How News of the Loss of a Brother Hits You

By Frances who experienced the loss of her dearly beloved big brother when he was 40 and she was only 23. 

Some people tend to imply that the loss of a brother is not as painful as that of the loss of a parent or a partner, but I beg to disagree. The pain and the void are no different. Losing a brother will be like coming home to an empty house. For the first time, you will miss the annoying sound of his bullying. You will search for the messy clothes scattered on the sofa, or expect him to be snatching your food at any moment.. You will look around and see a peaceful house without his crazy antics, loud laughter, and petty fights, but you know that this was not the peace you wanted. Silence has never been this uncomfortable.

This is how his absence sets in. You lost your best friend and your worst enemy at the same time. You will go into his room, sit on his bed, and hold on to every little thing that still bears his presence. His scent will linger along with the fading memories of all your good times. The pain will creep slowly into your system, and a part of you does not want to believe it yet. He was just here yesterday, calling you funny names and teasing you over the phone. He was just here reminding you that you cannot have a boyfriend unless they beat him at some stupid games. He was just here loving you in a subtle and weird way as every brother does. Who would have thought that he would be gone in a blink of an eye?

Forever.

Woman grieving the loss of a brother

Braving Through Your Brother’s Death

The acceptance will not spread like wildfire. Instead, it will be a slow burn. His death will sink in slowly as if it is just a bad dream and there is still a chance to wake up. You will wrap yourself in memories of the good old days when life was as simple as playing heroes and villains. Your big brother was always your brave knight who would come to save you from monsters and bad guys. You will smile at the memory of him being your real-life hero against all the bullies in school and the jerks who came to break your young heart. And as you go through this painful stage, you have no other wish but for him to come and rescue you.

But you know that it is never going to happen anymore.

You know he is not coming back, so you have to take over his role and save yourself. You will have to endure the harshness of the world without your hero. There will be days that you have to cry alone. There will be victories you will celebrate without being completely happy. There will be good days that would have been better if he was here, ruffling your hair or patting your back.

The pain will be comparable to breaking your leg and losing your crutches, except that this pain has no end. You will fall on your knees and feel helpless because he was always one of your strengths. Your backbone. Your lifeline.

Regrets will then flood your thoughts. You should have been a better sibling. You should have ditched classes and come home to his birthday had you known his years were numbered. You should have appreciated every irritating tease while it lasted and told him how you love him still.

You should have answered his last call to you that you chose to cancel because you were in a bad mood.

And you wish you could turn back time.

Things You Wish Someone Had Told You

But the hardest part is that death does not come in manuals. No one will tell you what lies ahead and what you should do to cope. No one will tell you how to grieve properly and how to heal quickly. Sometimes, there is nothing that you can do but sigh as you stare at the empty seat he used to occupy during family dinners. You wish someone would pull you out of this misery, but you know it does not get any better. You know this will not pass easily. You know that the pain will last with the memories, and somehow, it is a comfort to feel every tingle of it because it reminds you of the life that he had. The yesterdays that you shared.

How to Live On After the Loss of a Brother

Here's what I’d like to say to others who are living with the loss of a brother . . .

Be strong. There will be dark days ahead, but he did not save you from your problems before, only for you to give up after his death. Embrace the pain as if enduring it will make him proud of you. I know it will never be okay, but he would have wiped your tears and laughed at your messy face if he was here. He would tell you to be strong and to live for him. He would tell you to continue breathing no matter how painful it is to live without him. 

Live the life that he wanted for you. 
Go to places he always dreamed of going to. 
Chase the dreams you once told him you would reach.
Take him with you as you move forward. 
Honor him in every step of the way. 
And remember him. 
He may have taken his eternal rest, but you were one of the reasons why his life was well lived. 

Whisper to the winds all the words you longed to say to him as if he is here – because he lives on . . .

   through the memories you kept in your heart.
   through the everlasting love you continue to give him.
   through the person you have become.

It will be a long and painful journey towards healing, but you are your brother’s sibling. You are stronger than you think, and he will forever be proud of you.

Related Pages: 

Loss of a brother in a fire accident

How to deal with the loss of a sibling

Eulogy for the loss of a brother


For USA Residents: 

Please help our colleagues at Yeshiva University, USA by joining in their research study:

ARE YOU A CAREGIVER OR HAVE YOU RECENTLY LOST SOMEONE SIGNIFICANT?

#33769566.1  IRB Approved at the Study Level. 21 July 2022

We are seeking individuals who are caregiving for someone with a life-limiting illness and those who have experienced a significant loss to participate in a research study through Yeshiva University. The purpose of the study is to develop a questionnaire to identify those who may be in need of caregiver or grief support in order to ultimately improve family-centered care in hospitals and clinics.

For caregivers and bereaved individuals who would like to contribute to our understanding of caregiving and bereavement, this is a way to make a difference.

For USA Residents only.  Click here to learn more. 


Where to get help: 


Have You Considered One-on-One Online Grief Counseling? 

Get Private and Confidential Help in the Privacy of Your Own Home

The following information about online counseling is sponsored by 'Betterhelp' but all the opinions are our own. To be upfront, we do receive a commission when you sign up with 'Betterhelp', but we have total faith in their expertise and would never recommend something we didn't completely approve.  

Do you feel alone and sad with no support and no idea how to move forward?  It can be tough when you are stuck in grief to find the motivation to get the most out of your precious life. 

Online counseling can help by giving you that support so you don't feel so alone. You can have someone to talk to anytime you like, a kind and understanding person who will help you to find meaning in life again, to treasure the memories of your loved one without being overwhelmed and to enjoy your activities, family and friends again.


Sales from our pages result in a small commission to us which helps us to continue our work supporting the grieving.  


Hypnosis for Grief - 10 Ways It Can Help You

Try a gentle hypnotherapy track to relax the mind. Learn how self-hypnosis can help you cope with grief at any time of the day or night.  

Read more about it here. 



For Remembrance: 

Sales from our pages result in a small commission to us which helps us to continue our work supporting the grieving.  


Heart Shaped Sterling Silver Pendant for Cremation Ashes, Engraved Forever Loved

Memorial Jewelry to Honour a Loved One

Check out our lovely range of memorial jewelry for any lost loved one.  Pendants, necklaces, rings or bracelets, we have them all in all kinds of styles.  Choose for yourself or buy as a sympathy gift. 

Click here to see our selection


Create an Online Memorial Website

Honour your loved one with their own memorial website.  Share photos, videos, memories and more with your family and friends in a permanent online website.  Free for basic plan with no ads. 

Find out more here. 


Keep in touch with us: 


Sign up for our newsletter and receive:

"The 10 Most Important Things You Can Do
To Survive Your Grief And Get On With Life"


Our free downloadable and printable document "The 10 Most Important Things You Can Do To Survive Your Grief And Get On With Life" will help you to be positive day to day.  

The 10 points are laid out like a poem on two pretty pages which you can pin on your fridge door to help you every day! 

All you have to do to receive this free document is fill in your email address below. 

You will also receive our newsletter which we send out from time to time with our newest comforting and helpful information.   You can unsubscribe any time you like, and don't worry, your email address is totally safe with us. 

NEW BONUS - Also receive a copy of our short eBook - '99 Ways to Spot a Great Grief Counselor'.  Available for instant download as soon as you sign up. Never waste money on poor counseling again! 


Join us on Facebook for articles, support, discussion and more.  Click 'Like' below.



Share this page:
If you found this page helpful, please share it.

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.