I Lost My Brother a Year After My Father Died

My father was an alcoholic. He slowly killed himself through drinking himself to death, he was 54 when he died.

While I was growing up, my father was what many refer to as a functioning alcoholic. He was career Navy. After he retired from the Navy, his drinking steadily increased. When I would point out to him the damage he was doing to himself, and how his drinking was going to kill him, his typical response was, "We all have to die sometime."

The cards were stacked against him from birth. His father was an alcoholic, his parents divorced when he was very young. He left home and joined the Navy at age 17. He had many character traits common in alcoholics, he had self esteem issues that he tried to cover up by sometimes belittling those around him and acting cocky. He was inherently intelligent but didn't have the degrees that would validate that intelligence. He was quick witted, sometimes very funny, but had a tendency to display his wit at someone else's expense.

The worse thing, to me, about having an alcoholic father was the unpredictability. You never knew how he was going to react to things.

His father got sober and became a Pentecostal minister. My father died 5 months after my grandfather died.

My brother, who looked so much like dad, had epilepsy. He knew drinking alcohol could bring on a seizure, he drank anyway. He was 24 when he died. He had been up late drinking beer with friends and playing cards. He went to sleep on their couch. The next day was Superbowl Sunday. As the game was getting ready to start, his friend tried to wake him up, but he had died during the night after a grand mal seizure deprived him of oxygen.

My brother had not been a happy person for a long time. I think he felt hopeless. The years just before his death had seen a significant increase in the number of seizures. We found out after he died, he hadn't refilled his anti-seizure medication for months.

So, he basically killed himself through his behavior. I was very sad that my brother got no real joy from life, but happy for him that he had been released from the pain that living seemed to bring him.

WittyOne WittyOne
46-50, F
3 Responses May 27, 2007

Oh my Lord, sorry about all those typos. i must be tired. i hope u can figure out what i was trying to say!!

My father too is an extremely violent abusive FUNCTIONG alcoholic, i think in someways because they are functioning they never truly see the problem and the extent of the demage. Sadly both your brother and father died before what we think is a normak time, i cant imagine the pain you must have and maybe still are in. So far i have not lost anyone to physical death yet. But i feel that i never had a father, due to his behavior. I refer this as a LIVING DEATH. Our relationship has always been beyond terrible. But i'm not here to discuss me, just to make a comment about ur story. Well with regards to alcoholism, u certainly are noy alone. But i am sadden about both deaths and wish you well. I don'y know much about grands mal seizures, but i have always none that they are no picnic, i just honestly never knew (ignorance here) that they can kill you. i hope *somewhere* ur father is sunstance free and that he and ur brother are happier now. Bless you!!

My father also was Navy and an alcoholic/perscription drug addict. He was killing himself also slowly with substance until he decided to just take his own life. So I do understand your story alot. And I appreciate you sharing it here.