Life After My Brother Al Passed Away

It is almost noon here on Sunday morning and my body shivers. It isn’t because my body is so cold. It is because my emotions are running very high. You will probably notice more posts on the topic of my brother, Al Miller as it nears March 24th. It will then be one year since he left for heaven.

I am divided by sane and insanity anymore it seems. Part of me wants to break down and cry tears of a river like I haven not done since he passed away. My other part of my thinking is, it is alright, don’t have a breakdown, you are just missing him.

I took care of Al day and night for 7 years. He and I fought together the terrible Multiple System Atrophy he had but God won and took him  home. You don’t know how many times I repeat the words, he is better off, he is better off.

My health took a turn for the worse after he passed. Mentally and physically I have fought my way back. I don’t know how others bounce back but it really doesn’t matter. I listen to what people say but in the end it is my battle.

Maybe I am a stand-still woman. I seem to struggle with things that happen in my past. I think about how much I miss my kids back home. I miss seeing the grandchildren taking their first steps and hearing their first words. I miss all my friends.

I miss walking into  Al’s old room and just sitting on the floor feeling his presence. I think about how bad I want to go to the cemetery and sit one more time beside Al and my parents.

I struggle with being here in Kentucky. Life has moved very slowly since I have been here. I have found no work, no friends. I have my family here but there are days even they are not enough to hold me together.

I want to go back. I scream it some days, I want to go back. I want to care for him again. I want my parents back. I want my life back. I don’t like who I have become today. I am sad more than not. I struggle with silly posts that I write not to lose my writing completely.

I want to see sunshine again. I want my soul to spark. I want to be thankful that I am alive. Then I turn to God and beg forgiveness for feeling the way that I do. Sometimes I think I am half sane and the other half I am insane.

My heart was broken and it just won’t repair itself completely. I miss everything that once was. I miss you Al.

Here is the song that was played during his funeral.











cemetary day 2oct-13-13



37 thoughts on “Life After My Brother Al Passed Away

  1. Terry , I know how much you miss your brother. Your life has changed a lot since he is gone. I am harsh now… you cannot bring back what was, and it is you who needs to shape your life now in the future. Look into the future. There is more to come but you need to be open and willing. God will guide you and you need to open the doors he gives you! Wished I could talk to you over coffee and cake. Hugs Ute

    Liked by 1 person

      • At the risk of sounding like a cliche, you have to wait it out, Terry. You really do. I know because it took me over two years to get past that feeling. I was on autopilot for longer than anyone knew. I just wanted it all back again, whatever the cost I felt like I was insane, out of control. But, at the risk of sounding corny again, fake it till you make it. Don’t try to find your future, when it’s time it will reveal itself, believe me.


      • I would love to see you happy again and I hope I can give you a bit of help. You are a strong woman and a beautiful woman. There is lots ahead… embrace it. I believe in you , you need too!


      • Thanks dear Ute, you believe in me, I need to believe in me. I never dreamed in a million years that losing my brother would mess me up so much


  2. I understand wanting to go back to the time when we had our family with us…alas, it is not to be, but I now think of time as being the past and present at the same time – time is not linear. So our memories are as real as the present because they are the present, too. That comforts me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. No words, my sweet friend. How I wish I could spend some time with you. You know I am still praying for you. I think I will be very specific in my praying now, and ask God to send you a flesh-and-blood friend.


      • I don’t know which way I am going. Some tell me to get moving on. I am lagging behind. Others like you say a year isn’t doing too long. I am trying to please others and move on but I don’t seem to be doing a good job of moving quick or forgetting


      • Okay, Terry, if you were in my counseling office I would tell you that what other people think of you is none of your business! You are the one who went through that terrible time with Al. You are the one who is seriously missing the family and friends you left behind. And I want to remind you that it’s still winter, the long dark season, and you may be experiencing some SAD. Please, be kind to yourself. How you grieve, how long you grieve, is between you and God. Period.

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  4. You were and are there for your brother.
    I can’t imagine what this experience felt like, I have ‘left’ my mother by living a life abroad with her grandchildren being always a travel arrangement away. She is caring with the help of my father for her mother my grandmother. I am saddened to see her being all consumed by the 24 hour care for her mother and feel guilty for having abandoned her. She bares her cross, she trusts and lives by her beliefs. I often tell her to make some time for herself, accept help from others, as I would like her to have something in her week that is hers and only her personal indulgence. I then feel guilty as I wonder if my incessant advice is more for my own benefit than hers. Advice is all I can give without seriously committing myself to actions rather than words. For I know she would never want to make me feel obligated to move back, she rather takes the cross of my shoulders and instead allows me to give her my advice, my wisdoms, and pep talks.
    I talk a lot about ‘care’ and how it defines us as human beings, inspires the most beautiful things, and how we must never stop caring, but words are easily said.
    My mother and You are humans that don’t preach but do, selfless and without hesitation, expressing humanity, care, love and strength regardless to the pain that comes with it. You did the right thing. At every step of the journey you were there for your brother, no matter how impossible. You accepted what life or God presented you with. Your next chapter may have already begun, this is not only the grieve for the loss of your dear brother but your shared experiences, now a memory of different times. And that’s what it is ; different, it is new, it symbolizes change and we are always frightened of change. The past is our safety net and calibrating tool onto which we judge the present and place expectations on the future.
    Your care, the time you have spend with your brother is an energy no one can take from you and I am sure will carry you to find new and beautiful experiences just waiting to be discovered…



  5. I remember following you and Al a year ago in thought and prayers during the struggle. I also remember your description of his last hour on earth and how I felt he had a triumphant exit! The best you can give to him is to send him loving thoughts and move on! If he truly loved you, (I am sure he did)) every time you agonize over his death only hinders his soul and ties it close to you in order to comfort you. Let him go, you did your best while he was on earth and you will be blessed for such exemplary love but to still hang on is a disservice to Al and unnecessary inner torture on yourself. As a rule, remember the dead feel our deep emotions even more actively than we on earth and Al will be happy to see you happy!


  6. I wish I had the answers. Your grief is so potent I can feel it. I think what you are feeling – that stuckness – is perfectly natural and just the way it is with grieving. But you are also so good at finding joy in simple things. Keep at it Terry – lots of love xxx


    • Thanks Julie, I think I am having one of those worse days today. Maybe after the passing of Al’s one year mark, I will get back to the progress I had made prior


  7. A year passes much more quickly than we can imagine…and your pain will come in at this time… You made some tough decisions in moving… feeling it would be best…Sometimes we just dont know!…Our thoughts go round and round…I can only imagine how you are feeling…although I have had experience of death… loss… I can only hope you can find peace… in your new surroundings… I’m thinking I hear that a lot from your words…They say… moving…can be almost like grief…So your are experiencing it double…Not good…but, “this too will pass”!


  8. Nothing wrong with feeling grief, my friend. I’m sorry to hear it’s been so tough. Are there things where you live that you can get involved with? Local community groups, church outings/volunteer opportunities, etc.? When I’ve been bummed in my life, it’s helped to just have things to do. Especially when I felt lonely and lost. It’s helped me meet some people and I always felt good just doing something positive during those times. Praying for you. It will get better.


    • It is a rough time right now with the anniversary of Al’s death approaching. I am finding it difficult to meet people who want to become friends here. I have gone out of my way meeting different people from the newspaper and hospital and even online from my area, but making that crossover into the friendship hasn’t happened as of yet. I am going to take my camera out today to get out of here for a bit. Hopefully in time I will make a friend and when Al’s passing date has gone by, I am hoping to at least go back to where I was on the last day of February this year. Big hugs and thanks for your kind comment


      • Totally understand. The anniversary of the tornado here in our area was a big moment for a lot of people. It kind of set them free to move forward from the heartbreak after that. Never forgotten, just a new hope for the future. I hope you have that hope and live life to the fullest, Terry. Blessings. (I took my camera out today as well. Always a good thing, good for you for doing that.)


  9. You can do it! Get to KNOW YOU again. I know from experience the grief. I also know that grief will linger as long as we let it until we are ready to let it pass. For the human race, memories are all we have once someone dear to us has passed. I’ve experienced that sometimes , even the memories fade away. But God, has a way in His time to remind us that we have a purpose in our own lives that is geared towards us living period.
    Question- Will you be moving back or staying there?
    Hugs N Love


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