A Fish, A Bird, A Mammal – Talking About Grief

"Robert & Andrew Summer 2007"

Robert & Andrew Summer 2007

Grief is like wet mud. Difficult to mold into shape.
Grief has its own time-table and comes and goes as it pleases.
When several of you are grieving under the same roof, sometimes it feels as though one of you is a fish, one a bird and another a mammal. The bird has to dive, the fish has to fly and the mammal?

Having just got over a crippling couple of weeks, and having just come up for air again, it is now Robert’s turn to be down. At least I didn’t have finals ahead of me.
Two nights ago at bedtime, I went into Robert’s room to tuck him in and found him still dressed and looking at pictures of Andrew. He was crying painful muffled sobs that tore my heart.
How can I take this pain away from him? Fifteen years old and already has endured so much. The loss of his twin first, his older and adored older brother, not to go into the material realm which though important, compared to life and death is not worth mentioning.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow are the last days of classes. The last opportunity to revise with the teachers before finals, and Robert has not been able to go to school.
He has been such a brave soldier since Andrew died, holding on and holding on, and working hard.
He has not wanted therapy, he has not wanted to talk about what happened, because, he says, it is too painful. After taking advise, we have let him be while keeping an eye to make sure that he is eating, sleeping, playing, doing his home work, as all of the above are signs that he is functioning and coping.

He had a spell a few weeks ago when he almost missed a whole week of school, the first time since Andrew died. And again now, days from his finals.
I have never been angry with Andrew for taking his life. How can one be angry with a loved one? How can one be angry with a brave soul who must have been at his wit’s end to take the step of ending his own life?

But I am a bit angry that not only Robert has to endure such crippling pain, but that his academic career might be compromised as a result.

So, today, I pray for all the siblings of suicide victims.
Theirs is a huge load to bear, may it be lightened and made more bearable.



2 thoughts on “A Fish, A Bird, A Mammal – Talking About Grief

  1. Multiple thoughts!

    Great post describing Grief!

    Memorial Day I had a “meltdown” and my family rallied around me with love and support. Last night my 15 year old had an experience that somehow brought his regret and grief front and center and we rallied around him.

    Hope you’ve already called the school counselor to make an appointment for you and him/her to meet so you can advocate for you son. Schools can be flexible but it takes advocacy and a reasonable request. End of a school year itself without finals can be stressful and melancholy. Finals! Well, they are stress realized! And if you can’t concentrate or could care less about concentrating (grief) that’s over-the-top stress! (Prayers for Robert; Prayers for our surviving children)

    Last thought: I came across this author’s website and blog…She a survivor of her sister’s suicide and has written a book about sibling grief and just out another book to help families grieving– Rocky Roads: The journeys of families through suicide grief.

    Love and Prayers for you and your family…Rayo

    • Thank you Rayo for the great suggestions and as always the useful links. So we both have 15 year olds.
      They need so much support and prayers.
      Love, Esmeralda

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