At least I thought he was my brother. I was not listed as a sibling in his obituary, nor was I notified of his death. I stumbled on the news on Facebook today on another relative's page.
I am the youngest child of a combined family. My father was a widower with four children. My mother was a divorcee with six. They married and had me, and I am quite a bit younger than all my siblings. I grew up in a two-sided family, and I have never really known which "side" I belong to. Sometimes I don't think I belong to either. But for my whole life, when people have asked about my family, I have responded by saying that I have six sisters and four brothers.
My brother who died several days ago was my father's oldest son. I am kind of confused right now, not sure how I feel about this or how I ought to feel about this. I do not feel his loss deeply on a personal level, as I did not know this brother well. I did try to keep in touch with him over the years through Christmas cards and the like. I think when I first heard about this today I just had to set it aside for a little while. Now I find myself grieving, not so much the death of my brother, but the death of a dream of the kind of family I always wished for but never really had.
I may not be my brother's sister, but I still consider him my brother. When I die, I would like my obituary to state that "Cheryl was the youngest of eleven children."