Brian – We call him Bro

Together, they have shared 27 years of living in sin (as my mother would say) and if I am to remain authentic and honest, for the past few months, I have just about tolerated him.

The most frustrating, stubborn and controlling man I know and also a man that has been in my life longer than my father was and who gave me so much love.

His words often do so much damage to my mother’s mental health well being and then in turn, her acid tongue would throw as much back and in more recent months, the idea of moving abroad felt like an escape from their unhealthy yet somehow committed relationship.

For months, I’ve been plagued with my own guilt at the thought of leaving them both.

My brother’s have never really liked him that much and in some way, he is just another version of my father only his addiction was food not drugs.

A massive man who weighed 28 stone at one point.

As a child, he was born into poverty, the kind of life where beds were shared with siblings, food was not plentiful and shoes were full of holes. His mother was abusive and life was extremely hard.

She ran off with another man without saying any goodbyes.

The youngest of four and a promising footballer who played for the England boys team as a teenager, his dream was to make it at a professional level. At age 19, whilst working a summer job with his brother on a farm, there was a terrible accident and he was trapped under a tractor.

The accident robbed him of his young healthy body and in turn gave him a life full of immense pain and disability and food filled the hole of where his dream once lived, self hatred ravaged his mind and he was told that he would never walk again.

He defied the odds, even walking into the ambulance two weeks ago, at the age of 77 with a semi smile on his face and telling both Mum and I that he loved us.

I now understand how desperately he tried to be a father figure to me and I wouldn’t let him in, I couldn’t-there was too much about his nature that I despised at times and on the other side of that, I have always known how much he loves me and has always been there when I needed help along the way, telling me often;

“It will come right in the end.”

Funny how you forget those times when you are so wrapped up in anger.

I hope he will forgive me…

Why did I leave it too long to tell him that I am so grateful for everything and that I am so sorry for the times that I chose not to forgive him-for the times that I too, was so incredibly stubborn.

After much back and fourth with his medical team, ranting and raving at the lack of communication, lack of support and lack of updated information, I finally arrived at his hospital bedside unannounced.

What I found was heartbreaking.

He was incoherent, rambling, soiled, unable to reach his drink as his table was too far away. His mouth was dry and sticky and he was semi lying on his back which is impossible for the pain in his spine. I tried to talk to someone but they were all too busy. I desperately needed answers and eventually the nurse who has been ‘dealing’ with him, arrived at his bedside and still, unable to answer my questions, told me that I needed to talk to the doctor.

After 50 minutes of waiting and nursing him myself, the Doctor finally came and told me that his kidneys are now failing too.

Within two weeks, I am now watching a yellow man die in front of me. His body is struggling with a large mass on his liver which has spread to his lungs. The fluid which is bypassing his damaged kidneys and liver, is now filling up his stomach.

He is so weak and sick.

I literally can not bare him being so frightened and disorientated.

He pleads with me to take him home over and over again.

The pain from all directions is absolutely suffocating.

I pray that he will fall asleep and gently pass and that his suffering will end.

I pray that he knows how much I love him.

I pray for forgiveness.

©All Rights Reserved – The boy in the chip shop 2019-20

I am searching deep within myself to find some answers and I am also drowning in managing it all. Doctors, nurses, social workers, carers, mother, my family, his family, emotions and so on… its tough

Author: Michelle Denness

Wife, mother to three incredible kids and aspiring writer/poet. I am passionate about sharing personal stories to empower others and this space is for me to be open and free with my thoughts. This is my journey...

6 thoughts on “Brian – We call him Bro”

  1. Michelle, he knows how much for care, how much you are there, and how much of a struggle it has been for you. Don’t beat yourself up with this. Bro’s struggle is enough for you to deal with at the moment. Take care and be kind to yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Michelle this just breaks my heart as it shows how trauma just breeds more trauma. Its such a lot to be managing.. I will send some prayers your way.. I am glad you can be there, but do take care of yourself.. you have such a big heart…lots of love beautiful lady.. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Prayers as you wade through yet more heartache and struggles. It’s compelling that you’re able to process it “on paper,” but I pray that’s exactly what it will help you do. He must sense your care, your words even when it doesn’t seem like he can hear you. Trust that much. I’m glad you shared a photo of him.

    Liked by 1 person

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