Something profound . . .

There is something profound about being the only one left in one’s biological family of origin. Some years I think about it more than others, but this past week I have been very aware that nine years ago my brother and I spent our last day together. It was August 5, 2005 – three months and three days get LOST in the Montana Mountains and die of hypothermia before they found him. When I visit his family in Montana, he is not there where he is supposed to be. Instead, his hat hangs on the wall.

Billings trip

A good friend suggested I was more aware of it now that both of my parents are gone.

My pondering led me to be more acutely aware that while I am surrounded by my own family now and many nurturing friendships, no one alive knows me “when . . . .”

Rayna Vaught Godfrey, PhD, a licensed psychologist says:

“…there is a part of ourselves missing after the death of a sibling.
Such a death leaves a seemingly unfillable hole,
both within us and within our families.
This is magnified for those
who lose their ONLY SIBLING
and no longer have someone
who shares their histories
who can reminisce with them
and can validate their family narratives.”

Last night someone asked me how I felt about that.

I said mostly sad.
And grateful I had a lovely last day with my brother.

It feels important to honor this truth by sharing it here.

And inviting you to remember it with me by reading about the last day I spent with my brother, Gordon Eugene Longenecker. CLICK HERE


14 Replies to “Something profound . . .”

  1. Hi Carol,
    Just wanted you to know that your series on recalling the accounts of Gordon’s passing touched my heart. What struck me most was how — in the midst of all the pain and sorrow — how you and your family pulled together to completely trust in God in the face of the difficulty of such a loss. It’s a testament to your strength and character, which I admire.

  2. What a beautiful truth to honor. Both my parents left the same year (2010), and it has left me feeling odd. I still have my siblings though. But now I sit here and ponder how that will feel if I’m the last one standing. Someone will be. Thanks for sharing this Carol. Yes, it is profound.

    1. lisa, I remember my grandmother being the last in her family of 10 children. And how lonely she felt. It was hard for her. Most of my closest friends are 10-15 years younger than me and I tell them I will not be the last one standing – at least i pray so!
      thanks for visiting.

    1. thanks for visiting Heather. Yes, each day a gift to be entered into, for we don’t know do we. Not a morbid thought but one that is important to remember as we live in the present.

  3. Carol this makes me SO glad I can remember Gordon along with you. Such a character; I have to smile and kind of shake my head with pleasure as I think of his charm and humor. Wish I could have seen you as kids together!

  4. A beautiful post! It made me realize what our own parents experience with the passing of each sibling. And what I may one day experience as I have only one brother. Thank you for sharing this moving post. May the memories you hold close bring you comfort. Have a blessed Sunday!

    1. I was so dreadfully clueless About what my mom went through when she lost her sister and brother. She never really told me. I wish she had. Their generation didn’t say much about these things. I have been open w my kids for that reason.

    1. Hey sweet friend thank you for sharing in this with me tonight. We are spending the weekend w dear friends. He was my worship pastor and
      became my brother during those dark days. His wife is one of my dearest friends. This visit is good timing for me.

  5. Thank you for sharing this very important time with us. I grieve with you and know the immense hurt and longing for that personal touch of their physical life here on earth. I have lost my only son and my oldeest brother…both to sudden accidents just months apart. I am so thankful you had that last day with him…God has allowed that sweet memory. I love you sweet friend! Many blessing to you. I am your neighbor at Weekend Brew. 🙂

    1. cathy,

      Two profound losses so close together – I am so sorry for that pain you have experienced. . .

      thank you for visiting here today. am wondering if you have ever read Jerry Sitser’s book “a Grace Disguised.” it was the book I read and it ministered to me.

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