At this moment I feel completely and utterly utterly sad. The tears won’t stop and I feel like my heart is going to never recover from the pain it feels currently. My brother’s dog, Nellie has died suddenly this afternoon. Nellie was originally my dad’s beloved dog and my brother took her on when my dad died, 10 years ago next month.
Nellie was my connection with my dad. Nellie was also the reason my brother got out of bed each morning. My brother is a wheelchair user and quite poorly but everyday without fail he would hoist himself off the bed and take her walking for hours every day. He has an electric wheelchair and is a familiar sight to the locals who spoil him rotten with free sausage rolls (the dog not my brother.)
This afternoon my brother rang me hysterical. Nellie was shaking and foaming at the mouth. it was one of the most awful phone calls of my life. He wanted me there, and I wasn’t there. My sister is abroad. My brother was alone. I can’t bear it. Nellie died. My link with dad has gone. My brother is alone. I am consciously not telling my sister- she needs a holiday, she can’t do anything to help. I can’t believe Nellie is gone.
My brother, like me with my own dog, has/had an almost unhealthy attachment to Nellie. He would NEVER leave her and his life revolves/revolved around her. My sister and I have always said that we would prefer it if my brother died before Nellie- because dealing with his grief over Nellie always felt worse than grieving over my brother. We feared that my brother would stop living if he didn’t have Nellie. Now that theory is going to be put to the test, and boy do I hope beyond hope that we are wrong. I find my brothers’ situation so sad… my only comfort was that he had Nellie. Now he doesn’t.
Ever since a child I have been surrounded by ill people. As a child I used to lie awake in bed at night listening to see if my dad was still breathing. Both my parents were heavy smokers and often had paralysing coughing fits that stopped them breathing. I was wracked with anxiety at them dying on me. My brother has been very poorly over the years and when I see his number on my mobile phone my heart sinks as her only ever rings if he is in crisis. When my sister is on holiday I try very hard to be near to my brother- but this week I decided to go and visit friends in the Midlands. I saw my brother before I went and he seemed ‘well’. I consciously chose to visit my special friends. I could so easily never do anything out of fear that my brother would need me. But today my nightmare came true. He needed me and I couldn’t get to him. I am so so sorry.
I loved Nellie. She made visiting my brother a little bit more bearable. I loved her because she connected me with my dad. I loved her because since I gave up my own dog she was my favourite dog. I loved Nellie because my brother loved her. I will miss you.