TeenHealthFX would like to start by giving our condolences for what was obviously and understandably a very difficult loss for you. The death of a loved one, especially a close family member, can be an extremely painful loss, and it can be a very hard thing to deal with.
Very often people “seal” up their emotions almost for survival sake – because accepting, facing, and feeling with those emotions is too overwhelming and painful to deal with. So FX can understand that you may have blocked out any feelings of sadness, anger and loss for many years regarding your brother’s death. The fact that this friend’s comment triggered such a strong emotional reaction in you, and that you have been crying every night since, suggests that you may be finally feeling ready to let out the feelings of hurt that have been buried for so long. There are many different feelings and phases that a person can go through regarding the death of a loved on – a sense of loss, sadness, and loneliness, and even feelings of anger that the person left you (whether the deceased person had any control over their death or not, people often experience anger that they must go on alone – this is very normal).
FX thinks that you need to be patient and understanding with yourself that you may need time now to cry, be angry, or be sad and finally grieve the death of your brother. Know that these feelings may last for many months and that you may experience a variety of negative emotions as you go through this process. And make sure that you have some supports around you – parents, counselors, friends, extended family members – who are aware of what you are going through and who can be there for you in a loving and supportive way when you need them. If you find you are having a very difficult time dealing with these feelings, or that your emotional reactions are significantly interfering in any part of your life, consider speaking with a mental health professional trained in dealing with issues around bereavement – you can meet individually with someone or even join a bereavement group where you may not feel so alone since you will have other people to talk to who are going through similar situations.
Down the road, once you have worked through a lot of your grief, you might consider trying to find some way to honor your brother’s memory – whether it’s helping to raise money for heart disease organizations, organizing some kind of family gathering once a year to honor his memory, or anything else that would be some kind of meaningful tribute to your brother – this might be helpful to you and the people who loved your brother as a way to remember him with love, as well as to honor his life by doing something positive in his memory.
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