Sunday 9 August 2015


Summer is supposed to be a happy time… but what happens if your heart is breaking? Reader Louise shares her story…

Louise says:
Warning: this is a sad story. It's also a true story, and it almost broke me, because last summer I was just thirteen years old and I just wasn't strong enough to handle what happened. I'm still not strong, but I am surviving, and that's a start.

Last summer started off perfect. It was hot, and we live near to the beach so there were plenty of chances to hang out by the sea with my friends. My brother (I am not going to write his name, it's still painful) was loving it. He had a girlfriend and lots of friends, and they'd all just finished their A levels exams and most of them were heading to uni in the autumn. My brother had a place at a London uni to study chemistry.

One night, in the middle of the night the doorbell rang. I thought it was my brother, coming home late, forgetting his key, but it was the police who had come to tell us he would never be coming home again. He and his friends had been drinking (he never drank, as far as we knew) and they started diving from a small rocky cliff where they were hanging out into the sea. It was something my brother had done  before, but always in the daylight, and sober… and even then it was risky. That was part of the fun, apparently. Well, this time he didn't make it. He misjudged the dive and hit his head and by the time his  friends found him, it was too late.

Our lives fell apart. It became the worst summer ever, the summer I went to my brother's funeral instead of waving him off to uni. I couldn't talk about it and cut myself off from friends and family. In the end, I got some bereavement counselling and started to grieve. I will never get over it. My brother was so young and clever and full of life; I learned that life can be very cruel. His death changed my parents too. They are so sad. Sometimes all I want to do is talk to my brother, and it may seem weird but the beach is where I feel closest to him. Sometimes, I think I can hear him calling me, just beyond the waves.

Picture posed by model Clara: many thanks.

Cathy says:
Louise has been through a very, very difficult experience. I think she is very brave for sharing her feelings when things are clearly still quite raw; I hope she comes to terms with her loss in time. Have YOU ever lost someone close to you? COMMENT BELOW to share your story or to send a hug to Louise.


  1. I think Emma will have some good advice on this, you know, the one who says the memorable: 'until we deal again' line at the end.

    Also, I feel very, very sorry for what you've been through Louise.

  2. Sending a huge hug to Louise. I'm very close with my younger brother and can't imagine what it must be like to lose him. I hope that some of the pain will eventually fade and that your family will still stay together. xxx

  3. Big gigantic hugs to you! I lost my Grandma September 23rd 2013. I can't talk about it yet. I also understand the missng brother thing, mine was adopted away before I was born. My dream is to find him one day......

    1. good luck with your dream.

    2. Thank you, it means the world to me that you care.

  4. I'm so sorry, it must have been awful. Sending HUGE hugs to Louise, thank you for sharing your story with us. It must have taken a lot of courage to write about these painful memories. Stay strong<3

  5. I'm so sorry you had to go through that. I have a younger brother who I'm really close to and I would be devastated if he died. I'm really nervous he might do something stupid because he's got problems in practically every area of life you can inagine. I keep a close eye on him but he goes to uni in less than a month and I know I'll just spend the next 4 years panicking about him. I can't imagine what I'd do if he actually died and I'm an adult. You have coped admirably. Stay strong.

  6. It is really hard to comment on things like this. I too lost a brother albeit for another reason. It really is the saddest thing ever. I went from being the youngest to being the middle child and now I am the youngest again, although I am not really as I will always have a younger brother, just because he is not physically around he will always be there to be remembered. My brother departed this mortal coil (I don't like to say died), 11 years ago. He was only 21. It is still hard but one thing I have noticed is that your body trains itself to deal with the grief. You may not believe it at the time but it does happen. It doesn't mean that you miss them any less it just means that our amazing brains help us deal with the grief so things aren't always as sad. I used to find that strange things happened. Put it down to coincidence or whatever but I used to blame my brother because he was responsible for causing naughty boy type trouble all the time. I used to see people that looked just like him in the street. This doesn't happen anymore. If I hear a song that I know he used to like I smile now, before I used to get sad. My two children will always remember their "Uncle Tom" as we talk about him as if he was still here. The hardest part was talking about him just after he went, especially for my parents. It was upsetting but now my mother and I freely talk about him. Summer for me is sad as well as he had is birthday in August... now the actual day is full of memories of him. You will never forget him and it is always right to talk to him. I am a firm believer that if it makes you happy or even makes things that little bit easier then do it!

    Here is a very big hug for you and your family xxxxxxx

  7. Big hugs to Louise- if you ever need anything, just ask!

    I know how it can feel to loose someone really close to you: I had an older cousin, and he was like a brother to me. He died a couple of years ago, and I'm still coming to terms with it now. A loss is something that takes time to get over; even now I am only just having more good days than bad. It leaves hole in your life that can't be filled easily at all. I miss him, and I think I will always miss him, no matter how much time goes by. There are small reminders of him everywhere, but I no longer have any photographs of him with which to look back at to remember the good times.
    Your brother will always be with you, living on inside your heart and your memories.



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