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Reflecting on How Far I've Come
Grief Journey, Losing a Sibling

Reflecting on How Far I’ve Come

Hi everyone,

It’s been a while since I posted on the forum, or come to read, respond, and encourage others. It’s been over 8 years since my precious brother Paul left. I miss him so very much and think of him every single day. I’ve been reflecting on how far I’ve come when I thought early on that I would not be able to exist and function in the next hour. My plan was to no longer participate in life. I was just existing – waiting for the moment I would die.

Well, life has forced itself upon me. We’ve remained very close as a family and I’ve walked beside my sister-in-law all this time. My heart has ached so badly for her. She lost the love of her life and her children lost a fantastic dad. She recently introduced us to a very nice man who she’s dating. He is crazy about her. She told him that Paul’s family is her family. We’re a package deal and he doesn’t seem intimidated by that. She thought she would never truly be happy again and now she is. 

I’m happy for her. She is a wonderful person who deserves to be loved and adored. But am I happy? I don’t know. Many days I’m surprised to hear myself laugh or sing along to music that I couldn’t listen to at all for a good year or so.

My precious brother, Paul.

One thing I vowed I’d never do again was dance because that’s something my brother and I, along with our other siblings, would do at every family celebration. You couldn’t get us off the dance floor. Everyone else is back on the dance floor and they want me to join them, but I just can’t. I was telling this to a friend the other day and she said because it’s the one thing you can control.

I don’t want anyone who’s not as far along to think they will always be completely crippled by this terrible thing that has happened. You will always carry your loved one in your heart and the sadness of this great loss, but there are so many ways to ease back into life.

I started by being out in nature. Enjoying the presence of a young child. Finding ways to show compassion and understanding for others who are going through not only this type of loss but so many of life’s other challenges and hardships.

I feel like I’m just rambling now, but I want all of you to know that I’m happy and sad most days and I’m so thankful for this community of people who understand all the above.

Forever Changed

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Wisdom From Our Community

"Wisdom From Our Community" posts originally appeared on the Alliance of Hope Forum for Suicide Loss Survivors and are reprinted with the permission of the authors. Our online forum transcends time and distance, offering a culture of kindness, hope, and understanding to people who have lost loved ones to suicide. Operating like a 24/7 support group, our forum is supervised by a mental health professional and moderated by a trained team of loss survivors. Members can read and comment, share their stories, and connect with other suicide loss survivors.Read More »