Monday, April 4, 2016

Losing My Brother

I've been off line for awhile, dealing with some health challenges. Thought I would be back last week, and then (as so often happens) life intervened in my plans.

Last Thursday, on the final day of March, my brother Doug, died suddenly at the age of sixty when an aortic enlargement (that he did not know he had) burst. These enlargements run in the family and can be monitored if they are known- I have one, my father had one, both discovered by tests for other medical conditions.

Doug and I were only sporadically in touch over the years, but we'd had a number of phone conversations more recently when our parents were both diagnosed with Alzheimer's. He was often preoccupied with how he was going to die. Doug had been an alcoholic since he was a teenager and was beginning to show signs of alcohol-induced Alzheimer's. He was not interested in giving up alcohol, and I accepted that this was his choice. He was however worried that he would be incapacitated by Alzheimer's and linger long after he wanted to be here. In this, the death he had was mercifully quick and without suffering.

My brother and I lived very different lives- but, of course, we shared our beginnings. Here we are at Easter in 1960- I was five and he was four, with our baskets of chocolate eggs and jelly beans. I look at the face of this boy. . . .and I pray that he is now at peace, without pain or suffering. I remember his innocence, our shared silliness, and. . . . I hold tenderly the girl who could not protect her little brother, and the boy who bore the brunt of our father's woundedness. Like all of us, he did the best he could. May he feel held in love now. ~Oriah


8 comments:

  1. I'm very sorry for your loss. May he rest in peace.

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  2. I'm very sorry for your loss. Alcoholism is a terrible disease. My ex-husband died about a year ago from an alcohol-related problem and, although I had divorced him, I still loved him. There was so much for him to offer the world.....but his pain consumed him. I hope your brother found the peace he deserves.

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    1. Thank you Alma. Addiction can rob us of those we love even before they have passed on.

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  3. I'm so sorry for you, thank you for sharing the cute photo. It is such a pity how innocent children's lives are damaged by the way life goes. And may you feel held in love as well, Oriah!

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    1. Thank you Nora- and yes, children are so vulnerable and often parents are unconscious of the wounds they carry and act out. (Writing that gave me a sad smile, as I realize we usually say children "act out"- but they are not the only ones.)

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  4. So much love being sent to you, dear Oriah.

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