November 3

The Death of a Sibling

A year ago today, my brother died.

death of a sibling

It’s hard to believe it has been over a year since I saw him last. In some ways it feels like yesterday.

I can still hear his goofy laugh and his low voice saying goodbye for the last time. Though I didn’t know it would be the last time we would be together, I treasure that last hug on a Kentucky July and those final I love you’s exchanged.

When I allow myself to go there, the pain is deep. A good friend told me grief comes in waves. She was right. But she also mentioned that the waves lessen in frequency as time passes. She was right about that, too.

A year ago today, I stood on the beach as grief’s relentless waves slammed me hard. Moment after moment a new wave of realization threw me to the ground. Time doesn’t make the hurt go away, nor do days passing lessen the ache when the waves come, but the waves are calmer and slower. Sometimes I can even see them coming, and I can back up the shore in time to avoid its sting.

death of a sibling

It’s in this way that I know a year must have passed.

For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the flood surrounded me; all your waves and your billows passed over me . . . Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love. But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you . . . “Salvation belongs to the LORD!” – Jonah 2:3,8-9

God allowed a deep place in my life. Yet He has proven Himself my faithful provider through the crash of every wave.

death of a sibling

We miss you terribly, James.


Grief, Life, Sojourning

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  1. Beautifully said Katie. The loss of a sibling changes the family forever. In my opinion, sibling loss is very under acknowledged and at times, dismissed. No one disputes the deep pain of losing a child or the significant loss of parents and spouse, but sibling loss just seems to go unnoticed. Anyone can find a loss group for the loss of child, parent, spouse or even pet, but good luck finding a sibling loss group. With that said, THANK YOU for posting your sibling loss and sharing James with all of us!! God bless you and your family.

    1. Thank you, Valerie. These posts are difficult to write, yet it helps me through the grieving process.

      I appreciate your support, prayers, and encouragement! Praying the Lord would cross our paths again soon.

  2. I am so sorry for your loss. I wish I could find the words to make you and your family feel better, and I know I can’t, bcuz I still have a hard time believing he is gone. 🙁
    Thank you so much for posting this. It’s absolutely beautiful

    1. Thank you Roselyn. It is still hard to believe. It feels like he could walk through the door any day now. Yet, I know that he won’t. Thankful that with time comes space from the pain.

  3. We were just talking about grief last Thursday night at our women’s bible study…some of the ladies lost their mom, one a spouse, one a dad, one a young niece, and me a good friend. It takes longer for some than others to process and finally find peace, and comfort and even joy again… But this we all agreed on, God is the only true comfort through any sort of grief. Time does heal…and we know we shall see our loved ones again…that is the true comfort.
    May God comfort you.

  4. Can’t imagine the pain of that kind of loss, Katie 🙁 God is so faithful to heal us, but the process must be a long one. One day, he will wipe every tear from our eyes.

  5. I just made a similar post on my blog called Goodbye Twice. The 25th of November was my brothers 1 year Heaven birthday. Losing a sibling, especially your younger one who had so much life to live, is so extremely hard. Do you mind telling me what happened to your brother?

  6. Hi Katie! I just stumbled across your blog and now this post. Grief takes so many different shapes and has a very unique timeline for each person it touches. I lost my twin brother 13 years ago and I couldn’t have agreed more. The waves grief still comes but the come softer and more slowly for sure. Thank you for sharing!

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