Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Brother Lost

These past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity… of company coming to stay, (and go) and the constant strain of the overly emotional, overly tired and the subsiquent drama that always follows a death in the family. Last Tuesday my DB lost his brother. He was just 47 years old. DB was the daily primary caregiver and closest confidant of his brother- who spent nearly a decade fighting for his life against the horrors of such an insidious disease as Cancer. I decided against posting about this, as it happened, partly due to privacy concerns but primarily because the last thing in the world I wanted to blog about was the real life struggles of my family and I.
However, with the house finally empty and the funeral come and gone, we are faced today with beginning a new chapter... one that we've coined "the new normal"... whatever that may be... and so it is only now, having made it out the other side that I feel the pull to write of what has transpired, as one would stop to look back at the accident they narrowly avoided, or the charred remains of a fire, I want too pause and reflect…

While my heart hurts at the loss of such an individual, my focus these past weeks has been to be a source of strength for my DB as he navigated his way through the logistics of arranging a funeral, holding his family together, writing obituaries and eulogies, and on top of it all trying to find a balance between the pain of knowing he'll never see his brother again and the acute relief of knowing that his friend, at last, had been set free…. Free from the suffering, free of having to stoically and bravely endure horrible pain and having to stare death in the face, every, single day.

I have never been so proud of my DB as I have been this week. He was gracious, firm, resilient, and compassionate, he pulled the world together when it seemed bent on falling apart and in end sent his brother out with as much class and dignity as was befitting of such a man. The funeral was absolutely beautiful. Loads of white flowers, green ferns and candles filled a stage, a mahogany casket fitted in gold at its centre- within, a man wearing a dark blue Armani suit, crisp white shirt, and a gold striped tie...a live violin and harpist…hundreds came to pay their respects and listen to my DB graciously thank each and every single nurse and doctor, image tech and administrator by name- all the people that helped his brother outlive his original prognosis by more than seven years.

My DB happily and proudly did his duty to his brother, and I did mine by him.

Through it all I had to try and keep my own emotions, opinions and reactions firmly in hand, which is something of a superhuman quality in my books...and one which I’ve never quite mastered. I played host, baked cookies and even wore high heels five days straight....lipstick too. My DB's job has essentially ended but mine has just begun. Behind every great man is a great woman, they say. I hope I am good enough to help my man heal and to support him as he picks up the pieces and clears off his desk to begin this new path of his life... the new normal.... whatever that may be.


  1. Loss is so hard, especially when you have taken care of someone like that for so long. I was 15 and tried to help my dad with my mom who had terminal cancer as well. It's never easy, even when you know they are better off. My thoughts are with you all there. Good luck to you and your DB with your new normal.

  2. What a great friend, wife and woman you are to support your DB like you are. I bet it means the world to him. I am so sorry for your loss, I know what it feels like to loose a loved one to cancer. I pray God helps you and your family through this difficult time.

  3. Our thoughts are with you, DB, and the family there girl.

    Celebrate his brother's life by enjoying "the new normal.."

  4. Sorry for your loss.
    The funeral sounds beautiful, your DB did his brother proud. Kudos to you for being his strength during this time.

  5. My heart goes out to you and DB! I am so sorry, after having just dealt with that - not nearly as close, but it was painful nonetheless - and I would not wish it on anyone.

    But I am glad you wrote about it - when I do that it make me feel better so I hope it also brought you some relief. Here I thought to myself - I will buzz over to Chelsi's blog and see what mischief she is up to ..... and I see this and I am so sad for you too.

  6. I am so terribly sorry for the loss of your DB's brother. That has to be so difficult.
    Your DB sounds absolutely amazing, you are lucky to have him, and he's lucky to have you, to help him through this.
    Will be thinking of you!

  7. Oh Chelsi! My heart goes out to you and yours!


  8. I'm sorry for your loss. You are a god woman to be such a strength to your DB and family.

  9. Sorry for your loss.... thankyou for sharing.

    There must be something in the summer air.... I recently posted about my 'new normal'....

    A normal life...what is it? How do we accept the imposed limits as normal (for us)?

    Your post is timely and important.

  10. I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of what sounds to have been a remarkable man...Your DB definitely made him proud! You guys are in my thoughts and prayers...

  11. Bless your heart for supporting him. He may well fall apart later when reality sets in. That's where your comfort, strength and love will carry him through. Death is tragic and as you have found out, very emotionally draining. Be strong and know in your heart that, this too shall pass. My sympathies for your DB and his family. God's blessings to you all.

  12. I am so sorry for your loss. What beautiful words you put to such a difficult time though. Sounds like DB's brother was honored in the same beautiful manner.

    And heels 5 days in a row and having to keep your own emotions in check? Good lord girl, are you going for saint hood? lol It sounds like you and your DB make a great pair and I'm sure you will enjoy creating and adjusting to your "new normal" together.