First vacation in three years...and my brother dies on the first day.
So I'm really trying not to have a pity-party for myself - I'm not. I'm a full-time barn owner/trainer/breeder, and as any BO knows, vacations are not easy to come by. That being said, my DH and I made plans to vacay to California to the Breeder's Cup and go to the San Diego Zoo. We planned on this for several months. I have had a rough, rough year on my farm: I lost two horses to colic, including my very best lesson horse who had also been my event horse. I also had unwarranted and uninvited drama that makes most daytime soaps look like fairytales. Additionally, my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. Things were finally beginning to settle down - drama left and we were moving on. But it was agreed that DH and I definitely needed to get out of Dodge for a few days before I ended up in a padded room with men in white coats spoon-feeding me jell-o.
There was one more issue though: My brother (half-brother actually - Dad's son) had been estranged from our family for several months - probably longer, due to his severe alcohol and prescription drug addiction. At one time, my brother had been a millionaire but went on a downward spiral and lost literally everthing as his addiction grew worse. He had stayed with several family members, including my parents (who live next door to me) but everyone ended up kicking him out due to his behavior. He and I had a major blow-up earlier in the year due to his behavior. I have resented him for the last couple of years to due his lack of interest in his (and mine) ailing father. I have been angry that the only time he would call our father was to ask for money. I have resented him and been angry at him for a very, very long time. It is sad - when I was a kid he used to be my hero. I always wanted to be just like him and I wanted to do everything that he did. In the last couple of months, we simply didn't talk. I found out that it was possible to hate someone and love them at the same time. A couple of weeks ago he called and left me a message to call him back. I never did.
Fast-forward to last Thursday. DH and I landed in California and as soon as I turned my phone on, I was bombarded with messages from home. While we were in the air, my brother died in a car accident.
Ten minutes into my desperately-needed vacation from all of the drama that I have endured in the last year, I find out my brother died.
My DH and I stayed in CA and went to the Breeder's Cup and the Zoo and did various other things, at my family's urging. And I managed to have a good time, even though I felt like a black cloud was hanging over me. Last night we arrived home - to a TB filly who decided to re-arrange my fencing and mangle her leg in the process (she'll be fine - mostly superficial stuff and nothing serious, thank goodness.) I am super, super tired. The funny thing is that I can't sleep very well, even though I can barely function.
The family will hold a small memorial service for my brother here at the farm in a couple of weeks - his ashes are being shipped here.
So yeah. That's what I did on my vacation. It just really sucks.
Sooo.. Baby Green...I'm guessing that you managed to find a university that offers degrees in Harsh and Mean-Ass. Those are hard to come by...kudos to you for finding one! Not looking for anyone to feel sorry for me, just thought writing it down might help me get my brain on straight again.
Boy, just when I think the human race is improving, posts like that remind me that things are still status-quo.
I'm so sorry, Fargone. Your whole year has been crap. I'm sorry you also lost your brother. And not just with his death.
Sending best wishes for next year to improve, though I know you have your hands full with your father. I've been there with two grandparents and it is starting in my mom. It's one of the hardest things. But hoping everything else will fall into place so you have the mental strength to continue trekking that hard road.
So sorry yoiu had to have this burden on you vacation.
People who do not have their horses at home don;t really appreciatet he kind of planning it takes to get away - even for a weekend!
Like rodawn advises, mourn in your own way.
My own brother & I were very close through grammar school - we're only 18mos apart.
Then from HS on we had a rocky relationship.
He lived with my parents, and after Mom died his relationship with Dad was less than peaceful.
But in his last years, when Dad became disabled, Bro stepped up and did all I would have in his place.
TG, as I was then 2400mi from them.
After Dad passed we grew closer and I am glad we made peace.
Not sure it will last forever, but it does give me some comfort now.
We are all we have left in the way of family.
Sorry you did not get this kind of closure, but do what you can to allow yourself to find peace.
*friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon: Steppin' Out 1988-2004 Hey Vern! 1982-2009 Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
My sympathies. I too recently lost my brother, while I was on vacation in Japan. I was contacted by a friend of his to say that he hadn't been seen for several days. The friend contacted the police who went to the house. They decided that my brother was out of town, though he had't gone out of town in years. I called them and a different officer went to the house and found that he had died in bed. I then had 4 days remaining in our trip. It was hard not to be down, but I tried not to spoil the trip for everyone else.
My brother and I had issues over the years, mostly about him taking advantage of my mom and his jelousy over what I had and he didn't. Now it's too late to fix any of it, and I will always feel guilty even though I don't think that I did anything wrong.
OP, Im glad you stayed on "vacation" though Im sure it was hard. Im so sorry for your loss. Whenever the phone rings unexpectedly I fear its something horrible about my brother, who has been in crisis mode for oh- 20 years or so. I know the dread. So know the dread. Find peace in your own way and remember the good in him. My brother is such a sensitive loving person underneath the constant drama, sometimes I feel that is part of his trouble.
Walk a mile in someone else's shoes before you make such comments. How you would handle your grief for your own personal relationships and circumstances does not mean that is the way everyone else in the world should handle their grief and family issues.
So sorry for your losses, Fargone and Kestrel. I can't imagine anything worse than getting that sort of news when you're on vacation.
Fargone, I understand that "dark cloud" feeling. My Mom and I did not have the best relationship at times, It was only as she aged, became enfeebled and finally died that I was able to come to grips with and understand her own struggles.
Even though you and your brother had grown apart, you still mourn him. Try to find time for yourself to rest, grieve, recover. Mourning is exhausting. A grief counselor friend of mine explained how the death of a relative or friend can sap us of energy and motivation. It's natural. It takes time.Give yourself that gift.
I know the BabyGreen comments are not appropriate, but let's just assume that babygreen is probably just projecting some of their own issues and maybe this has brought up some bad memories.
FGF, I'm so sorry for your loss. I know you in IRL, and certainly can attest to how hard you work and how much you likely needed this trip. Good for you for staying on your trip, even if it was not how you originally planned.
I hope you at least had a little fun. The San Diego Zoo is very nice!
When my grandmother died last winter, it was much the same for my mother - they had just gotten to Utah for their first ski vacation in three years, hadn't even unpacked. We all tried to convince her to stay out there, but there was no talking her down. Irrationally, I was mad at my grandmother for being so selfish as to die the day my mom, who had been her primary caregiver for years, left for a vacation she had been looking forward to for months.
I am so sorry. There was absolutely nothing wrong with you staying in California. You couldn't have done anything at home. I second the suggestion of going to a grief counselor for a couple of sessions. They are well-versed in loss of all kinds.
I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry