Verena has lost her big brother to the cancer. How she deals with her grief and how much the “Association for Orphaned Parents and Siblings Hamburg eV” helps, she talks to BRIGITTE.de for the dossier “ Part of my heart is missing: how children deal with loss and grief and what helps them “
” I will miss you all my life “
” Now it's been 5 years, a lot has happened in my life over the last 5 years, I drank alcohol for the first time, I was celebrating, I went to high school, I found true friends, I got it in love and separated again, I successfully passed my driving license, I came of age and had a tattoo made on me, I became a young woman …
yet, and it always hurts to realize that I'm also the next 5, (*), (*) years must live without you.
Can not ask you if I'm doing the right thing, that you can not confirm to me at my wedding that I'm marrying the right man and that my children will never have you as an uncle. I will miss you all my life. Every year again … “
Hendrik is now almost 6 years dead. His sister Verena ((*) Hendrik died two months before his Birthday at a brain tumor Verena has now learned to live with the missing, but at some moments the grief for her brother is so strong It is often these moments when the family should be together, at Christmas, on his birthday, on the day she passes the exam, but Hendrik is gone.
“My brother is becoming a part of be mine “
When Hendrik died, Verena was just 15 Year old. The tattoo, told by Verena, draws the skin on her left upper arm. There are three words in dark colors that summarize all the love and pain that define Verena's life: “one of two”. For Verena, this tattoo is a very strong symbol: “You do not know what it means, but it says so much, I'm one of two, and my brother will always be part of me.”
463 66 683 A reminder for eternity: Here Verena shows the tattoo, which symbolizes her strong bond with her brother – “one of two”.
465 45 (*
to the world. His little sister Verena came in July 11 to. From the beginning, the siblings were very close. Verena says: “We both have always got along very well and played a lot together, we had a very nice childhood”. Later, the two attended the same high school. “It has always been a good feeling to know that my big brother is also there somewhere.”
“Hey Reni, that'll be fine again”
Of course, the two of them also sometimes, as it is under siblings. But basically the two always understood each other well. “If we ever had a fight and I wanted to apologize to him, my brother always said: 'Hey Reni' – he used to call me Reni – 'Is everything all right, what should you apologize for?'” Hendrik had a lot loving and caring way to deal with his sister. “He always supported me, I've never seen such a selfless, kind, helpful and joyful person as my brother.”
One of her best memories of her time with her big brother makes Verena laugh today: “My mother does not have makeup and is more skeptical than that I went shopping together and he went to the make-up department with me and we bought my first mascara together so my mom could not say anything about it. ”
When Verena thinks of her deceased brother, she remembers these moments above all else: his laughter and how he affectionately calls her Reni. Even an evening of their last holiday together on Sylt is unforgettable for them: “Since we are both going by bike and have looked at the sunset together. That was very nice.”
At the time of diagnosis Hendrik (*) years old
That Hendrik would be seriously ill, was not foreseeable. He was always healthy, except for a few blows through handball. He was an avid handball player. “Beginning “I do not know exactly how exactly the doctors came to know that Hendrik is so seriously ill, because my parents did not tell me everything in detail, so as not to let that bother me so much tingling, then something was on the ear, it was followed by more and more investigations and finally it was found: He has a brain tumor. ”
For Verena at first it was not clear how sick her brother was. “I did not even know it was cancer, I just knew it had a tumor, and my dad told me a lot about what to do about it with chemo and radiation, and I've always thought he was sick but in two months' time will be well again, there was no other option for me until the last moment, and when I later realized that he had cancer, that was another shock. ”
Although the family then had to spend a lot of time in the hospital afterwards, the illness was not a big topic of conversation between Hendrik and Verena. “We tried to make the most of our time.”
“It would have been nice if his friends had been there for him”
Friends, acquaintances, neighbors and teachers reacted very differently to the bad news. There was a lot of encouragement and friendly reactions, but also negative experiences: “At first Hendrik still had occasional visits, but over time his friends withdrew more and more and in the end he was hardly ever visited anymore very sad.” Nevertheless, Verena understands this reaction: “Many were scared and did not know how to react, but if nothing is the best thing to do is always the question.” Verena would have been very happy if Hendrik's friends had been there for him.
414 Verena and Hendrik stood.
In his last months Hendrik could thanks to aid organizations such as “Kinderwünsche eV” He was allowed to attend a crime film shoot and watch the cut. Once he was with “Circus HalliGalli” with Joko and Klaas. Later, the whole family was invited by Til Schweiger to a film premiere in Hamburg. “We were together again in Lübeck, spent a nice day there, and often together in the garden grilled.” We have collected many beautiful memories. ” Until his last moment Hendrik never lost his zest for life. When Verena and her parents felt sick, he often said, “You do not have to cry now.”
On December 6 2013 Verena and her parents had to say goodbye to Hendrik. It was a gray, gloomy day. Dark clouds moved across the sky. Strong wind howled across the land. It was the storm wind “Xaver” that made sure that the school also failed for Verena. “Otherwise I would not have been home at all”. While the storm was raging outside, it was quiet in the family home. Everyone sensed that the time had come to say goodbye. Hendrik lay in his bed, his parents and sister Verena were with him. It was followed by recent touches and last words to Hendrik. Never in her life will Verena forget this moment when Hendrik's heart stopped beating and he finally went away forever.
The time after his death
In the first time after her brother's death, Verena barely understood what had happened. “I did not mean to believe it, it seemed like a dream, I just wanted to fall asleep and wake up and everything would be back to normal.” Suddenly all her parents' attention was on Verena herself. “They always wanted me to be fine, which was difficult for me to handle this attention.”
Posters were posted at school with the news of Hendrik's death. “That was weird, people knew that my brother had died, looked at me, but did not talk to me about it.” Even with her friends Verena could not share her pain. “They did not have that experience and could not really understand what that means when they lose their sibling, I was so full of grief and for everyone else, life went on as normal and I think that was very difficult for my parents as well. ”
“Our family is dismembered” 2013
While it helped Verena to go back to school and have such a structure in the day, she was often elsewhere. “Just in the evening came the great sadness, when I had nothing left to do”. Once, at Christmas, when she did not feel well, Verena wrote to her brother:
” is the feast of love, the family, many people are looking forward to Christmas, they bring gifts, put up a Christmas tree and prepare food, I also found Christmas nice, when I was small, I was looking forward to Christmas every presents, we always had a big fir-tree in the living room and ate all together, it was a nice feast, a feast of family and love.
Family is fragmented, Christmas reminds me of what I have lost, a common family, and most of all my brother, Christmas is a feast of remembrance and d he wishes that can not be fulfilled. “
Help by the association for orphaned parents and siblings
Verena and her mother found great support and help during this dark time in the bereavement groups of the Association for Orphaned Parents and Siblings in Hamburg. This association was founded by people who had to experience for themselves what it means to lose a loved one through death. They all share a desire to help others in their great grief, when they no longer know where to go with their grief and despair.
Originally the association was founded for orphaned parents and siblings in Hamburg, but now there are groups throughout Germany and an umbrella organization in Leipzig. The mourners of the association catch orphaned parents and siblings in their hardest time and create a sheltered space for them to speak openly about their loss or to find ways to deal with it – for example, in round tables, memorial services or mourning weekends Sea.
Posted by 82 Orphaned parents and siblings Hamburg eV on 683 Tuesday, 4 September 12
Verena visits twice a month one of the youth mourning groups of the association. “Sure, my parents always tried to help me, but they were so sad themselves, so I did not want to burden them so much with my feelings and stayed with them.”
Even her friends were rather unwilling to talk about this topic. “When I tried that, the mood was always awkward and I realized they would rather change the subject, so if I have the feeling that a person would rather not hear about it and I'm not interested in it, then I would do not tell about it. ” Being able to talk about her brother in the mourning group is therefore a great relief for Verena.
“So much lightness despite this difficult topic”
From the first moment she feels warmly welcomed in the group. “In the beginning, it took me a bit of an overstrain to go there, but then I realized how much ease there is, despite this heavy topic, and that it's kind of nice and good to go to those meetings comes out, takes time for this topic and can talk about it, because you can completely switch off from all the stress around it and talk so well with the people there and the bereavement attendants. “
How exactly the discussions in the group are going is different. Verena says: “There are two sofas and a table in the room where we all light two candles, one for the deceased person and one for himself For example, he or she asks a specific question, and another time, someone just asks, 'Well, how are you?' It's a very special place, quite free. It does not tell anyone, do this or do that. It's much more a togetherness, you should definitely give it a chance, even if you can not imagine it that way. “
“Man lacks one all his life”
Out of the group of mourners, Verena has also created special new friendships with two others young women, both of whom have each lost their sister. “In the beginning it was a bit strange,” says Verena. “Actually, these are strangers, but somehow they are not foreign, because you feel the same connected by the fact that you have experienced the same thing.Over time, these friendships have emerged and the shared experiences with the bereaved group have us We are actually normal friends who talk together about boys, school etc. and do things together, but in addition we can always talk about our siblings, memories and death, that's what's special and what we do We can talk about our brothers and sisters quite openly and without being in the mood for each other's emotions and so we are on one level, that's very nice. “
The young women have one another visited the graves of their siblings. For the birthday of Verena's brother, they have sent together helium balloons with personal messages.
“Happy Birthday! Now you would be () 596 683 © Private