9 months ago I endured the worst experience of my life when I lost my little brother Mike very suddenly and unexpectedly. Mike was 29 years old and had years ahead of him. And to this day I still cannot believe it actually happend.
I’ve been trying to write about this for a while now but whenever I try I just feel sick to my stomach because if I write it down then it makes it “Real” even though it is actually real. So here goes…
I don’t even know where to start if I’m honest. So I guess I should start from the beginning. On the 23rd July 2021 my whole world collapsed when I got that call that nobody wants to get. To get there quick. I’m not going into detail about what happend but we all know the outcome. My brother my only brother and only sibling had gone. How can this be real? I couldn’t cry. I couldn’t think and I couldn’t believe what had just happend. He was only walking home from work and didn’t make it home. My first thought was how am I going to cope. My second thought was I need to hurt myself, I remember wondering wether my mum had any kitchen knives in the drawer because I had to do something anything to make this not be real. My third thought was I really need a poo and is this what people do when somebody has died? To this day I have no idea why I had that thought but I did end up going for that poo.
Days went by where we just sat in silence, barely speaking a word to one another, not eating not doing anything . Numb and nauseous. I had the shits terrible for days aswel as vomiting. It must have been the shock . All I knew was nothing mattered anymore, the doctor gave me diazepam and sleeping pills to ease my pain. Didn’t work. Weeks went by being surrounded by my family we talked and we cried. We hugged and we laughed. How else do you cope with everything?
The grief sits inside you like a monster under the bed that won’t go away. The daily struggle of knowing I’ve got the rest of my life without my brother is just unimaginable. Because this isn’t how it’s supposted to work out. We’re supposted to be growing old together and all of a sudden that reality is ripped from beneath me.
Soon enough the time came for me to go back to work. Panic attacks and extreme anixety was just a normal part of my day trying to get through having to go back. It’s the little things isn’t it. Every time I write a label with the date on all I can think is that my brother is not seeing this date. And that was a long few months before that thought left my head. I just kept wondering why is the world was still going on without him? Why am I laughing with people, I shouldn’t be feeling happy I shouldn’t be laughing what on earth would Mike think?
I had my doctor calling me regularly to check in on me because grief mixed up with mental Health issues is not a great combination. I developed PTSD. Everytime I hear a siren or see an ambulance it takes me back to that night. If I see a helicopter it breaks me and i cannot cope with the thought that the air ambulance flew off that night without him. Every night when I’m in bed the second I close my eyes I’m right back to the night he died. I can see and hear everything as clear as the day it happend. My mums screams haunt me. The doctors words are etched in my brain and I’m absolutely devastated still that they couldn’t do more. It’s only just recently that I’ve managed to go to bed and not have the flashbacks.
Grief is a fucker. fast forward a few months and things got a little better, we started raising money for the air ambulance that tried to help Mike. It keeps us all busy. But the depression started to creep in. I couldn’t be left alone on my days off, some weeks were so extreme I was frightned to be left alone in fear of what i might do. I spent my days laying on the sofa depressed as hell watching my son play by himself. I was a terrible mother for quite a while. You paint this smile on for the outside world because I guess that’s what’s expected I don’t really know?
It’s now 9 months on and I think about Mike every day. Before I go to sleep at night I tell him i love him. I planted an apple tree in my garden for him which is thriving, Ive painted rocks and decorated it in fairy lights so his tree is the most beautiful tree on my street. I make sure Rex knows his uncle Mikey every day. The grief is still as raw as the day I lost my brother but I’ve found different ways of dealing with it. The bouts of depression creep up on me mostly on my days off when i have time to think. But I have no choice but to get through life as best I can without my little brother.
And somehow I will find a way.