My Favorite Brother

I’ve been thinking a lot about my brother. Not the one who entered rehab Friday (of course, I’m thinking about him, too), but my brother who died in April. Cirrhosis. Hepatitis. When we did the intervention on Friday, I kept looking at his son. I wondered if he felt angry that we hadn’t intervened with his father. I looked at his sadness, his tears, and felt so terribly guilty that I had not done this for his father. Was he thinking we didn’t care as much about his father? We didn’t love his father as much?

I remember being told that he was getting worse, that my parents had fired him from the family business hoping to spur him into action. It had been effective in the past. But this time, he’d given up. His fiancé fell and hit her head (intoxicated at my niece’s wedding), and three weeks later she went into a coma. She never regained consciousness and died two months later. Because she was still drinking, none of us thought she was good for him. And then she died, and he dealt with his grief the only way he knew how.

Why didn’t we get him help? Why didn’t we at least try to intervene? Why was this time, this brother, different?

His sons likely are asking these questions. I need to figure out the answers so I can talk with them about it. They need to know their father didn’t matter less. They need to know I didn’t love their father less.

 

About Unconfirmed Bachelorette

Unconfirmed Bachelorette, a/k/a Ella, is a 50-something-year-old lawyer who wishes fervently she could retire from the practice of law and write full time. Never-married-childfree Ella resides in Austin, Texas with her three fluffy black rescue cats.
This entry was posted in Alcoholism, Death of a sibling, Grief, Intervention, Love and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to My Favorite Brother

  1. This is heartbreaking. Good luck with your talks with your nephews – it won’t be easy.

    Like

  2. free penny press says:

    You did then what you knew how to do… I have no doubt you will find the right words and that your nephews can find some healing in them.

    Like

    • mindofshoo says:

      Perhaps it was because the one brother died that you went as far as intervening for the other? Its a tough conversation. I am sure the words will come to you at the right time.

      Like

      • Shoo, the only reason intervention came to mind is because my therapist suggested it when I was telling her how sick he’d gotten. I was taken aback I hadn’t thought of it before. We all sat there, watching, pleading, imploring, and couldn’t get through. We felt helpless. We thought there was nothing left to do. I’m grateful we were wrong.

        Like

    • You’re right, Lynne. I didn’t think about intervention. I’d seen him go through rehab a number if times, and I guess I thought if it was that bad, he’d go again. This time was different. But I didn’t know that.

      Like

  3. You learn from experience. I agree, you would have responded to brother number 1 differently if you had an experience previously that told hou what to expect. Now that you know there might be a way to save your brother, you are doing it with the second brother. I find myself thinking that way about my parents. I learned so much dealing with mom’s last illness that I will do things differently for dad. It doesn’t mean I loved mom less, just that I learned from that experience.

    Like

  4. gertmcqueen says:

    These are difficult times for you! Ask yourself why you are the ‘mountain’ of strength for your family? Siblings are all different, with different needs wants and desires…there’s no ‘one size/solution’ fits all.

    You seem to be at some kind of gateway…meditate on it…don’t get stuck in asking ‘why’…there is no why..only an opening and a closing.
    OM

    Like

  5. That’s heartbreaking. Good luck and all the best to the year ahead!

    Like

  6. pangur bahn says:

    I’m sorry. It’s not your fault.

    I’ve personally learned that other people have free will, and that there is little I can do to counteract that; there still is no mind control. I’ve found that all I can do is change my actions and my attitudes, as much as that completely sucks, the feeling of being so completely helpless.

    Like

  7. Such a sad, touching post. I am so sorry for your loss and the entire family’s loss.

    Like

  8. Gail says:

    We both are living with pain, regret, addictions. I hope you find the words and courage to reach out to your nephew. I’m sure he’d appreciate it. Hugs to you.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s