". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My Brother Died

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."


Susan said...

Oh, Cheryl, I'm so sorry. I guess I should be sorry about your brother's death. But like you, the sorrow is more about how the siblings must view you and your entire family. Yes, I can understand grieving the loss of what you thought about your extended family and relationships.

Glenda said...

Ditto to Susan, Cheryl.

I'm sorry. As also a member of a his, hers, and ours family, I know all too well the pains. I'm sorry.


Melody said...


Cheryl said...

Thanks, friends. I know that there are many people out there who can relate. I am rather puzzled by all of this. As I wrote, my brother and I were not close, but I did not consider us to be estranged or at odds, so I am puzzled by being kept out of the loop. I tried to sign the online guestbook but my note was not allowed to post by whoever is moderating.

Untamed Shrew said...

I can sympathize, Cheryl, and it hurts! I was born into one family, raised by my aunt and uncle, then was adopted as an adult. My aunt's son (whom I considered my brother) died two years ago, and I found out months later in a Christmas letter. Sometimes I almost get the impression that a few families pride themselves on being dysfunctional, so anyone who is stable and happy is excommunicated.

Leah said...

God's peace to you today Cheryl. Sigh.