T Nation

Question On What to Say

I have a question, and it seems like it would be easier to ask it to people I don’t know at all. My older brother died on 5/15 of last year and although I have accepted it, that’s not the issue. A problem I encountered a lot when I came to college a couple months later was people asking me about my family, ie do you have any brothers or sisters? (I also have an older sister) My question is, do I a) say I have two siblings and then explain every time, or b) say I just have an older sister.

I have gone back and forth with both responses but was looking to stick with one from now on so I don’t have to worry about it. It would be helpful if there is anyone who has experienced something similar but all suggestions are welcome. Thanks

I don’t feel like typing it all out, but my brother died young(23) and it was a result of his lifestyle and not a car accident or similar.

Hey man, I know what you’re talking about, I went, and stll go through the same thing.

My response to those kind of questions depends on the depth of the relationship.

If I’m getting close to them or suspect I will be, I tell them I have a sister and a brother who died.

If it happens to be one of those situations where it’s superficial, I’ll just tell them I have a sister, unless the conversation requires further elaboration.

It may seem foolish to do so, but when you mention you had a sibling pass away, the dynamic of the encounter totally changes, making it awkward. Try mentioning a death in the family at a party atmosphere and see how that goes.

Thanks for the respone. Does anyone else have experience, or more likely what would you want me to tell you if we were friends? Is it something people would want to be told if they ask about or is best kept unsaid unless needed?

Same, depends on who your talking to.

I think it would depend on what you believe.

Do you still feel like you have a brother?

For me personally, I would say I have 1 brother and 1 sister. If they keep asking about each one, like what’s your brother and sister do, or if they just try to go into more detail of your life, then you can tell them that your brother died, but he’s still your brother.

I can see how it could get awkward, but if you talk as if he’s still your brother, I’m sure nobody will question why you consider him to be your brother.

I was born in between 2 miscarriages, but I don’t really acknowledge either of them as my siblings, and neither do my brother or sister, but I think it’s a lot different once you have gotten to know him and have lived with him.

I’m sorry to hear about your brother. You and your family will be in my prayers.

The same happened to my brother three+ years ago…died young of natural causes that caused a freak accident.

You are at such an early stage of grieiving. I feel for you.

I would say, we all grieve in our own ways and in our own time. With that being said, I chose to be truthful without giving TMI. I say something like, "I had three siblings, and now it’s just my sister and I. Sometimes if people inquire further, I’ll add, “My two brothers passed away.”

Sometimes people ask “OMG, what happened?”, and I just tell them the straight truth. If they ask too painful questions that I’m not ready to share, I know that they are merely feeling concerned and are well intentioned, and give them a closed-end answer such as, “thank you for your concern…it’s still hard for me to talk about it right now, but I’ll tell you about it sometime in the future.”

Anyway, whatever you choose to say, there is no right or wrong. And people who know you well will understand.

Take care.

Love and Hugs,