Thursday, May 26, 2016

Question Of The Day


This used to be so easy to answer before one of my brothers died. When asked, I'd simply say "Yes, I have two older brothers." And that was the end of it. But after I lost the younger of the two, it became quite awkward. Still is.

My answer now depends on the situation. Sometimes, I may simply say that I have two older brothers and not mention that one died. Or I might answer that I have one older sibling and leave it at that. Because mentioning death brings out uncomfortable silence or questions that I don't feel like answering. Other times I'll just tell someone "I had two older brothers; one of them died a few years ago" or "There used to be three of us but one died awhile back" and let the chips fall where they may.

How about you?

38 comments:

  1. I have two living sisters. Here is the story http://gailatthefarm.blogspot.com/2008/11/secrets.html

    I am sorry for your loss.

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    1. Thanks for sharing that link Gail. I was so touched by that story. It certainly was the way of the times.

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    2. My Granny Pruett was a midwife and Granny Greenstreet was also there. They were born here in the three room house still standing.

      I have a bite of yellow watermelon now and then.

      Have a wonderful week.

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    3. I am always fascinated by your family stories and history. It's so interesting! Enjoy the day!

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  2. I remember you posting pictures of your brothers and I can't imagine how that loss must feel. I'm an only child and have always yearned for a sibling.

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    1. It's a grief that I thought I'd experience when we were all old and grey, not so early in life.

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  3. I have an older brother and a younger sister, both still alive so far. I also had another older brother who died as a six-month-old baby before I was born. I don't include him in the count when casually asked about whether I have siblings.

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    1. I'm sorry about that child, which must have been very hard on your parents.

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  4. I have an older brother and an older sister. I agree, I think it would depend on the circumstances how I would answer the question if a sibling has passed.

    Betty

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    1. For sure, Betty. It all depends on who I'm speaking with.

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  5. I agree that your situation is awkward. My husband lost one of his brothers when they were young and he struggles with that question, too. I am so sorry that you have to deal with the reality of having lost a sibling. I know that it leaves a void.

    As for me, I have one brother. He is a royal pain in the ass but he is my only sibling and I love him in spite of him being a PITA.

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  6. I have 3 younger sisters and a younger brother. Well my dad had son before he married my mom so I also have an older brother, but he became estranged from us.

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    1. A nice big family! I would have loved to have had more siblings. That's too bad about your estranged brother.

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  7. I have a sister and two brothers still living. I know the awkward moments my husband has when someone ask him how his parents are doing since They both have passed away. Hard to find the words sometimes that will not cause hard feelings or embarrassment to the one that had no idea. Your answers are perfect.
    Lisa

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    1. It can be a tricky situation. The way I handle it depends on the situation and who I'm speaking with.

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  8. I never thought about this situation. My sister died in 1953 at age 11. I will say I had a sister.

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  9. I have two older brothers. I'm not close to either one, and really keep in touch with only one.

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    1. Every family dynamic is different. Not all siblings are close.

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  10. My eldest brother died at the age of ten, I have a surviving older brother, and my identical twin sister died when we were four months old. Like you, I answer differently depending on the circumstances.
    When my father died last year his girlfriend/partner briefed the funeral director and didn't know about the son and daughter who had died more than 40 years ago, understandably, so they weren't included in the introductory speech. She was very upset and apologetic when she found out.

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    1. Oh my, that is sad about your brother and twin sister! Both died so young.

      And I can only imagine how shocking and upsetting it was for your father's girlfriend when she found out about that.

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  11. I have three older brothers, all living. No younger and no sisters.

    That I know of...

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    1. HAHA! I like your last line. Hopefully there are no surprises!

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  12. so much love to you, martha
    as a very good listener, perhaps having lost so much i like to talk less and less as i get older.

    I've gotten very good at saying in a very engaging way- yes, two brothers but tell me what about you?-
    ive lost one brother, and the other havent seen in decades :/ never will be easy, just better eays at not elaborating, for me anyway. maybe.

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    1. Experience often gives us wisdom about how to handle tough situations for ourselves and others. I'm sorry about your loss. I know how hard it was and continues to be. We get used to them being gone but the ache is always there.

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  13. I had two step siblings, one of whom is still living. I also have several half-siblings, none of whom I grew up with or knew about growing up and I am my mother's only living child and was raised as an only child. If you can figure that out, you get a prize.

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    1. This is like a Rubik's cube! LOL... There must be quite a story behind this :)

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  14. It depends on who asks for me. My eldest sister died of cancer in 1996, she was 56 and I was 34. I am the youngest of 5 daughters. I usually say I have 3 sisters now, and that one passed away. I think that death needs to be put out there, like miscarriage, and that loss is real, but normal. :)

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    1. Very good point! People are so uncomfortable about these topics. And we shouldn't be.

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  15. I have 4 brothers and four sisters.
    One younger brother died when he was 19....he committed suicide. I usually reply that he died due to suicide. I decided years ago that this topic needs to be out of the closet and I know my brother Bernard would support this.

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    1. Bravo to you, Jim! I totally agree. There is a lot of stigma attached to suicide and it should be overcome. We need to get this topic out in the open, so that those who need help will not be ashamed to reach out for it.

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  16. Oi!

    I'm the youngest of six.

    Four older sisters and one brother who thinks because he is the only boy he can lord it over the rest of us. they're 10-15 years older than me and I just turned 42.

    There was an older, older brother, the first baby mum had, but he died before the rest of us came along, so no, I don't count him.

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    1. That's a big family. And quite a difference in age between you and them!

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  17. Hi Martha girl
    I have a hard time not saying I have a sister even though she died at the age of 50 from colon cancer in 2004 (long story of when I found out so after the event and so heart wrenching) also having to say yes I have a brother who is 10 years older than I and emotionally deficient as could be ... what can I say ... I feel like an only child now so late in life.
    I remember your brother every years since we spoke because it happened on my anniversary.
    So you are never alone in those thoughts .. I bet you didn't realize that would happen to me too ?
    Joy
    PS Hope all is well ..

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    1. I'm sorry about your sister, Joy. You shared the story with me in an email at the time. My heart broke at how upset you were. Life certainly throws curve balls. No matter how or when, it's never easy to lose a sibling. There's a very unique connection.

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