The Day My Brother Died

My little brother, Tyler,  was five years younger than me.  I remember the day he was born and the very first time I saw him in the nursery.  When I arrived at the hospital and looked at him through the nursery glass, it felt magical.  He looked back at me and smiled.  I yelled excitedly to my dad, "He just smiled at me!"  My dad told me that he just had gas. 

I remember the last time I saw him about five weeks ago just as vividly.  He was 19, a college student, and had driven home one Thursday evening just to hang out with his sis.  We had great conversations that night discussing his future plans, I helped him fill out his FAFSA, and in the course of that evening he told me something.   He told me, very frankly and confidently, that he was going to die.  He woudln't make it to see the age of 21.  I was upset with him for saying this and told him to shut up.  I told him he was going to be the uncle to my children someday and I would be devestated if he died.  My brother stayed the night at my house that night.  He slept with my dog in his room.  I awoke before him the next morning and before I left, I went to his room, told him goodbye and told him to send me a text message when he made it back to school so I knew he got back safely.  I then left.  My brother did send me that text message telling me he made it home ok.

About a week later, Tyler left to go on the spring break trip with five others that he had been so excited about. On this trip, he and his friends would be traveling from the midwest to the west coast by car.  I was worried about him going after the comment he had made to me about his premonitions of death.  I kept telling myself to call him to make sure he was ok, but set those feelings aside.  The next morning after he left on his trip, I awoke in a strangely pleasant mood at 7:00 am.  I later found out that this was around the time my brother later died.  I fell back asleep, and met up with a friend for a manicure and pedicure.  Just another normal day.  Then, as I was traveling to meet up with my future mother-in-law to look at wedding decorations I got a phone call from my dad.  This was about 12:00 pm.  He asked me to come home right away.  His voice sounded normal, but I knew something was wrong.  I immediately started crying and asked, "Is it Tyler?"  My dad told me to just get home.  The 15 minute drive home was awful.  I called Tyler over and over and was screaming and crying.  I knew something was wrong with him and he wasn't answering the phone.  I thought to myself, "Maybe he's in the hospital and he will be fine."  When I arrived home and opened the door, I heard my dad on the phone with the medical examiner and in the course of their conversation I heard the words, "Tyler's body."  That was the worst moment of my life.  I lost all control and felt as if I was going to have a heart attack.  My two other siblings, my father, and myself then had to tell my mom what had happened.  I will never forget that moment.

Now, about three and a hafl weeks after Tyler's death. I am trying to wrap my mind around everything.  Tyler was the only person out of six people in the car that died.  The driver fell asleep at the wheel.  I am feeling all of those emotions they tell you a grieving person feels.  I feel a hole in my heart and a numbness at the same time.  I can't understand why Tyler had this feeling that he was going to die.  I don't even know how to describe my emotions these past few weeks.  They have been emotional, nonexistent, and strange feeling all at the same time.  I don't know what to expect the coming days, weeks or months....

hpen hpen
22-25, F
6 Responses Apr 7, 2010

My brother died 3 months ago at the age of 22.I was with him.he got into an argument with our mom and he was drunk.he told me to come with him so I was horrible....there was blood everywhere,he went under a truck but I survived....I'm heartbroken

Your story reminds me so much of my little brother. He passed away almost a month ago in a car accident. He was 18 and had just graduated high school the month before. He is 5 years younger than me and I can remember the day he was brought home from the hospital. I was so mad that he was taking the attention away from me and doubly angry because he wasn't a girl but that passed so fast. He is the best little brother anyone could have ever dreamed of. He would follow me around everywhere I went and was always in for whatever I wanted to do from the time we were first able to play to the day before his accident. I always called him my big little brother because he grew up to be so much bigger than me and he would always protect me. I am so angry all the time. He was the back passenger in a car that was hit by a dump truck. The other two people in the car walked away without a scratch. He was sitting in the back because they were going to pick up a girl he liked and he wanted to be able to sit with her. I will never understand why he had to leave me and sometimes I just want to give up and lay down and never get up again. The only reason I don't is because I think about how angry I would be if it were the other way around and he just gave up. For the first time in my life I sometimes believe that there must be a life after this because it makes no sense that he could possibly be gone and that I'll never get to see him again. In some ways I try to feel lucky. A few days after the accident his friends put together a vigil and over 200 kids came to mourn his loss. I got to hear so many amazing stories of how loved my brother is and everything he did for people. They wrote a lot of stories down in a journal and gave it to me. I haven't had the courage to read it yet because I'm so afraid of there not being anymore. I mourn so much for the life he lost and all the things we won't get to experience together. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am so sorry for your loss and that this happened to your family. I hate saying that things "help" me because nothing could ever help the situation but hearing of other stories makes me feel supported.

Dear hpen, I am so sorry for you loss. I hope you know you are not alone in the process. I lost my brother who was 5 years younger than me to a car accident this September. I thought we could grow old together and all the stuff you mentioned in your posting. My life will never be the same again. I won't get to meet his future bride, attend his wedding and hear his kids call me auntie. It is really hard, and people who don't understand keep saying "time will heal".........anyway, you take good care!

So sad to hear. Hope you are coping well. I lost my little brother when he was 13 years old. He had suffered a long illness, and I knew he was going to die. Even though we knew my brother would not survive his illness, it was still devastating when that day came. Such a tragety for one so young not to have a long life, as it should be. Even though it's been over fourty years, I still have sadness. But, as time goes by, not as often as at first<br />
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I remember my brother everyday, and often wonder who he would have grown up to be, and what his life would be like now. Sometimes I feel his presence. Once, my eight year old niece told me she had a dream of him. She said he was playing with her and her baby sister. This was 15 years after he died. Her dream still brings me comfort. Hope you have felt comforted, and have less pain.

i had a younger brother that passed on is well. I'm truley sorry regarding your little brother passing, I truley understand your pain its so deep that I can't even begin telling hoe far is it . alot people told (I know what are you going through its going to ease up) truley i can hear them but I never understood them. the pain was almost covering my hole body. its not like when you cut your finger and you put a bandage on it, while knowing your pain is around your finger. This pain is beyound that believe me I know it too. My brother was 23 he was on a vacation is well. for some reason i want to tell you that i know we missed them alot, the good part if you think about it we are only less than a second away from them. Please take care of your self and your family, in a way we gained an angel we didnt just loss our brothers. take care and see you in the next life my brother.

I'm so sorry to read of your loss. I had a younger brother that was 5 years younger than me, his name was sam. he passed away in a drunk driving car accident last year. your story brought back memories of that dreaded day that i would hear of the bad news

My youngest Brother that was 14 years younger then myself. We had a very tight bond. He never knew his Father and I pretty much was his Father/Brother.
He had told me for a few years that he would never live to see 26.
He was killed in a bad car crash wen he was 25yrs' old. I was sound a sleep May 8th. and at 3:16 AM I found myself on the floor next to my bedside screaming. My wife woke me in panick asking me what was wrong. I told her it felt like someone took a sledge hammer and smacked me in the right side of my head. My head and face was still hurting me as I told her this. I was sitting on the floor right in front of my night stand with my alarm clock in my face saying 3:16 AM. After a while I went back to sleep and woke at 6:00 AM to get ready for work. We talked a few minutes about what happened and I blew it off. I leave for work and which is a few minutes down the road.
Before turning Left to turn into the industrial park I work at I see 3 sheriffs cars and a Corners SUV on the right side of the road and think to myself someone must have died in that little patch of woods. I get to work don't even get to sit down and the phone rings. It's a ladys voice on the phone telling me I think your brother died.
I instantly called the police told them who I was and ask who died on U.S. 19 in Homosassa Fl. They told me they were sending an officer over to talk to me. I knew right then it was my youngest brother. Later that day the Corner called me and told me he died at 3:16 AM Also in my house I have a Family room and a Living room. When he did live with me we worked different shifts and he spent a lot of time in the livingroom and I hung out in my familyroom when I was at home. Well after his death for month I would come home and the clock in the living room would be stopped on 3:16
Plus I would sometimes turn on the TV in the living room that he watched and you would be watching 1 channel and hearing the volume from another channel. I took the TV to the shop and they told me it was fine.
Please if anyone has had things like this happen to them email me at masterlowrider where the mail is always hot