oh my. I saw your update last week about flying with the kids and figured you were heading back to the States - I wish it didn't have to be for such a sad occasion! I think you have the right mindset for it. Focus on the good and fun things.
    And on another note...wouldn't surprise me a bit if you had PTSD from the horrible treatment dealt you by your brother.
    1781 days ago

    SO sorry to hear about this! Thank you for sharing your story so eloquently as you always do, I just wish there was something I could say or do to help. You and your family are in my thoughts.
    1781 days ago
    So sorry again about what has happened.

    I'm glad that members of your family will get to spend time with your children, though. That last time my dad's side of the family all got together was at my grandfather's funeral. And even though the circumstances in which we all met were sad, I have a lot of good memories of spending time with my uncles.

    Safe travels to all of you.
    1782 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/8/2013 4:17:26 PM
    I lost my youngest brother this way. Sending hugs.
    1782 days ago
    Now I can understand what a roller coaster of emotions you are going through. Wow, that's a challenging situation to have grown up with. Have a safe trip and take care of yourself. emoticon emoticon
    1783 days ago
    Oh Ronna, where I have I been???? I didn't know! Glad I read this tonight. I have SO much I could say that I wonder if it would be helpful, but let me see if I can summarize - it is okay for your mind to wander and think so much. But when you see people, listen well to them -- for understanding -- love well on them (you can never go wrong with this -- wise love is powerful) and then ask good questions ( you will learn so much!) So much of our life becomes focused on ourselves but when we take time to focus on others, if even for a season, we will discover more about ourselves than we ever thought possible, and what we discover will be healing, helpful. All that said, grieving is not an easy or standard process, everyday is a challenge, but YOU ARE STRONG and will know how to love, cry, and remember rightly.

    Anyway, my thoughts and prayers are with you!! Sure wish we would be close enough to connect, but we can consider ourselves closer than before....
    1783 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/7/2013 11:23:02 PM
    I'm sorry for your loss - I lost my next younger brother 13 years ago, and I remember the difficult adjustment period. I still think of him, so I suspect you will never forget him. I hope that if you make it past the gathering by a year or so, you will adapt, at least to some extent. It's too bad that he ended this way, but he was the only person who could change his ways, so you should not feel guilty.

    I hope you have a good visit with all the relatives around your home area.
    1783 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/7/2013 3:04:40 PM
    I am so sorry to hear of your brother's death. You & your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
    1783 days ago
    You ask if you are strong enough. YOU ARE! You will get through this. Try not to feel "guilty" either. The chaos was real and your reaction to it was normal and healthy. Now you have to take care of yourself and your children. Remember the advice they give you on the airplane: secure your own breathing apparatus before assisting others! Just the fact that you are standing there will be enough for your parents, I'm sure. You don't have to do anything special. Stay strong!
    p.s. And you most certainly do have a sense of humor!
    1783 days ago
    Ronna I did not realize your brother had died. I am so sorry. I am sure it brings back a lot of emotions. Just remember to comfort yourself as well as your parents. It will be nice for your children to meet your family. Travel safe.
    1783 days ago

    Ronna, that was a very moving blog. It's difficult to remember the good in a person when all that person did was make us miserable. He was your brother, you have to love him, but you didn't have to like him. He certainly made life difficult for himself and other people.

    As I've learned from my fellow spark members, we can't change people. We can only change how we react to them.

    Your brother is at peace. I hope you're able to find some peace too. Take care of yourself. We're here whenever you need us.


    1783 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/7/2013 8:01:40 AM
    1783 days ago
    Beautifully written blog I must say. I think the plan to try to just let yourself feel what it feels is huge. I remember just one funeral, off huh? I stayed strong for whomever. I did consistently tell myself that I could break at such and such a time. Weird huh? I allowed myself to fall to pieces. But it somehow made me feel better knowing that after this event or that time, I would give myself some alone time to break.

    It sounds like you will be in a position where you will hear a lot you may not agree with. If it gets to be too much, I tell my husband, hear whaa whaa wha whaa in your head, just like on peanuts when the teacher talks to Charlie Brown or whomever.

    YOU ARE STRONG and I think most importantly, you are healthy. You have made good decisions and have ensured that you have a healthy, happy family. I hope you find comfort in that. You did good for you and your family.

    I think continually focusing on his being in peace right now is so very good too. I hope you are able to get in some good time with the kids and healthy family members. Fit in what you can. Just being away and together for the kids will be a lot in itself.

    Remember it is not only OK to take care of you, it is important. Very important. So, you do what you need to do when you are here to take care of you. This is presenting a good example to your kids. Others may want things (I have no idea what) but you make your decisions and take care of you and your immediate family. It is ok if everyone does not understand all your choices or whatever. You know you are healthy and that is what life is all about.

    Opps, am I writing some of this to myself. I truly did not mean to do that. I think it will go fine, one step at a time. Just want you to remember these things if you hit a bump in the road. I will be thinking of you. Know that.
    1783 days ago
    Oh, Ronna, what a difficult time this must be for you. I don't really know what to say, but I am here to "listen." I am glad to see you have found some positives in going back to the US. Take good care of yourself.
    1783 days ago
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