Last month, ten days before Christmas, my brother Tom was found dead in his home. He had a habit of going for several days without word to anyone and when his employer became alarmed that he missed appointments with doctors (he was on medical leave at the time), they asked police to conduct a well-being check. They found him in bed and estimated he had been dead for several days. He died of cardiac arrest, brought on by uncontrolled hypertension and apparent alcohol abuse (an empty liquor bottle was found by his bed).
At the time of his death I had been dealing with several issues of my own within my immediate family. My daughter has had a recurrent health problem causing her to miss several days of school and the principal has threatened to report her for truancy, and she hinted at reporting me to child welfare authorities for not resolving the problem sooner. My marriage is over but because of finances I cannot afford to leave and start over. I've been suffering from bouts of depression and I try to remember to take my medication, but there are times when I forget. Now I am mourning my brother's loss on top of all this and I feel alone...
My mother and I are not close and we have butted heads over some issues relating to settling my brother's estate. My younger brother, who is executor of the estate, hasn't been able to resolve issues because of his job, but now he wants to get it over with. I've been back and forth to my brother's place in the last few weeks to take care of the house and deal with the mail and notifying whoever calls. We haven't really been able to do anything because of the delay in getting the death certificates sent to us, but now we got them and I can properly notify his creditors, which I will do this week. But now I have many feelings and emotions as his death sinks in...
Yesterday was his memorial in the city where he lived for the last eight years. My mother now wants to expedite the other memorial for local family and friends so that she and my younger brother can pack up his condo and put it on the market. I want to take a little break because I've been dealing with this non-stop since this happened and I was hoping for a little respite between the memorial yesterday (which I helped his friends organize and it was beautiful but sad) and the family memorial (which I hoped would be the last weekend of January) before we deal with packing up and moving. Besides, I feel they sat on this too long and waited until the last minute to move on everything and it seems they expect me to jump when they say so.
I've been crying all day today because once the condo is on the market this will be goodbye. I hope I can keep in touch with his friends, I really do. I have family in the area where he lived though they live about fifty miles away. And I feel so alone right now that it's difficult to move on. I'm mourning my brother more than I mourned my father because we were close all our lives. I know I can't lean entirely on my daughter. I have close friends as well as my friends on LJ but I don't want to burden them too heavily with this. My mother taught us not to rely on others and throughout all this she has been stoic, crying very little. And she is one who doesn't like sharing confidences - she almost freaked out when I said I was going to speak and she demanded to know what I was going to say. I had told her nothing to embarrass her and when I spoke, it moved many people there, but she didn't say anything to me. Today I told a friend of hers what was going on and said more than she would have wanted me to say, and now I know I'm going to hear about it. Right now I don't care.
Anyway, this is where I am right now. I appreciate any feedback anyone can share with me. I too will reciprocate when I can, of course. I appreciate the opportunity to share on a community that relates to grief issues and I look forward to sharing more of this story as it unfolds.
Thank you for reading.