My brother didn't come home from Iraq

My brother deployed to Iraq five months ago. Tonight, I found out that life is different now. My brother isn't coming home from Iraq. 

It's hard to explain how this feels, right now. He wasn't supposed to be coming home for another four months. He sometimes talked to our parents, but rarely to me since he's deployed; we were never spectacularly close. Now, I don't know what to think. The next four months are going to be weird. I feel like I'm going to be waiting for him, still. It's going to be this weird limbo. I haven't cried yet; when will I cry? Tomorrow? Will I cry tomorrow, or after the funeral, or in a month, or in four months -- when he was originally *supposed* to come home?

I have a friend who's deployed with him. He's supposed to be coming home at the same time, on the same plane. I haven't heard from him, lately, which isn't particularly surprising. He's EOD. If he's not out in the field he's relaxing. He gets drunk a lot. They say you're not supposed to do that, but he says that all the EOD guys do. I don't know what to think about that. I don't think I'd be any better at staying sober if I was doing something like that, but was an EOD who'd been drinking responsible for my brother's death?

My mother told me. She was crying already. I still don't know how he died. I hope that wasn't it, though I don't really know how I would hope he *did* die.

I just keep thinking about that day in four months when my brother was supposed to come home, and wondering. I kind of hate how it feels, right now. It feels like this isn't real, and I know it is. But I can't stop looking *forward* to that day. Even seeing my friend at the airport isn't going to be the happy occasion that it should be. How can I smile at him when it's just him, and not my brother too, like it was supposed to be? 

I don't know. Not sure how I feel. I do hope that my friend comes home okay. I just hope that I'll somehow have my head around things by the time that day comes. 

User Comments
Anon-1

Life is going to be different now, but it can still be rich and rewarding. That day when he was supposed to come home is going to be hard, especially if you're going to be meeting a friend of his at the airport where he was supposed to be. Stay strong; your brother, I'm sure, was proud to be serving his country. He'd want you to be able to move on.

Anon-2

You have my condolences. I'm terribly sorry for the loss of your brother. I hope that you're able to find some solace in what he was doing, and in how many people he helped. 

Anon-3

Your brother was a good man. Whatever we think about the cause, there is something to be said for those who are willing to sign up and put their life on the line with the idea that they *might* get the chance to defend the rest of us. Even if not, a person who would go that far for self-improvement and life experience deserves respect. Despite how things must seem right now, I hope for the best for you in times to come.

Anon-4

My sincerest condolences. I'll be keeping you, your brother, and your family in my thoughts. I know that that doesn't mean a lot to some people; I like to think that positive energy is always rewarded, one way or another, and I hope that in some small way it works to put the occasional smile on your face. I wish for all the best for you.