Mourning for my brother: “I will carry you with me every day in my heart”

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 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.”

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463 66 683 A reminder for eternity: Here Verena shows the tattoo, which symbolizes her strong bond with her brother – “one of two”.

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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.




Verena und Hendrik 414 Verena and Hendrik stood.


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.

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Luftballon für Hendrik

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“Happy Birthday! Now you would be () 596 683 © Private


11635114 “I still have contact with Fre And from the past, “explains Verena,” but it is difficult for some to understand that grief does not diminish over the years. It is important that you do not have to justify yourself if you still grieve six years later – because man does not come back and he is missing a lifetime. “

That's why Verena is also very happy when she receives a nice message from friends on the day of her brother's death. “Even if it's just a 'I think of you' or a heart, because the girlfriend may not know what to write “When words are missing, embracing is a sweet gesture.” It does not have to be spectacular, such trifles help a lot and make you feel like you're not alone. “Also about old photos of her brother Verena and her parents would be very happy. “So many people still have pictures of him that we do not know yet. That would be great to get such pictures. “

” In my thoughts, my brother is always with me “

In the past, the children's rooms of Hendrik and Verena were right next to each other and today Verena lives in her brother's former room, so it's a great feeling for Verena to be close to her brother. “All the furniture is new but they are the same as my brother's then. Somehow he is still here. In my mind, my brother is always with me. “

A few months ago, Verena passed her A-Levels, and she brought a candle to her brother, saying,” We have it “She has already shared many milestones of her life with her older brother, who lives her life for two, wants to experience for him all that he can not live anymore.” These candles are my own personal ritual and me always take time to prepare her and then take her to the cemetery. “

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2839 “Lives life, tries to take everything!”

A few days ago Verena left for her year abroad. She is looking forward to all the new experiences. The memory of her brother will accompany her. But in addition to grief, space for happy moments has been created over time. Her life may continue. “My brother always wanted me to live my life and do everything I want to do.”

This message, this feeling, Verena would like to also to other people “() Even if things do not go this way, do not let it get you down so fast, even if you have a bad day, at some point it's going to be uphill! It's just important that you always get up and keep going. ”

Verena ends her letter on Hendrik's fifth day of death with the following words:

I will carry you with you every day in my heart and experience for you all that you could not live anymore, through which I have learned what it means to never give up, to make the best out of every situation and always with a smile to go through life, no matter how shit life can be.

I want to make you proud. I thank you for everything you have done for me, and I believe from now on where you are now you still do it. You will forever be my big brother and I will always be your little sister.

I love you,

Your little Reni

Help & Donations

Do you want the work of the Association for Orphaned Parents and Siblings eV Lots of information on how to help the club can be found here: 36 .

A reminder for the Eternity: Here Verena shows the tattoo, which symbolizes her strong bond with her brother – “one of two”.

Full of confidence, the little girl cuddles up to her big brother: This picture from her childhood days shows how close Verena and Hendrik were.

“Happy Birthday! Now you would be ()! I miss you “: This lovely message Verena wrote on Hendrik's birthday on a balloon for her brother.

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