Monday, September 29, 2008

Loss of My Brother

I know I’ve been missing…and even this is hard to write, to see in print. My brother, James, the artist, my only sibling, 45, had a heart attack last Thursday and has been on life support since. We’re numb. Today we go back to the hospital to take him off the support and let God take him.

I’ve lost my “I know” person. Only with a sibling can you have a conversation like, “You know how Dad always says…or, Mom never let us do that when we were kids…” and the sibling responds:” I know”. Or something happens at a family dinner and you shoot each other a look across the table, knowingly.

To my kids, he was the fun bachelor uncle. For my parents, their only son.

Hours after this happened last Thursday, my Mom and I drove my Dad to Sloane Kettering to learn the results of his CAT scan after all the chemo and radiation. And we learned he is cancer free. Our hearts leaped, but sadly. It was tough to learn you are going to be OK on the day you know your son will not be.

It is going to be tough around here this week. Any words of wisdom from my dear blogging friends to help me get through would be appreciated. Thanks for emailing to see what I was up to. Such a caring, wonderful group of people!


kelly said...

Oh Tara, so sorry to hear this! sending love to your family!

Amongst The Oaks said...

Oh Tara, I am so sorry to hear about your brother. And your only sibling. Loss like that is so so diffucult to bear. When I lost my mother two years ago, I just walked around numb. Just give it all the time you need and continue to talk about him a lot. You never quite get over the loss, but you eventually become less numb and are able to remember those good times and all the silly jokes and laugh about it again.
And then one of my employees passed away in June and I still miss him badly too. I keep expecting the hear his truck pull into the lot and his footsteps coming down the hall...
I'm glad to hear your father's news, but so sad that he must now bear this burden that no parent should ever know.
Sending hugs and sympathy, Laura

Magnolia Street Style said...

Tara, I am so sorry for your loss. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts.


Cori G. said...

Oh Tara,
I'm so sorry to hear this about your brother. I don't think there are words to make this any easier or to alleviate the heartache.
You and yours are in my prayers.
Love, Cori

Screen Door said...

Tara - My prayers are with you. So tough for you and for your folks. There's always those unanswered questions, even though we're not supposed to ask them, 'Why Him'--'Why not me?'... 'Why should my parents hurt like this?' 'What's to keep this from happening to me?" ... But through those tough times I try to focus on not what I lost but what I had--- even if it wasn't as long as I wanted.... Email me if you need to yell or anything at all....

Adrienne said...

Dear Tara -
I'm so sorry to hear of the loss and grief you are going through. My prayers are with you, dear friend.

Janet said...


This makes me so sad. I cannot imagine losing my brother, but for your parents to lose their son is just so heart wrenching. I know that I cannot express myself well, but please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.


Mary said...

Oh Tara, I was so sorry to hear about this and my heart (and prayers) go out to you. I was happy to hear about your dad (as my husband looks forward to one more round of chemo), but "bittersweet" is one of the hardest emotions to deal with.

Love, Mary

CIELO said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

Dear Tara,
Please accept my condolences. My sweet brother was taken from me in his 30's from a terrible motorcycle accident, so I can imagine the sadness you are going through now. It is hard to imagine, but slowly the numbness will fade. The wonderful memories you made together with always be with you. I will keep you in my thoughts.

Firefly Hill said...

Dear Tara,

I am so very sorry to read about your thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time. I am so sad for you.....


Pat said...

Oh my dear Tara! I am so saddened to hear this very sad news! I wish I could be there in person to comfort you. Life is a mystery, illness and death even more so. All you can do is hold on to all your precious memories of your brother and keep him alive in your family's heart. I'll be praying for all of you! My deepest sympathies.
Hugs, Pat

Gina said...

Dear Tara,
I am so very sorry to hear about your brother, Sending much love to you and your family Gxox

Victoria said...

God be with you and your family.

Carol said...

Tara...My heart aches for you. I lost my brother a few years ago. He was 50. I understand your pain. Stay close to your parents. You will need each other. I never knew how fragile life was until we lost Dan. Stay close here, too. There are many people who care about you. My prayers are with you.

Mockingbird Hill said...

Dear Tara...what sad news and how difficult for you to share. I have always imagined memories to be like movies in my mind. Photos are wonderful, but memeories can be re-played over and over, whenever and wherever you feel the need to connect. Wrap yourself in them and your brother will always be near.

Thoughts are with you and your family....we are all with you.


JeannieTheDreamer said...

Dear Tara, my heart goes out to you and your family. May you find comfort when you most need it. May your memories of your brother live forever.

Once you have all settled down, I suggest you all go to grief counseling together, if you could.

Today, believe it or not, I went to the first of a series of seminars for separated / divorced couples. The talk was on grieving. nO i am not separated or divorced, but i am in therapy - my marriage is very fragile right now. My therapist encouraged me to go, it was held at a nearby church. It helps to reach out to others, it is even better when others reach out to comfort you.

As for me, I take it one day at a time, waiting for God to save my marriage, or whatever He wants to do with it.

After your loss, it is time to receive. Just be there, let yourself be surrounded by people when you are ready.

Again, I am so sorry. May you find comfort in your brother's presence, may you be at peace with this event, sometime soon, so that your brother will know you will all be okay.


Tracy said...

Oh, Tara...How deeply sorry I am for you and your family's loss!! My heart just breaks for you...So very sorry that you have lost part of your soul with your brother. How glad to know, though, that your father is well and cancer free--what a tremendous gift. Such hard days for you all...Words alone are not enough to express how one feels sometimes. May you find comfort in the love surrounding you, from your family, friends, and all of us out here who love you and think of you at this time. We never truly lose our loved ones...they are always with us in spirit. May your "I know" moments with your brother live on in your heart, speak to him still this way :o) Be with your family, cry, grieve,just be...May peace in time ease your sadness...Be with us here when you can. ((BIG HUGS)) When you have a moment and are sufacing again...please do send me your address...I would like to send you something, even a pretty card :o)

Kathleen Grace said...

Tara, I am so sorry to her about your dear brother. Ihave lost two siblings and I know how painful it is. There is nothing for it but to go ahead and grieve. But please remember in your grief that there are many people who love you, I am praying for you and your family. I am so glad your father is cancer free.

bluemuf said...

Tara, you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Hugs Karen

Beverly said...

I learned of the loss of your brother from Laura at Amongst The Oaks. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

Each day we have together is truly a gift from God. I always comfort myself by believing that loved ones have completed there goals here on Earth, and God now needs them by his side. I can tell by your words that clearly one of your brother's goals was to love you and your family. He will live forever in your heart.

God bless you.

KarenHarveyCox said...

when you were missing, I was worried about your dad. I am so sorry to hear about your brother. It must be such a shock. You and your family are in my prayers Tara. Karen

Sandi McBride said...

Oh Tara, love..when I say I know what you mean, I really do...I lost my younger brother Mark ten years ago...prayers for your healing mourning...prayers for your brother's easy transition...prayers for your family, especially your Dad.
hugs and love

Anonymous said...

oh tara, what a mixed experience for you. what joy about your dad, and gaping hole without your brother. your love of him is shining through your words. prayers for you all, jkj

Sophee-a Laroo Bijoux and Sheri too said...

Just found your blog.....I am so sorry for your loss. words can never really convey enough in times like this.

Blessings to you and your family during this very difficult time~ Sheri

dana said...

Hi Tara: I just read about your brother on Amongst the Oaks. Oh, my heart does go out to you. I lost my sister, unexpectedly, right after she turned 40. She was two years my junior, and in many ways, my best friend. I still ache in my heart over losing her at such a young age and that was 19 years ago now. A sibling bond is so precious---and even more so when you are truly kindred spirits.

I send my prayers to you and your family as you experience this truly rough time in your life.


Sandy said...

Dear Tara,
I'm so incredibly sorry for your loss. I will keep you and your family in my prayers at this very difficult time.

Lisa said...

While I often lurk here, I never take much time to say hello. This post must have been incredibly difficult for you to write, yet somehow you made it through. While your pain and sadness will never go away, over time you will manage to make it a little less raw. One day at a time is all you can do. Take comfort in those wonderful memories for they will help you heal. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Rhondi said...

Hi Tara
Such wonderful news of your dad being cancer free and yet you can hardly even enjoy it because of the grief of your brother's death. My heart goes out to all of your family. I am so sorry and I'll be praying for all of you, that you'll be comforted even in this time of grief.
Hugs, Rhondi

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear of your loss. I completely understand where you are at, and I am sorry. I lost my Dad 9 months ago & I still can't believe he is gone. It's like you have to remind yourself that it happened. I will keep you in my prayers....

Life on Bonnie Lane said...

I'm way behind on blog visits so didn't see this until today. Just want to say that I am so sorry to hear this awful news! Wish I had some words of wisdom to share, but I can't imagine your heartbreak. He was much too young!

I'm glad to hear the good news about your father, but I'm sure its bittersweet. No parent wants to outlive their child.

You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.


pve design said...

Oh you poor dear. I really just want to come and visit you and give you a hug and make it all better. My deepest and sincerest sympathies to you and your entire family. Truly, time heals.
The news about your father is wonderful. This truly is the good and the bad in one serving, the bad, being very hard to swallow. Keep the faith and know that there is a divine plan for you and for your brother.

Siobhan said...

Oh Tara,

I am so, so, so sorry to hear of your loss sweetie. Sending you and your family my deepest sympathy. Please know you are all in my thoughts.

Regards, Siobhan xo

M.Kate said...

Dear Tara
I am very sorry and sad to hear of the passing of your brother. Losing a love one is hard to cope, I lost my father due to cancer years ago. Over here, the Muslims are not allowed to cry during funerals as they believe that the person will find love, peace and much happiness in afterlife. Tara, do stay strong and think of all the goodness and wonderful time you had together, memories can never be taken away. though he is no longer with you physically, he will always be with you in spirit and soul...just like I think and talk to my father at times even though he is no longer here, the connection is just too strong. And many times, I swear I feel his presence, guiding me through the many difficulties I faced in life..and he never let me down. It's a weird feeling but a good one. The day will come when the grief is over as only time heals everything..I dont know much words of wisdom, and I do hope you'll find comfort in the people who love you, close, near and far away like us, and that we shall pray for his soul and pray for your family too. Stay strong Tara...he'll want you that way. I am glad that your dad is cancer-free. much love and hugs forever....

Firefly Hill said...

Thinking of you Tara....


Ivy Lane said...

Tara, I am sorry for your loss. Will keep prayers for you and your family. It is very good news about your Father!

Anonymous said...


I saw your name over at Mary's. I am so sorry for your loss.

God Bless,
Kathy :)

Lori said...

Tara, My deepest sympathy. I too have lost both my sister and brother and understand what you mean. I miss being able to share the storeis, and the laughter as well as tears. Your brother sounds like a remarkable man, so sorry. Love,Lori

Joyce said...


This is my first visit (I saw your comment on pve design) and felt a need to visit and give you my deepest sympathy on the loss of your brother. This is a very emotional time for you and your family. There are no words to ease the pain, but maybe knowing friends that are close, far and some you don’t even know are carrying you in their thoughts and prayers.
I am grateful your dad is now cancer free. We don’t know why live goes the way it does and it doesn’t seem fair at times and we might never know the answers…

Mary said...

Oh dear Tara, I am so very sorry for your loss. We had to take my mother off life support nine years ago, and I know how difficult it is. I know you will find comfort in your family, and in the many friends you have both at home and in blogland.

There is pain and emptiness to get through right now, but if you can just hold on, there will be sweet memories to cherish later. Talk about him often, keep his memory alive for your children, and celebrate his life.

Such wonderful news about your father. I am sorry it had to be so bittersweet.

Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

Kelly said...

Oh Tara,
My heart just aches for you, I just cannot imagine.....oh please know so many of us are for you and praying for you and your family. Somehow I know it will get easier, not better, and not gone, just a little easier. I pray for strength for you at this time.

big ((hugs)) for you,

I have prayed for your dad also, and the news of him being cancer free is just priceless.

bj said...

My dear Tara...when you need words of wisdom the most, I have none for you right now. My heart is hurting so much for you and your family that I am too filled with emotion to even speak...just wanted you to know I am praying and thinking about you.
love, bj

Douce France..... said...

Sorry for your lost Mme Tara. My prayers are with you.


Edie Marie's Attic said...

Oh sweet Tara!
My heart is aching for your loss. I only have one sibling left, my brother. I was so panicked when he was ill this year. Just the thought of losing him was horrible. I can't imagine your pain. The only thing I know to do is send my prayers and love to you and your family. I'm so so sorry Tara.
May God grant you peace in knowing that one day you will see him again!
Huge hugs, Sherry

heidi said...

Hi Tara,
I just found you through Patricia's blog... my thoughts and prayers are with you.

pve design said...

I tagged you today, perhaps a game of tag will provide a little fun, just to let you know that I am thinking of you!

erin g said...

I am sorry for your pain and your loss. You and your family will be in my heart & prayers.

hello gorgeous said...

I am here for the very first time through PVE and I just wanted to say how very sorry I am to hear about your brother.

Monday is the 7th anniversary of the death of my first husband (at age 44 of colon cancer). His birthday was yesterday so it's a sucky week around here (but my daughter and I bake his favorite pie every year on his birthday for a sweet memory).

There are no words for you right now, except that I wish you peace.


Anonymous said...

What we once enjoyed
and deeply loved
we can never lose
for all that we deeply love
becomes a part of us
- Hellen Keller

I am so sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

Tara,I just want you to know you are in my heart. I am so sorry you have had some hard months.

Sandi McBride said...

Still thinking of you Tara, deepest sympathy and prayers for your family

Anonymous said...

Dear Tara,
There is a website - that has been a place of refuge that you can go to in your own home where you can be alone with your tears and memories. It has been a blessing for me this past year. Last year my "baby girl", 44, left us and it was devastating. Her sister, like you, was very close to her and we know how you are hurting.
Our hearts are sorrowing with you.
Prayers for you and your family.

bj said...

Dearest Tara, I have had you on my mind all last week and this week, too. I am so sorry for your loss.
I have one brother...and I love him dearly. I so understand your "I know".....
Just know I have you in my prayers and thoughts....and in my heart..
love, bj

amanda said...

You and your family are in my heart, my thoughts and my prayers.

She'sSewPretty said...

Oh Tara! My heart breaks for you! You will be in my thoughts and prayers. I am so, so sorry that I did not read this sooner. Love and hugs!

CIELO said...

Tara, I am so sorry to hear about your lost. Please forgive me for my previous post where I commented on something totally different without reading about your pain. I'm so sorry my dear. You are on my prayers. Look up, and let your faith continually increase. Let this faith guide you along the narrow path that leads through the gates of the city into the great beyond, the wide, unbounded future of glory that is for the redeemed.



KarenHarveyCox said...

I don't think I can read my favorite blogs without thinking about you every day. I hurt for what you and your family must be going through. Know that you are in my prayers every day. Grief is never easy.
Blessings, Karen

bj said...

Tara, please know that I am praying for you and your family. I wish there was more I could do for you.
love, bj

Abbie said...

Oh, Tara, I'm so sorry. There are no words I can provide right now for you and your family. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Tara said...

How do I say thank you to EVERYONE who left a comment here??

You are all such wonderful people...we are healing and I am going to post as soon as I feel we are all settled. How I appreciate each and every one of you all!



Lydia said...

Hello Tara,
I'm so so sorry to hear about your brother. How terrible this is. He's very young.
I wish I knew the words to take away your sadness,
I will keep both you and your family in my prayers during this very tough time.
My prayers go out to you,

Jill -Forever and Ever House said...

I am so sorry. What a loss. Please know that I am thinking of you.


Mockingbird Hill said...

Tara...just checking in to see how you and your family are doing. Still thinking of you all and missing you!


JeannieTheDreamer said...

Dearest Tara,
Just dropping by to give you a hug.


Cottage Contessa said...

Oh Tara, sweetheart I am so very sorry for your loss. I am just seeing this now for the first time, but please know that you and your family are in my heart and prayers. Wonderful news about your dear dad. So sad.......
Amanda (aka Cottage Contessa)

CIELO said...

Hi Tara... just dropping by to see how you were doing... Birds sing after a storm, and so will you...



Cori G. said...

Hi Tara,
I love the new background! Pink and green are my favorite color combination.

I hope you're taking time out of your busy schedule to allow your heart to heal or continue to break if that's what's needed. Healing happens as a result of brokenness.
You are in my thoughts and prayers as well as all your family.

Love, Cori
Oh, Pat passed an award on to me and I'm passing it on to you. I know it seems kind of silly right now, but it's there for you to pick up when you're ready.
Love and prayers

Adrienne said...

Dear Tara -
You have been on my heart and in my prayers for the last couple of days. Since we haven't heard from you for awhile I'm sure you are needing time away to grief and begin to heal. The healing doesn't make the grief go away but it makes if a bit more bearable. That's different for everyone so don't let anyone rush you or make you feel you aren't doing the right thing. Take the time you need, treasure the memories and let your tears go when they need to. We miss you but will be happy to hear from you when you are back again. I just wanted you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers today.
Hugs to you,

Anonymous said...

Tara,I know you have been having a hard time. I just want to stop by a say you are missed.

JeannieTheDreamer said...

Dearest Tara, nice to see you visiting your blog!


Deb said...

Thinking of you Tara & sending Best Wishes to you and your family.

Susie Q said...

Oh Tara. Words can not express what is in my heart. I am so very sorry for your loss. I too have but one sibling, a younger brother, and I know well that *I know* link. I can only imagine the pain you are feeling now and oh how my heart breaks for your parents. As all the others have said, in time, your memories will keep you warm, cheer you and bring you comfort. They are our greatest possession. Know you are well loved by all of us who visit you and we all hold you, and all your family, close in prayer, heart and thought.
We are all there for you in spirit and in loving friendship.

Talk about him often...relate those funny stories, have the kids tell their stories...over and over and over. It is a numb pain, often a sharp pain now but that will ease. Then those sweet stories, the funny tales, the warm memories will seep in and bring the smiles back to your face.
Hold on to them tightly. We are all here for you...bless you Tara.

My love and many hugs,

bj said...

Tara, just stopping by to say I am thinking of you and your family. I hope things are a little smoother for you now. Time does help us some when we've been thru the low valleys. Pls. know I say a prayer for you often.
love, bj

M.Kate said...

Dearest Tara
Just popping over to say that you are always in my thoughts and that my prayers are for you and your family. Take care and take you time.
Much love and big hugs :D

Anonymous said...

I do not know what to say, i can only open my heart to you and your family. i know you will miss your brother for now and look forward to being together at another time.

Love, Becky

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I am so very sorry. You will be in my thoughts and my prayers.

bj said...

Dearest Tara, I am thinking of you and whisper a prayer every day....
I so wish there was something I could do...
love, bj

Alison Gibbs said...

Tara my thoughts and prayers are with your your family at this sad time.

kari and kijsa said...

We are so, so sorry. Truly sorry. Our hearts ache for you in only that way that a person you so deeply loved and leaned on is gone. The suddenness and finality of it all is crippling. As you yearn to breathe and cry out to Him. Sometimes He is hard to find through the tears, but there He stands waiting.
We are so truly sorry.
We apologize for not coming sooner, as you are a favorite blogger in our books, yet we find it hard to blog sometimes through the tears.
Prayers for your family
Prayers for your children
Prayers for you
Have a blessed Sunday,
kari & kijsa

brook said...

Your brother's journey has taken an unknown path. Your Father,Mother,and you,tara,remain on familar paths.Prayers for strength,acceptance,peace,loving memories and in time your paths will meet again with Joy beyond words. Blessings, brook